by Jerry Ratch


Sharon called me “Wolfie” (very sweet!) and I distinctly heard her gasp, “Jesus!” when I entered her the first time on my dad's ski boat, while you and Rick DeMille came swimming up behind us, yelling out my name: “Pharaoh … Pharaoh.” Well, of course, it really wasn't “Pharaoh.” That's just what I invented for my book of poems, twelve years later, called Osiris.

            Did you know I'm the one who egged on Rick to take you out when I started up with Sharon? Bet you didn't know that!

            And then there were all those beer parties in Rick's basement at his parent's bar, you, me, Sharon, Andy, Shel, Lorrie, Rick, and we would buy cases of beer, and I remember night after night on weekends being the last one standing after everyone had passed out or were lying around on the couches or on the floor. And I would scoop up Sharon and take her over to my house and down into the basement where I had my own couch and we would have sex until she came, and then I would come after her but she would nearly collapse and could barely hang on after the release of coming.

            And she always called me “Wolfie, Wolfie.” And then I would wash myself off and put her clothes back on and drive her home to her parent's house in Lombard.

            And I remember having to take her to her high school prom, maybe her junior year? That was the very first time I ever wore a suit. And now I sell real estate and wear a suit, and I've gotten used to it, I guess. Or do it because I have to, just like then.