The picture is bit haunting. For me. The social media has upped its ante by showing the interests of others, the friends of friends. The more the merrier. Make a comment someplace else and it shows up in another social circle. Someday they will round us up and put us in the appropriate pens.
I know three of these people. Three of the four. The fourth, whose name is familiar, is lost to me otherwise.
Left to right:
The big guy lived up the street from me. He’s wearing a shirt with a racing stripe, full beard and short shag. Older, he and his brother shared names with my brother and I, which provided us some grace. Tough guys. I heard that prison time was involved some time after this photo. His eyes are half-closed, not from bad timing as much as the booze he holds in his right hand. I may have played euchre with him.
Next, the playboy, the only one looking at the photographer. His shirt is open to the third button from the top. Dark, wavy hair well below the ear, as was a style back then, and goatee. His head is pitched forward, perhaps from the pressure of a much shorter man’s arm around his neck. His own right hand is resting on the bigger man’s shoulder. He dies drunk when a telephone pole and his car have a contest.
These are friends.
I cannot say much about the short man to whom I assume the picture belongs. As before, his name is all I recall. Like the other three he wears a wide brown belt, hair below the ears. Bangs. He has a garland around his neck, blue, like his shirt, also open to the third button, white t-shirt underneath. His eyes are fixed on the man to his left, the last man. Younger than the other two, both of them have weak mustaches.
I know the last man best. His posture is more liquid than the others. Brown leather jacket, a mauve flower-print shirt, purple slacks, a white boy’s fro and bangles around his neck. I am guessing he is drinking a slow gin fizz. I played hookie with him. I drank and smoked pot with him and his closer friends. I did not do the downers. I saw things. He was a cop for a while.