Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"I Wanna Run Through The Halls Of My High School
I Wanna Scream At The Top Of My Lungs..."

My thirty year high school reunion was the first weekend in August. I had told myself for the last full year that this was the year I would attend. I have told myself this every five years since the 15 year reunion. I can never seem to bring myself to actually going.

It's not like I don't know why. See, my high school years were golden for me. I fell in with the cool kids my junior year and found myself writing for the school paper, getting parts in all the school plays and musicals, was asked to join the vocal ensemble that toured local charity events and recorded an album, and was a part of the competitive acting and speaking team. Won some awards for my performance of "Long Day's Journey Into Night" at a state competition. Scholastically, I did well. National Honor Society. I was popular with the drama kids, the stoner kids, and the jocks. Well, not 'Prom King' popular, but I was well-liked, and fairly well-known.

I guess I'm saying that I peaked at 18.

Since that time, I struggled in the real world. I got fat, I got lazy. I got lost.

Then, I got gay.

Did I really want to go back and face my shining past? I have always have wanted to, but I have never been able to muster the courage.

Well, an old school mate who did attend has just sent me pictures from the event. So, for the first time since graduating, I got to look in on who and what I have been missing. And here is what I saw:

Picture after picture of people who look like my parents. Like my Dad's golfing buddies or something. They are wrinkled, balding, fat, middle-aged men and women who are old enough now to have GRANDkids! My peers, my friends, forever burned into my braincells as young and vital and adventurous, crazy, Hell-raisers are, in fact, getting ready to retire. I looked deeply into their eyes, trying to find The Teenager. Who were these people?

Seriously, it spooked me.

I jumped up from my computer and found the nearest mirror and studied my face. I still see The Teenager in me! I swear, I don't look all that drastically different in my face than when I was a kid. Sure, there is wear and tear. Of course. But I do NOT see Grandpa Jim. Could my brain simply refuse to see what I really look like? What in the hell do I really LOOK like?

I have no idea anymore.

4 comments:

Dick Small said...

It's been over 20 years since I graduated (1986). I see laugh lines and crow's feet. My once silky soft chestnut brown hair is now salt-and-pepper. I've gained 50 pounds (which isn't bad considering I weighed 128 when I graduated. I was too thin). Face it, none of us are what we were 20 years ago. You're still sexy as hell, though...

Ice John's World said...

It just means that you are still young at heart no matter how your look changes. That's a good thnig.

Anonymous said...

The simple fact is that some of us are just better preserved, probably due to our wild life styles, and will always look younger than our years. Consider yourself one of the lucky ones who time has barely touched. By the way, if possible I'd like to see some of those people from your graduating class. I'm not sure I'd recognize anyone but it'll be fun to see how some of them turned out. If you can, send them to my email. In the meantime, face the facts, although you may have gained some wieght, overall your youth hasn't deserted you. Dave G.

jimmycity said...

Dick: I'll bet you are more handsome NOW than you were then!

IceJohn: I tell people I'm just immature for my age.

Dave: I'll email you the link to classmates.com with instructions on how to get to the photo album.