Thursday, June 24, 2004

Poems About Speeding

Back after my sophomore year of college, I spent a lot of time in "the group", which consisted of myself, Chris Swanson, Sarah Taylor, and Caleb Buecksler. We did just about everything together during that summer, culminating in a crazy road trip we all took out to California. That summer was probably the most enjoyable summer I can remember. I could easily write a book on some of the crazy things we did during that summer, but the sad truth is I'm just too lazy to do it.

Anyhow, I found out recently that Sarah is spending the summer in Florida. While reading some of the email updates she sends out I got to thinking about that summer from so long ago, and about one event in particular. During that school year, Sarah had received a speeding ticket. Two of our high school teachers (who were married to each other), the Klagges, continually gave her crap about it. Over and over again, the Klagges would tease her about her mishap and continually recite to her that she needed to be a little more safe when driving. The Klagges would never drive so recklessly, especially since they had two young children. That's what they said, but then one day while reading the sheriff's report in the Hayfield paper it was revealed that Jen Klagge had received a speeding ticket last month.

Upon finding this out, I immediately informed Sarah and we knew that we had to find some way to stick it to Jen, especially since she tried to keep it secret from us (thank goodness for Sheriff reports). We had a few planning sessions to figure out what to do, but we just couldn't think of anything truly crazy to do. Instead, we finally decided to write her a poem and frame it. However, we also decided not to tell her it was from us or give it to her in person. We wanted her to have to guess who it was.

What's really amazing about the whole story isn't that we delivered it in secret one night, or that Chris and I double crossed Sarah with the help of the Klagges after the delivery of the poem, or that Jen knew it was from Sarah & me right away, or that we conned Sarah into believing that the Klagges *knew* it was from Chris and not us, or any of the other details, but instead it was the huge space of time it took us to come up with a 12 line or so poem.

We spent an entire night sitting around, brainstorming, and writing (and watching the Princess Bride). When the poem was finally finished and placed in its frame, I felt like we had really accomplished something. I also felt that we had really bonded as friends that night. We had been friends for a few years, but I had never felt like we were truly close friends, but over the course of this summer, and especially during that night of poetry writing, I finally felt like we had connected more so than in the past.

Thinking about this makes me miss her, and the rest of "the group", so much. I can remember having moments such as this with each member, and together as a group as well. I know that there will never be a summer that goes by that I won't remember the crazy things we did together as "the group" during our summer breaks away from school. Some things you simply can't forget.

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