Hey, Karl. Come on in. Good to see you. Hey, you remember Denise, whose ham salad went viral last year.
You remember Joan, the dental assistant with the really successful autism blog.
You remember Augustine, the former bank president who wears a crooked brown mustache.
You remember Harold, the graphic designer renown for his regular use of neon green in his logos and layouts.
You remember Lyle, the neighbor of that guy from Shreveport who won the lottery last year but then blew it all on boats, each of which he sank in a series of successively more gruesome accidents out on Hanwell Bay.
You remember Dean, the chess player.
I know you remember Vivian, the inventor of that plush toy character that pops out of a top hat that kids were nuts for a while back, the one that explained different inappropriate behaviors and giggled obnoxiously.
You remember Mike, the choreographer who helped with the benefit when Joan had the thing with her ear.
You remember Ryan, I showed you a picture of his leg cast when he was absent from Thanksgiving the time we got snowed in.
You remember Darlene, she’s the one who did those great murals that you see around town.
And this is Ella. You remember Ella, daughter of Mr. Blackwell, the sardine magnate.
You remember Haru, he runs the gift shop down on Third that used to be the kind of scary pawn shop with the weapons in the window.
You remember Noam, who made the paper when he flew all those kites at once over the soccer stadium, an aerial tribute to his deceased girlfriend.
You remember Quinton, the percussionist I’m always playing in the car, and I wear his band’s t-shirt a lot, and you asked me if I had a thing for him, which is crazy.
You remember Sharnell, she used to run the front desk at Noam’s gym, before Noam joined the Navy.
You remember Mrs. Lewellyn, who founded our town’s chapter of Reading Alliance and is the one who fell asleep at the wheel that Halloween and caught air hitting a roundabout at 70, deep in REM, and later the video went viral, and she sued and got all the ad royalty money in the case of City of Wayne vs. Lewellyn.
You remember Hector, always hanging around Myers Park with his congas, smoking Pall Malls, scolding drug dealers, buying homeless people sandwiches.
You remember Letty, the niece of the old railroad president who left his estate to her, and she took the money and sent it to some charity in Afghanistan.
You remember Oliver, the prodigy who kind of went crazy after one semester of college and came back home to live at his parents’ ever since, only appearing at the top of the stairs when FedEx’s arrive.
You remember Nancy, with her refusal to stop wearing the blouses that were popular in southern Christian circles in the early ’80s, even though all her friends hate them and they are growing so thin as to be scandalous.
You remember Sanabe, pronounced san-AH-bay, who put out the record of lounge versions of grunge hits, all in Creole.
You remember Minerva, the well-respected performing artist with the eerily white skin and the entirely black wardrobe, who gets around everywhere on a single-speed bike.
You remember Linus, our colleague from D’Urberville Heights who did the pro bono work to get the 501c established.
You remember Blythe, how could you forget Blythe after her outrageous but appropriate sit-ins and public sermons and provocative art installations, and the marches she organized and the symposia at the college that she hosted, which helped us all get back on track after the events of May 8.
You remember Wallace, the baker’s assistant with the fake eye.
You remember Circe, one of the original members of the knitting club that used to meet at the library.
Oh, and look at this crew. Trouble! You remember Dwayne, Rocco, Gary, Reggie, the guys who organized the events of May 8. Well, let’s not talk about that any more.
You remember Yvette I’m sure because twice you inquired about the poster in my room, and I said Yvette had given it to me.
You remember Ferdinand, he was the one who came to the Halloween party dressed as a band leader, and later his baton got stuck in the tree.
You remember Kyra, my dentist’s daughter, and also she’s been so helpful with decorating the gym every year for the “First Night” dance that the Proust Society puts on.
You remember —
No? Karl? Hey, where’d Karl go?