Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dave Mesic and me

David Mesic and I grew up together on the same street. I can't think of a memory before I met David Mesic, and the same goes for him. Aside from growing up on the same street and being born a few months apart, Dave and I had some other things in common. For one, we were both the youngest siblings in our families, so we were pretty well used to being picked on by our older siblings and their friends. Also, our parents were immigrants. Hence, we both were dressed funny by our moms with their impeccable fashion senses. I still remember wearing dark socks with my shorts and Dave in his blue plaid pants. Yes, we were two wild and crazy guys.

While growing up, Dave and I shared a lot of the same memories. His dog, the ferocious pit-bull named King, chasing me around on a regular basis, while his mom would call it off shouting "Kinga" was one of our more common memories. That dog would scare the living shit out of me and try to kill me, while Dave would stand by and laugh. A-hole! However, I got laughs at his expense too, when his mom used to come outside and berate him with such a fury. It was the funniest thing to watch.

Playing crash up derby with his sisters' Barbie Winnebagos was one of our favorite past times. These Winnebagos were big enough for us to sit on, so often we would fly on down the driveway while trying to knock each other off of these Winnebago go-carts. We also would give his sisters' Barbies new haircuts that would make these Barbies fit into any punk rock crowd or an insane asylum. We learned that using all sorts of pyrotechnics on these Barbies would generally send both of his sisters off into a frenzy, resulting in me being sent home and Dave being berated and grounded for a couple of days by his mom. Poor Dave, his mom could be brutal.

What brings me to speak about him is that while I was looking through some old pictures at my parent's house, one particular memory came through. I still can't erase the sight of Dave's face on that particular day. We were in the second grade and it was still one of the funniest sights I have ever seen. Yet this event also taught me something about being a true and loyal friend.

The day was just like any other day. Dave and I were walking home from school with two of our other classmates: Steve and Pat. Steve and Pat were pretty much like Dave and I. They grew up on the same street and were best friends by default. On this particular day, while walking home, we all noticed the empty school bus coming down the street to pick up the kids who rode the bus from our school. This time was different because it was running late. Also, it was going to pass us while we walked by a rock garden, so we thought it would be a great idea to throw some rocks at the bus as it drove on by. I don't know whose idea it was, but we were all equally guilty of this crime that was just about to take place. As the bus drove by us, Dave, Steve, Pat and I chucked our rocks as hard as we could at the bus. Then the bus did something we really didn't think would happen. It pulled over.

The sight of the bus pulling over scared the squishy stuff out of us, because it meant that our butts were potentially busted. At this frightening sight, three of us took off running as fast as we could. When I looked back, I saw Dave attempting to tie his shoe with one hand and reaching out with his other hand in desperation and horror begging for us to wait for him. That sight is branded into my brain. It was so damn hilarious. He was so programmed not to walk or run with his shoes untied, that he did not see it was in his best interest at that very moment to just run regardless of whether his shoes were tied or not.

When I looked back again, it was like a scene out of a horror film, when Jason, Freddy or Michael Myers would capture their victim. I saw the bus driver coming up behind Dave, and there was no escape for him. The bus driver picked Dave up and pulled him into the bus like a monster taking his pray back to their lair.

That evening, unlike other school evenings, Dave was not around to play. The street seemed empty without Dave. The next morning, unlike the other mornings, Dave did not walk to school with us. The walk to school was a little more silent. Steve, Pat and I were a bit scared of Dave's and our potential fate. When we did get to school, we saw Dave sitting at his desk with his head down. He looked like he got his butt handed to him by everyone he knew. He looked defeated. Before class started, the principal came in with that very same bus driver who we ran from the day before. The bus driver looked around our class, and then he pointed Steve, Pat and me out. We three had to go up to the Principals office for our butts to be handed to us.

The thing I noticed was that Dave never pointed us out. He never ratted us out. The bus driver had to come in and do it, because Dave wouldn't. Even though it meant that he would be in more trouble than us, he still didn't snitch. Yes, I still laugh at the expense of Dave when I think back to him reaching out in utter horror with one hand and trying to tie his shoe with the other. Hell, when I spoke with him about it, he did too. However, I still remember and thank him for his loyalty.

Dave was and still is a great friend.

Thanks Dave.

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