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Pickle Me This

November 2, 2006

Joe saw me first

Joe saw me first, which wasn’t technically true because I’d seen him plenty before that. I knew him, but so did everyone, in that way a whole crowd knows a singer on the stage but no one expects him to know them back. Joe Brighton had been President of the Student Council the year before, when a radical group organized a sit-in at the Chancellor’s Office in protest of the Vietnam War and the university administration’s draconian authoritarianism. Rather unfashionably, Joe had condemned the students’ actions as irresponsible and ill-conceived, and he lent his support to a police raid that saw the protesters jailed. He’d stood up on behalf of mild-mannered, clean-cut boys everywhere, and even when the school paper pasted a headline over his face proclaiming him a fascist, you still had to admire his gumption. Joe’s council impeached him before his term was up, which only heightened his fame really. Felled politician though he was, Joe Brighton was six foot five and gorgeous, star forward of the Varsity Hockey Team, and when I used to take his order at the restaurant where I worked, I could hardly speak without a stammer.

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