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E32. Lou Reed’s Nephew Gets an Invitation
I had no idea what he was talking about but was reluctant to reveal my lack of sophistication.
“I just received word of my high school reunion via something called … Evite,” Lou Reed’s Nephew announced suspiciously.
“Will you attend?”
“I checked ‘Oh dear God, no.’”
I was about to ask him why when he told me.
“There are two good reasons to avoid one’s high school reunion,” he said. “The first is because you are the least successful person in your class, and therefore embarrassed to show your face. That would be Todd Blin’s position.”
“Because he is such a failure.”
“Yes. And he went to a school where they wore ties. The bar was higher. He gets it both ways.
“But the second reason is that you are the most successful member of your graduating class, which is awkward in its own way. You should stay away out of respect. I graduated when I was sixteen and have been too much in the news.”
“You are a true humanitarian.”
“There’s something in it for me, I admit. I get to avoid that cliched cast of high school characters. The couple of middling attractiveness sufficiently free from physical repulsiveness and A-list noblesse oblige to brag about their sexual exploits, from showering together to eating sugared cereals off each other’s privates. The ‘Irish twins’ rumored to have succumbed to incestuous relations. The sad, sweaty loner, who—it is invariably alleged—romanced the family pet.”
“Those old chestnuts!” I laughed. I had no idea what he was talking about but was reluctant to reveal my lack of sophistication.
“And those are the memorable ones. Never mind the closeted wrestling coach who teaches D-Day by screening The Americanization of Emily (a forgotten classic, granted, but a tell as sure as The Wizard of Oz). The cheerleaders turned Zoomba instructors, their cropped hair encased in cruel chemical frosts. The linebackers turned pumpkin-headed pharmaceutical reps.”
“That’s quite a menagerie.”
“Indeed,” he said. “They will be better off not seeing me.”
“Or being seen by you it sounds like.”
“Agreed,” he said. “They will never know how lucky they were.”