Page 27: Those High School Days

Even though Ted had known Joe ever since grade school at St. Mark’s, they were never, what Ted would call, close friends.  Joe just tried too hard to get everyone to like him, and because of that, Joe was teased something fierce. Always there, always around, always showing off, like a lost puppy dog that follows you everywhere no matter how hard you try to shoo it away. 

There was a lot of tension among Joe and the rest of the guys on the football and basketball teams. It just wasn’t fair that Joe could come in as a starter his junior year and play every game, the whole game. But even being a star football and basketball player didn’t win Joe any friends in high school.  He still was picked on by all the guys on the team.  One night they even beat Joe up after one of their football games. “Let’s see how tough you really are, Moose!” they taunted, as they started throwing their jabs.  Joe never fought back, and Lord knows, he probably could have killed them if he wanted.  He just stood there, tears in his eyes, taking blows to his body as if he was a human punching bag.  

That was over 20 years ago. Not a lot of Ted’s high school friends stayed in the Elsmore area, so he and Joe had become closer throughout the years, mostly by default—really no one else to hang out with.  The two of them had continued to play basketball for a city league, winning several championships. Ted had heard that Joe was not doing so well since he had been released from Mayo.  Rumor had it that Joe had lost all of his memory, didn’t even remember his mom or any of his family.  Ted was skeptical, thinking that maybe Joe was up to his old tricks of trying to get some attention. Ted decided it was time to pay Joe a visit and see for himself first-hand just how bad of a state Joe was in.

FACTS:  Joe was beat up after a football game in high school.  There was speculation among Joe’s friends that his memory loss wasn’t as bad as it was.  Joe did play on a Rochester city basketball league.

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