My high school reunion was this Saturday. That, as well as the corresponding flurry of Facebook activity around the event, has caused me to spend the last couple of weeks doing a lot of thinking about that other life.
It seems so long ago, those days in Pearland. Certainly part of that is, well, it was twenty years ago and that’s no small amount of time. Part of it is also my actual recall ability. For quite a few years I had truly laughable short-term memory that didn’t really start to improve until 1993. No kidding. 1993. Waiting tables and bartending taught me quite a few life lessons, but the very nature of both jobs truly changed my life by improving my memory skills. So there’s that. Side note: because I’m out of the industry and in a full-time gig, I now memorize license plate numbers on the way to and from work to exercise those muscles. Try it – it’s harder than you think…
But, more than any of that, I think the distance between now and what was comes down to the person I’ve become over the years. That I’m a writer really isn’t all that surprising. Ask people from those days and, I think, most would say I’d find a career doing something that was creative. I performed in plays and musicals, I wrote quite a bit, and I was in choir for all but my senior year, so it was pretty clear I was never going into something like finance, is what I’m saying.
No, the real differences are deeper.
But I digress. Because Sarah is incredibly pregnant – in Juno language she’s ‘a planet’ – and we didn’t want to be two hours away from the most rockin’ OBGYN doc around, we weren’t able to make the reunion. So I’ve spent the last couple of days looking at pictures of the event and slow dancing with nostalgia. To a Phil Collins’ song.
I would have liked to talk and interact with those people and find out what kind of men and women they’ve become. One old friend, Brice, is now a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and is still as dashingly handsome as he was at 18. Another friend, Sundie, works for an airline and spends most of her weeks soaking up the world bouncing around from Houston to Singapore. Renee Labrot (how I pined away over her) is doing who knows what, but is still as breathtaking as she was 20+ years ago. And Jeremiah, as yet another friend tells me, ‘will never, ever change.’
Thinking of these wonderful people makes me smile.
photo by waffler