Monday, January 28, 2008

Sparkles and Bosch

Matthew Sullivan wrote that title in my yearbook. Whenever I encounter incongruous happiness I think of that phrase and I think of Matthew Sullivan.

Matthew (not Matt) was always a big fish, even in junior high. Not only was he imposingly tall, he was loud, brash, and contrary. Even teachers gave him a wide berth, lest he lay them low with cutting remarks or revealing comments. The principal was thoroughly intimidated and usually chose not to have Matthew in his office for detention.

For whatever reason, Matthew and I were always friendly to one another and I was spared his venom. By high school the other boys grew to Matthew's height and were no longer worried about his savage verbal beatings or his turbo wedgies. We were both weirdo outsiders in our high school, me of the punker chick variety, he of the tortured artist variety. Man, could he draw! I remember the idiot jocks calling him "fag", or whatever, because he was an artist who looked like a linebacker and talked like a college professor.

I saw him rarely, but when I did we usually would hang out for a few hours talking about our dreams for the future and the latest gossip. It was the last time I saw Matthew Sullivan that I handed him my stupid yearbook to sign.

He drew a crazed cartoon version of himself behind the wheel of a futuristic bubble car, waving madly. "Sparkles and Bosch!" he wrote, "I'm off to be a famous artist!"

Years later I had a roommate who apparently went to college with Matthew. "You KNOW Matthew Sullivan?" he asked, mouth agape and eyes wide.

I'm having a Sparkles and Bosch kind of week. How about you?

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