The 30-year-old margin


“Hi, are you Wade?”


“What’s your last name?”


“I thought so.”

“How’s that?”

“We went to first grade together.”

Best opening lines ever.

It’s hard to mind your own business in this town. Damn hard. As I’ve said before, this town’s too fucking incestuous.

Friday, I’m at an art event at the Starbucks in Five Points South. Since I lack the social graces, I’m stuffing my face with pastry, having not eaten all day. Crumbs are falling everywhere, napkin doing a poor job of keeping my mouth clean.

A young woman, lanky, blond, walks up to where I’m seated in the corner. It’s facetime, and I’m admiring the colorful works lining the walls as well as the crashers, poseurs and caffeine fiends circulating in the loft.

And so begins my first conversation of the night.


So I look pretty stupid, right? With the crumbs and the dumb look on my face. I’m doing math in my head. My God, it’s been 30 years.

And I still don’t know her name. In fact, the only classmate I remember from first grade was the weird kid who lived down the street.

S. didn’t stick around Birmingham — her family moved after that year, which kinda explains why we didn’t share any classes from second grade on. She moved all around the world, ending up back in town a few years ago.

Turns out, she knows me from the Web. But not this site, nor Wade on Birmingham, but from my MySpace page. When a girl says she knows you from MySpace, it’s cute. When I say it, it’s creepy, like “fava beans and Chianti” creepy.

She was cruising MySpace — as we all do — and found some pics on a random girl’s page. That random girl turns out to be Biff’s baby sis, one of my buddies.

Six degrees of weird.

Doesn’t really matter how she found me. We’re here, we’re chatting, we have three decades’ worth of stories to share.

I venture from the cave for one night, and a face from the past finds me straightaway.

Friday was just getting started …


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