The Flight of the Little Lost Boys

Loyola, Northwestern, Roosevelt, Northeastern, and UIC. In 1974 I finished my seven-year college tour. I graduated. To celebrate, I quit a stressful job as a psychiatric aid on a unit for violent felons. I was free.

A year later I was still “free”- working part-time as a bartender and as a night receiver in a funeral home, with a lot of time for reading, shooting pool, and…? I applied for a job at Children’s Memorial Hospital.

The night before my interview I rode my motorcycle to meet former coworkers for a drink. Not a complete derelict, I left the bar early and discovered that the cycle was gone. I was attached to this cycle. Four years earlier my twenty-year-old ass was alarmingly eligible for the draft. My birthday is on Christmas Day and as the anti-war billboard on the expressway proclaimed: “Happy birthday Jesus. Your lottery number is 63. Pack your bags. You’re headin’ for Nam.” And there, but for the grace of an injury on that cycle, would have gone I.

Understandably I was distraught with the loss of the bike as I told my girlfriend when I got home.

“Oh, that’s too bad,” She said, beginning to brush her teeth.

“I don’t know if I’m up for job interview.”

“Whatever. Now, please, I gotta get to sleep.”

Hmm. Guess I’d better keep the interview. Probably gonna need a new apartment. To be fair though, as cute as I thought I was, she was probably fed-up with my shiftless ways.

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