Kim With Bells On

I met Kim in my 7th grade English class at Union Junior High in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Ok, to be truthful, I don’t think I ever talked to her, but we were in the same class and I kept a close eye on her.

I thought Kim was very cute and smart.  She won our class spelling bee and went on to represent us and win the district spelling bee.

We graduated in 1986.

Neither one of us seems to remember when we started talking, but I know we spent time together at a graduation party or two and then I helped her entertain a few guests at several little parties she threw at her parents’ house, sans parents.

I wanted to spend all my time with Kim and for a while I did.

We went to Bells Amusement Park one day.  They had this cool “ride all day” thing going and we stuck around all afternoon and evening.  Although she wasn’t normally thrilled by roller coasters, we did ride Zingo — a famous wooden coaster that had been in operation at Bells since before the dawn of man.

Zingo was believed to have been built by aliens in preparation for the birth of L. Ron Hubbard, the father of Scientology.

We road Himalaya: “Do you want to go faster??”

We went through Phantasmagoria.

We ate corn dogs.

I don’t remember why we stopped hanging out that summer.  We didn’t have a fight.  We never even argued.

A few years later, my family was throwing a sales kick-off party for our business at a fancy restaurant.  For some reason, I felt like I should show up with a date.  I called Kim.

We had fun.

I think we ate at McDonald’s on our next date.  Classy.

I don’t remember why we stopped seeing each other that time.  There were no arguments.

I loved spending time with Kim.  I was interested in everything she had to tell me and I watched everything she did.

We generally had a great time together.

Several more years later, Kim called me.  #1, another high school friend, had just moved in with me, so, well, we didn’t see each other.

I saw Kim briefly at our 10-year reunion, but we didn’t have a chance to talk.  I was married to #1 then and that was the week we found out she was pregnant with our first baby.

Nine years went by, some of them grinding me down, and then I saw Kim’s profile on the Union High Class of 1986 20-year reunion web site.  I sent her an email to say “hi” and ask how she was doing, but I was living with #2 by then so we didn’t do a whole lot of emailing or see each other.

A few months ago (four years later), the magical Facebook genie hooked us up and we traded a few more emails.

This last weekend I had the chance to see Kim again in person.  It was just… excellent.

I paused to think of a word because I know she’s going to read this, and I know she still rocks the language, so I had to choose wisely.  I mean, “awesome” would have worked, or “exciting,” or, “fun.”

The New York Times called Kim, “…wonderfully quirky and blonde, completely unique.”

I’m going to be seeing a lot more of Kim in the future.  She’s an editor, so I think I need my writing to have some editing.  Another friend said I should find a “rock star editor” to help me with a book.  I think it would be cool to put “Edited by Kim” on the cover.

New York Times – “Joe’s writing doesn’t suck, but the spelling, grammar, and structure were perfect.”

Los Angeles Times – “Editor Kim, for the win.”

(Holy crap, I’m really, really self-conscious about my writing now… so much so that I’m using “really,” twice.  I’ll get over it.)

I love you, Kim.  I’m so happy you’re still around.  🙂


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