In the months that followed I kept myself occupied with miscellaneous activities. On Thursday’s we went bowling because a nearby bowling lane had a really cheap night. On Sundays we played softball. During the week some of us guys played a game called Strat-O-Matic Baseball.  Nothing really exciting.

  I got the occasional letter in the mail from Azuree that was very articulate and spooky. Nothing she wrote showed her crazy side. But I prefer ex-girlfriends who called on the phone because, before cell phones, if they called you knew where they were. Not watching you through a window. Not that Azuree would be outside while I read her letters, but she COULD be.

  We also had parties every month or two. Now we were more into theme parties than in the past. We had The Electric Pussy Cat Swingers Club Party (‘60’s Austin Power Themed Party), A Night of Funk and Disco (‘70’s) up in Albany, another Toga Party. Matt graduated College that June and we went up to celebrate that.  

  On a sad note, Paul’s father passed away around this time. Paul took this really hard. His father was a heavy drinker and his liver was failing him. The doctors told him he needed to stop drinking and he did for a while, but then he went back to drinking with a vengeance and went downhill fast.

  Relationship-wise, there was some good news. Around New Year’s Dan liked a girl named Casey that was long time friend’s with Denver. Dan asked her out, but she said no. She wanted Denver. While I was in Europe, Casey’s college soccer team had gotten into a bus accident and she broke her arm. Dan drove down to the Washington D.C. area to visit her and they were dating ever since.

  One of the girls we were friends with brought a friend of hers around and after a brief fling with Matt, this girl named Jennifer started dating Sean. We found out they were dating when after months of bowling with her and her throwing the ball between her legs, she bowled like a normal person. Apparently, Sean had taken her on the side to learn to bowl on their own. It was really cute. She was a really sweet girl and I warned her about dating Sean because he was my ‘evil arch-nemesis.’ At least he had been when I was clean shaven and he was bald with a goatee, but Jen had gotten me to grow a goatee since Spain and now I had facial hair that came and went.

  George went and proposed to Dorrie and they were planning to marry sometime next year.

   Dan and Alan both got ‘real jobs’ at Computer Associates.

  Meanwhile, although a relationship was off the table, Jen and I still talked all the time. Jen was focusing on getting a real career oriented job. She was looking to get a job on the railroad and wanted me to apply with her. My father worked on the railroad and I had no real desire to, but Jen told me that it made her sad thinking about me wasting my talents and ability working in a department store when I had so much more potential. Funny how I had no ambition on my own, but coming from her it really hit home. At this point, I was really just spinning my wheels. I wasn’t really doing anything to advance my life. I didn’t even own a car, one that worked, anyway. I was just having fun with as little responsibility as possible. Once again, Jen was making me open my eyes.

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