It is that time of my life, no… not menopause, without my lady parts I’m already there. No, no… the time of life I’m referring to is that of my 20th high school reunion. I am at a loss about this. You see, I am a bit of a snob, I became an upstart at an early age. I am not fiscally snooty, nor am I generally socially, or politically, or even religiously stuck-up. The source of my parvenu is directly related to my intellectually curious nature. I am also abhorrent of those who are not interested/ing. It should therefore come as no surprise that I eschewed the glory days of high school as being another round I had to get through. That high school should be an experience to be gotten through came as a shock early in my freshman year and I was thoroughly resigned to it by sophomoring. To escape the dailyness of dreariness I sought out people from the larger world, the community outside of my school boundaries and adventure beyond my front door. I always dreamed of living in a real wonderland like dorothy to Oz and just naturally assumed that I would follow my dazzling slippers to get me there somehow, someway over the rainbow.
Yet along the yellowbricking I got sidetracked and sucked back into the space of my childhood. However, even upon my return I did not venture back home… because one can never really go back there, can they? Dorothy’s adventures had to end once she returned to Kansas because she is a changed girl and so is her perspective about everyone else. Even if she is sure there is no place like home – she also knows there is no place like Oz and her loving companions a far off over that damning rainbow. Once she returns to Kansas she is alone with her awareness.
Therefore the impossibility traveling by house upon tornado winds seeking fortune and fame in a wondrous place far aflung was not to be for me, I did run into wicked witches (of a kind) and I was able to imagine into being, my own little space in the world. I resigned myself to the rollicking joys of parenting, community organizing, and edumacatin’ myself in lots ways that led me beyond the narrow borders of this redhot state. My childhood was not a happy place and though I had hoped high school might cap it with some fabulous possibility of hurtvanquishing freedom and love… the end of my youthful days were mired in the reality of my station in life.
Some of my classmates have been able to find real escape from the desert sun and stifling air to live more fabulous lives than I. Some have managed to become surprisingly interesting people. Yet most, almost all of my school chums are the same. They didn’t move out or on or up or away. They stayed. They stayed in the same zip code where their parents lived (to rip the Dixie Chicks) and they are not all that interesting excepting in a social petri dish sort of way. I find it more than bizarre that high school should be considered the happiest time ever. If my hapless academic associates really do find that time of their lives so great, why on earth would they want to get back together?! At this point in our lives we are mostly dumpy and oldish or faked beyond the pale… And no one can go back to their glory days, so what the hell are they thinking in having a reunion?! I haven’t spoken to hardly any of these people in all these years despite living within the same city limits as they. No one has sought me out or even wanted to befriend me — though everyone tells my twinergy they were ever so close to me. These – the very same people who have no idea that I have a twin and that they graduated with this man as well as me.
I walked away from high school with the knowledge that I was not duped by the childish notion that the happiness of my life would be over – come graduation. If anything, I really relied on the idea that I might be able to make my own Oz, my own little wondrous wonderland. I think I might’ve accomplished such a feat for my children. They live in a world where families care for one another, cherish the best in eachother and travel along a brick that isn’t quite gold, but sometimes glints fabulousness and is always sturdy nonetheless. I can manage to feel pretty confident despite recognizing my own arrogance. I am still able to retain a measure of curiosity and intellectual and emotional growth even into my ripe ol’ agedness. So I can only conclude that the 20th reunion of my high school graduating class is a masochism of sorts. A desiring hurt to the self because one can never go back so as to right the wrongs – nor is it possible for one to go back and relive the best of what was.
If I actually attend this damnable event then maybe I’ll have to declare it has gone even so far as sadomasochism and then I can look forward to being a hapless alum – a graduate deserving pity among the rest. As I’m still unresolved about attending such an affaire, it could go either way…