Been busy with life for awhile. The following is a quick, 8 minute stream of conscience outpouring of...I don't know what. I should do this more often.
I'm one week away from my 30th high school reunion. I only live a couple of hours away, and strangely I'm on the reunion committee. Telecommuting. The wave of the plugged-in. The other 8-10 people on the committee have been meeting for months, I get the email updates, and even skyped in on one meeting.
Ain't the same as being there. I'm looking forward to finally shaking hands and giving bear hugs to these people - most of whom I've known since I was 5 or 6 years old.
That's what happens with small towns, and small town reunions. Even though we may have been apart for the last 30 years, we're attached at the hip. One guy on the committee was born the day before me in the same hospital. We've known each other since birth. We were in scouts together, roommates in college, even (god forbid) had an entaglement with the law together when we were dumbass teenagers. I was a groomsman in his wedding, and then life intervened and we haven't laid eyes on each other since around 1985. I will enjoy seeing him again.
I could write a paragraph like that about a couple dozen people, MOST who will be there next weekend. Late weekend nights, midnight movies, pranks, FM radio, cruising, concerts, more pranks, water towers, camping, outdoor adventures, life, loves, crushes, heartache, fights, the list goes on.
A few of us aren't around anymore. Disease, accidents, Stuff happens. Denis Leary said "Life's not fair, get a helmet." and it's true. We get a lump in our throats, we think back on "I remember when he/she did so-and-so in Ms. So-in-so's class..." We thought we were invulnerable. We see ourselves at 49-47 years old at this brief moment in time and hopefully, as I do, think "NO F#%ING WAY! I still feel....at least....in my 30s...?...please?" But all of us with kids, husbands and wives, partners, mortgages, debt, businesses, careers, these tough times, how the hell do we stay sane? God, what a knife edge. It helps when you love and respect your spouse/partner/children, and it's returned. That's the strength that can get you through the hard times. AND the ability to laugh. Never stop laughing, folks. That's when you really start to age.
It's interesting, at these reunions, to see who acts their age, and who still acts their heart. I've always acted my heart, and maybe that's why, at the 25th reunion, I was in the middle of a group of classmates trying to tie firecrackers to balloons using a cigarette fuse, and seeing how far we could get them to float over the Country Club before exploding. Other folks looked at us like we were crazy.
I hope someone brings firecrackers this year.