Author’s Note: The narrator is a male character.
Colour My World
© copyright 2013 by Sara Jacobelli
“I hadn’t a drink in nearly ten years.” Famous last words. But that’s what I was thinking when I walked into the Harding High 1975 Class Reunion, at the Holiday Inn in downtown Bridgeport.
That’s what I was thinking when I ordered a vodka cranberry at the open bar. Figured, if I could handle being sober for ten years, I could handle being tipsy a few hours. Then go back to my sober life: the boring AA meetings, the gallons of cappuccino.
“Tony? Tony Ruggerio, from Mr. Licamele’s homeroom?”
A middle-aged woman with hair dyed a poor choice of red peered up at me from thick glasses. I looked at her name tag.
“Angie Cervone?” I juggled my drink and paper plate piled high with cheese and crackers. “Good to see ya, Ange!” She hugged me. I wasn’t sure if I remembered her. There was a ton of Angies at Harding, along with numerous Donnas, Carmens, Vickis, Tinas, and Marias.
I noticed the crinkly laugh lines around her eyes. Everyone looked old.
I headed for the men’s room as an excuse to dodge Angie, then got back-slapped on the way by a few guys I used to play football with. A convention of fat and balding Angelos, Carmines, Ginos, Peters, Paulies, and more Tonys.
Looking in the mirror and combing my thick, dark, wavy hair, I mumbled, “They’re old. Shit, I got a thirty year old girlfriend.”
One of the Tonys came into the can and looked at me strangely.
He nodded on the way out. “Hey, you’re still a dreamboat.”
Back at the party, I got buttonholed by Tina Tattaglia. She was flipping through photos on her digital camera, showing off kids and grandkids. In the 70s we slow-danced to Colour My World, she smelled like lilacs, held tight to my shoulders.
“They’re cute.” I wanted to call my girl back in San Francisco. Misty. A razor-thin Starbucks barista slash artist. God, I was lucky to still look so good. And to be so free.
“Tony, you married? Kids?” Tina had chosen not to die her hair. The natural gray highlights looked kind of pretty, if you go for that sweet grandma type.
“Nah. . . never was the settling down sort.”
“Well. . . “ Tina puffed on one of those fake electronic cigarettes. “There’s something I need to tell you.”
I gulped down my third vodka cranberry.”Yeah, what? Been carrying a torch for me all these years, babe?” I kissed her on the cheek.
“No, it’s just that. Well, Orazio died last year. Remember Razzy? Two years ahead of us? He dropped out and went into construction with his father?”
“Razzy. Nice guy. Sorry.” I put my arm around her shoulder. Felt sorry for her.
Tina held up the camera. “Our oldest, Giovanni? He’s thirty-seven. I never told you, but he’s yours.”
Lyrics to “Colour My World”:
Chicago performing “Colour My World”:
“Colour My World,” written by James Pankow.
Photo Credits: “If you leave me now,” Chicago Album, Non Free, could qualify as Fair Use. Wikipedia.