The short period of time I was able to sit and rehash the past with old neighbors and schoolmates, was little more than a tease. My memory isn't what it used to be these days, and frankly, High School is a road less traveled for me. I can't say that it was a happy time, or that it was a unhappy time. It was just time spent, marking time. Boredom that was relentless. Questions about myself. Brought about by a troubled childhood. And a far more troubled teenage years...
I had a small circle of friends anyway, and the few times we have run into each other over the years is usually a case of someone needing something, rather than a desire to play catch up. Lives move on, as mine did, so as I got older I thought less about it. I lost track of people and things that I once gave care to. With my High School now in the landfill, reunions seemed pointless at best. And, with me living my life in other places, doing other things, it never occurred to me, to seek these people out.
Sometimes I wonder what some of the people whose paths crossed mine, are up to. Occasionally I will Google a name to see what it brings to me. Wallie.
. Tammy. Kathy. Lynn Clyde. A couple of others. Since I do not get the paper on a regular basis, I am sure a few have passed me by, when they passed.
I do not give thought to any ideas of mine being the point of a search. I have been easy to find anyway, so I figure it'll happen if it is meant to be.
The looks of I think I know that guy, but I am not sure, filled my point of view. I said my peace to the family. Robin, being the hold out. I lightly touched her arm as I passed and waved. As kids we had been mean to her, and I did not know if that was her last memory of me, and I did not want to go there.
Everyone had grown older. As they say Mean Old Mr. Older Age, Mr. Gray Hair, Mr. Going Bald, and Mr. Things are filled out, and sagging had visited everyone. Myself included. I stayed on the fringe of things. Not knowing who most of the people there were, and not sure of the others. I thought that the safe passage was to stay in sight, out of sight.
Eventually, Robin, the lone hold out finally pieced the puzzle together, and came and greeted me. I had already set my heading to the door plans in motion. I feel a great uncomfortableness being in crowds, and the room was small, with people knocking me, and each other out of the way. We chatted for a moment and she led me off to a group of people who also gave me the who is this look. As I did in return.
As the names came out, and the looks of how damned hard Mr Whatever had been to this guy/gal were exchanged, I eventually was reintroduced to them. There was Sandy Stillwell, our neighbor, and her quite tall and grown up daughter Cindy. The last time I saw her, she was about 1/3 her size, and just a neighborhood half-pint. Several years younger than us, so we gave her no mind. She told me that she was on Husband number two, and had a daughter. We chatted about the dog of hers, Lobo, which had amazed the neighborhood with its ability to climb the fence. The more amazed were the folks who lived up the street. Lobo climbed the fence, walked up a block or so, and knocked up some sort of prize dog, which was being saved for breeding. The pups, they said would be some sort of abomination.
John Stringer was there. He and his brother Kirby had lived a couple of doors down from us. Their parents were functioning alcoholics, and we spent a lot of time there. Shooting the glass insulators on the power poles. Shooting a 22 into the kitchen ceiling, when we heated it on the stove. He mentioned Kirby in passing. I had heard a story that there had been a falling out there, and I did not ask any questions.
Beverly Heywood, whom I had not seen since HS brought up Gidget, a gal she helped set up on a blind date with me. I had just gotten out of the hospital, and was wearing this GAWD awful plaid jacket my parents had bought for the occasion, when I took her to a school dance. I can't remember what happened between us, other than I almost passed out at the dance: a combination of too soon after the hospital, and too much coat (as I was getting sick from the heat).
As I drove back to the house, after finally tearing myself out of the throng of people there, my mind wandered. To places and people past.
I remember Kathy Keaton, and the day she dumped perfume on me, after some goof I had pulled on her. Sitting with Bill Oss eating potato chips. Sitting with Kathy Kuhlman, in the band, until her (unknown to me) boyfriend threatened to whip my ass.
Staying on the phone, and my one date with Karen Shiffler (until her folks found out I was not catholic). She was the 2nd great love of my life. The first being a grade school crush on a girl named Gail Egnot.
The 3rd, being the Ghost, who turned my life into some sort of cheap play. Going from wonderment, to enthatuation, to deep and complete love, to doubt, to anger, to disillusionment, to hatred, and now to nothingness.
All of the names of these gals from Christmas Past, reminded me of the eventual failures that I had gone thru in my life, trying to find someone, or something to love. That point was driven straight thru my heart, by the sermon by the Minister who talked about it. I sat, stoically, as he tore my heart to shreds.
I guess one of these days, curiosity will get the best of me, and I will dig my old High School yearbooks out, and see if the faces from there, remind me of the faces I just left. Until then, I'll settle for a mixture of both. I'll remember Edith as the vibrant woman, who scared me to death, and the faces of the older people who looked at me, with question in their eyes. And not the pictures of the kids who looked at me with eyes of scorn.
Who knows. One of these days, we'll run into one another. Until then, its all up to my fading memory. And Mean Old Mr. Google..