Sitting down across from TJ, you see that he's gone with Taco Bell.
You : "So T.J., how's the life?"
T.J. : "Oh, its ok. I mean there's no school, so in that way it's awesome."
You : "Nice. Yeah, it's weird that we'll be in college in a month or two."
T.J. : "Yeah, I know. It's funny, kind of strange actually to see high school classmates around. I mean, like people we weren't great friends with."
You : "I know, man. I saw Jess Zilo and some of her friends the other day at Publix, and its just weird. Like, do you say hi? Do I want to say hi?"
T.J. : "Ya, ya. I've been thinking about that actually. And the thing is, it doesn't matter whether or not we do."
You : "What do you mean?"
T.J. : "Like, we may never see them again. Like, we're going to college man!"
You: "Yeah . . . you're right. It's just strange, thinking about whether clique dynamics somehow change after high school ends. With the high school cliques, I mean. For example, now Chris talks to me more because we're both going to school in Providence. It's like the associations perpetuated by the circumstances of high school have dissolved, and the new ones of our college lives are forming."
T.J. : "Well, things definitely seem different."
You : "Yeah?"
T.J. : "Yeah. I mean, even this town seems different."
You : "The ol' Boca Ra — ton?"
T.J. : "I don't know. I've just . . . well, you know we've just been so cynical about it all these years — and for good reason, too. But now, as we're just about to leave it, I feel like I like it more. I'm gonna miss it some."
You : "Ya, I kind of feel that way too."
T.J. : "I've become interested in its history even."
You : "Really?"
T.J. : "Ya. The history of Boca Raton. For example, did you know the first IBM computer was built here?"
You : "Wow. No I didn't"
T.J. : "I mean, we all know about how the anthrax scare occurred here. And about how the Condominium residents shaped the 2000 presidential election by voting for Buchanan, but there's some other stuff you wouldn't know about."
You: "Like what?"
T.J. : "Well, for example, I've been reading about this guy Rosenthal who lives in Boca."
You : "Wait, isn't there some kind of movie based on him?"
T.J. : "Ya. It's called Casino or something. With Robert Deniro. Anyways, he like ran major casinos in Las Vegas when they were controlled by the Mafia. He was the first to operate a sports book from within a casino, and was also the first to allow female blackjack dealers, which like doubled the income of these casinos."
You : "Whew. And now he plays bridge near the Florida beach?"
T.J. : "Exactly. I don't think he can even go near Las Vegas anymore. He's in "The Black Book" or something, which means he can't be in or even near any Nevada casino."
You : "This guy's pretty bad-ass."
T.J. : "Ya. And now he gets the early-bird special at Too-Jays next to America's grandparents."
You : "You know, I wonder."
T.J. : "And what do you wonder?"
You : "I wonder: all these has-beens that move to Boca — do they just begin retired life. Are they really ever able to escape their past?"
T.J. : "That's good. Make a good poem."
You : "No seriously. You think Rosenthal sets up handicaps on bridge games in Century Village now?"
T.J. : "Probably."
You : "Boca Raton."
T.J. : "Boca Raton."
Having been both finished with your meals for about five minutes now, you both throw your trash away and begin walking through the mall to the exit.
You: "Hey, T.J., wanna come to CVS? We can pick up Father's Day cards there, and besides I need to get some contact lens solution."
T.J. : "Sure dude. Meet you there."To CVS
Last modified 31 December 2006