Friday, July 11, 2014

California Dreamin'

Jenny was our super star.

I don't remember who told me, probably Eddie, he was always up on the latest gossip, but I vividly remember the sotto voce awe in the words "she was in a Pepsi commercial." In our little country town 50 miles from the nearest metropolis, with less than 500 students in the entire high school, she was the exotic foreigner.

California girl of epic beauty and dazzling smile, she was untouchable. Above our peasant horizons she sailed through the skies like limpid sunshine.

I admit I was always a little jealous of how awed others were of her, but jealousy was inconsequential; her unattainable amazingness made us better - our class's status was raised just by her membership. At first we were intimidated, but her charming smile won us all over. Its like we were so proud that she was ours. We laid claim to her like fans to a starlet.

We were warmed by her brilliance but sadly her star burned bright and fast.

Coincidentally in recent days thoughts of the pressing impermanence of life has stalked my thoughts. Jenny only got to have half as long as most of us.

How compressed I must make my efforts. So much I want to accomplish before I run out of time. So much to build. So much to design. So much to make. So much to share.

I expect I have only half my life left, and while I will work like Charles Schultz to the very end and die the day I quit working, I feel with urgency the need and desire to get things done and done quickly before the fuse burns away.

Tonight I drink a glass of California zinfandel in her memory. So with my dinner this wine escalates a humble Oklahoma burger charmingly, much as she graced us, her high school classmates, with her too-short presence.

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