"He's Not Setting Out to Hurt People"
FROM NOTEBOOK #4
This story takes place at a vague point between Monica and Xochipilli. Surely you are familiar with those terms by now. B. must have told you everything about his childhood.
In those times summers were longer and we were all in grade school. You and I, now that I think about it, were not even friends; you orbited around B. and I orbited around A., and when those two became best friends, that was how we met. So I guess it makes sense that I wouldn't have known of this until now.
B.'s parents were not financially stable, and there were a couple times when they almost had to pull him out of school. His Dad was a journalist and I think his Mom had to go back to teaching a few times to make ends meet. For a few months they had a plastic table in the kitchen. B. never had video game consoles or BMX bicycles. He sold weed to afford records. (Remember the Coat of Many Pockets?) He shared a room with his little brother right up until he moved out of the house. Really, if he hadn't lucked out with that job offer straight out of university, things surely would have been difficult for me.
When I was a kid I didn't notice these things, or at least I didn't really let myself think about them, but with time I began to feel guilt over the stark differences of our economic situations. But this isn't about me, anyway.
B.'s Dad was a member of the Clan from the start. I understand that the Clan didn't really take off locally until the mid-eighties, when there was an influx of important people who joined. I understand it was mostly an expat thing until then. Apparently B.'s family is one of those formerly aristocratic clans that lost nearly everything in the sixties, except for their high-class contacts. We always knew that B.'s surname sounded important anyway, so it's no surprise. I suppose that is why his Dad was invited; back then it was very exclusive.