The Beach on the Corner

“Dude! Then the lady throws the apples down and starts cussing out everyone in the store. It was crazy. There she was damn near naked, wearing fancy underwear and parts of some Cosplay costume. Fucking tossing apples around the store.

Everyone was ducking. If they poked their head up they would get hit with an apple. I was hiding behind the dry bulk area, laughing my ass off.”


Did anyone do anything, I asked.


My brother answered, “Not a thing. What could we do? She walked in and went directly to the produce section and when the manager approached her she started throwing apples. I was coming off break and walked in to this mess.”


That’s insane. What character was she dressed up as? I hope it was Sailor Moon. Is Sailor Moon still popular?


“How the fuck should I know? Am I the crown prince of Cosplay?”


You’re right, you’re in to Furries.


“You’re a dick. Anyway that is not why I called. Guess who called me last night?”


Wait, what happened with the lady throwing apples in the store?


“Nothing. The cops came and arrested her. She screamed crazy shit as they took her in. I think she was on something. I bet she was at that rave down at the beach last night. Those rich kids party all summer down here and throw all kinds of themed parties. One night it’s Cosplay, another night it’s Pimps and Hoes, and the next is Jersey Shore. Which is funny, cause these asshats are straight up the West Coast Jersey scum. So, guess who called me last night? Well, they did not call. They messaged me.”


I have no idea. Was it from distant past or recent past? Guy or girl?


“Fuck it, you’re not gonna guess it. It was Big Tim.”


Big Tim…


I had not thought about him in almost 20 years. Seriously, Big Tim, I thought he had died or was in hiding in South America or something.


What’s he up to, I asked my brother.


“I have no idea. He wrote to ask for forgiveness. He lives in Washington State. He has a couple of kids and is married.”


I sat there silent for a while. My brother was on the other end and kept saying my name, over and over. I was stunned. Hearing his name brought back a lot of memories. Nothing bad, well say for that prick, Todd, who sucker punched me at the arcade. I have a lot of good memories that flooded back. Things I had not thought of in years.


“Hey! Dick! Are you there? Did you hang out on me?”


I hear my brother’s voice and it draws me back to reality and from my past. “That’s crazy”, I say. Are you gonna call him? If you do tell him I do not hate him and whatever forgiveness he is looking for from me he has it.


“I will. Well, I gotta go. I need to get back to work. That crazy lady messed up the store really good.”


I said, “Later” and hung up. I sat there silent in thought with my past creeping back up on me. The faces were the first to return. Then the names to match the faces. Then the memories flooded back in.

I saw Big Tim’s face. He was a mountain of a man. He was at least six and a half feet tall and well over three hundred pounds. He was a big ball of muscle layered in protective fat. He was the most loyal person I knew. He stood by his friends, always.

He did not drink much. Which was good for us. We drank a lot. He protected us. In an overly simplified way he was our Lennie. We loved him for it.

We used to hang out at his house all the time. He had a pool and a covered patio where we would assemble all summer. It did not hurt that he was only two blocks from the mall. We loved going to the mall. It was our palace.

Big Tim was the glue for so many folks. The circle of friends we had all orbited around him and his house. There was Jermaine or “Big Willy” as he liked to be called, who was the star linebacker at the local public high school. He had a big heart as well. He and his brother, Chico, lived across the street from Big Tim. Chico got in to trouble a lot. He was a schemer and dealt the drugs he did not use himself.

There was Thor, who lived in his mother’s garage. He could live there as long as he kept up the pool and tended to her prized roses. He sold shoes at the mall and slept with most of his co-workers. Seriously, he was the first bi-sexual person I knew.

Brian (AKA, Fredrick) was an Iron Maiden loving hesher that lived a few houses down from Big Tim. He was a few years older than us and drove a supped up Chevelle. He thought he could play guitar. We would listen to him play so we could drink his beers.

There was Mike. He looked just like John Oates in his heyday. He was the only one of us with a mustache. He and Brian rocked mullets. Only Mike had the stache. He worked at the mall and was a really nice guy.

There was the D & D crew that played at Big Tim’s every Friday night. Jason and Robert. Robert was the Dungeon Master and Jason was the resident Salacious Crumb. Robert was the smartest person I knew. He was pursuing a career in robotics. He was our age and already in college. Jason was pursuing a career as a professional soccer player. His only problem was he lived in the US where no gave a shit about soccer.


Then there was the parade of Big Tim’s older sisters friends. It was as if every stereotype and assumption the late 80’s and early 90’s made were friends with Big Tim’s older sister and her aqua GEO Storm.