Tuesday, August 15, 2006
The trip to Maine turned out great, for the most part. I saw many old friends, who welcomed me with open arms-except one. I hadn't seen him for at least twenty years. We nicknamed him "Gilligan" partly because he reminded us of the lovable, bumbling TV character, but mostly because his last name is very similar to Gilligan, minus two letters. I went to his house with two other friends, Mark and Robert. Gilligan was standing on his front steps smoking a cigarette. He looked much older than I remembered him. Of course, many years had passed, and Gilligan had some gray hairs even in high school, but now he was totally gray with a beard that made him look like that guy from the old show, "Family Affair." Sebastian Cabot lives! Robert yelled at him to "come down, an old friend is here to see you." Gilligan jumped in the back seat of the car. I reached around from the front seat to shake his hand. He recoiled and said "get away from me and my family! YOU ARE A CANCER! I HATE YOU!" We were collectively shocked. Sure, I had teased Gilligan at the Catholic high school we both attended. We used to get high together (this was the 70's) and joke around. My friends Chris and Roy and I would threaten to kick him out of my car by yelling "roll or walk!" Of course this pertained to Gilligan twisting up a joint. But I can't recall anything I did or said that would make him react in this extreme way. We all agreed that thirty plus years of heavy dope use must have fried his brain. With that, we rolled and he walked.