I published this essay on July 7th, 2011, on my old blog, which will eventually pass into the great Internet beyond. It’s one of my favorites, so I’m reposting it here with a few edits.
“I was twelve going on thirteen when I first saw a dead human being. It happened in 1960, a long time ago. . .although sometimes it doesn’t seem that long to me.” —Stephen King, “The Body”
When Dan the Manager got busted on a coke binge, the Steak ‘n Shake gang wasn’t surprised. We had all left St. Louis after high school; I was living in New York, Josh in Virginia, Jack in North Carolina. Over vacations we visited our adolescent haunt, sipping milkshakes and polishing off bowls of bright red chili. Yet, even a steakburger topped with guacamole and chopped onions and pepperjack cheese couldn’t bring back …