A Compilation of Slightly More than Nothing

April 20, 1997  Sunday

Yesterday I went to Scholastic Bowl with Hoke, Willa, Addie, and Josh Britton.  Sidney wasn’t with us because she was adjusting her gown.  Mr. Mavetz, our coach, was somewhere else as well, but we weren’t sure where.  We lost our first two matches, and my career in Scholastic Bowl is officially over.

When we got back to Elmwood in the early afternoon, Hoke wanted to watch trains.  This means yours truly had to go with him.  I’ve written about the pros and cons of this activity before.  I think one the best parts of watching trains with Hoke are the stories we tell, and the long jokes we weave about something silly, as we wait in the Illinois country along a gleaming track.

Dahinda, Illinois, crossing over the Spoon River

Sometimes we laugh about teachers, or Hoke’s crazy neighbor Walt we used to spy on from atop Hoke’s two-story clubhouse.  Or we make up something original.  Once, a few years ago while on Hoke’s front porch, the longest, greatest laugh we probably ever had was at the expense of Aldis, the discount grocery store.  I had never been to one, and Hoke’s over-the-top description of stacks of generic cans of beans, bags of stale potato chips with only “Chips?” on the white bag, and misspelled liters of soda on the floor, inspired a long round of imaginative story telling. We kept trying to outdo the others’ story, until we couldn’t breath for laughing.  Whenever I’ve been in one now, I think of that afternoon of stories, and am slightly disappointed they are not true.

Anyway, that was a long story to explain a bit of what we do when also waiting for trains.  We went to Dehinda, and experienced all the excitement the tiny burg had to offer.  It’s a place maps think is not worth noting, a place you have to actively search for because signs won’t help you,  and your reward for finding Dehinda is its few winding roads and shady, ramshackle homes.  Trains were seen, and photographed.

After we finally got back I waited for Sidney to get home from track and possibly get a call about doing something Saturday.  That call never came before I had to leave for another night of bar backing at the Hub.  I told Dad to tell her to call me between eight and nine at the Hub (that’s when I’m least busy, but she could really call at any time).  I wish she had, because last night no one was there to dance the Watermelon Crawl, and it was extremely boring.

Just now I called her and asked about meeting up today.  She wasn’t feeling all that great, but we still might do something.  She also asked who I considered my first-string best friend.

Nicole has a piano recital this afternoon.  She’s really good at what she’s going to play, but I’ve already heard it dozens of times these last weeks.

The end to nothing,

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