A Week Rafting The River Maudlin.
If you went to high school with me it’s more than likely that I didn’t really know you, and you didn’t really know me. I never made it onto a list of “Most Likely to…” I was a very good student without being a great one. I was good at a sport our school didn’t have. I was a good musician without the passion to be a great one. I was a nascent artist without wisdom, passion, or muse. I had friends that I confided in, my social calendar was not empty, and I laughed more often than otherwise. I was neither bullied nor exalted.
In other words, I was a perfectly normal and mostly happy high school student.
This weekend is our 30th high school reunion. And I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to spend time this week with my teenage self and a group of you who may or may not remember him. He was a bit quiet, and more than a little awkward. He was a half-measure rebel who liked a little of this and a little of that, who had a hard time committing to just being himself. But there were things about him I still find charming. He taught me to love movies, music, and subversive art. He taught me that nothing feels better than the other side of pain. He was intense and often angry, but also hopeful and optimistic. If I met him today I think I’d like him, especially after a very stern talking to.
But whether or not you remember me is not the point. We come from a shared time and place. My life no longer looks like yours, nor yours like mine. But at one point, for a little while, we breathed the same air, we sat in the same chairs. We weren’t all friends, we may not even have ever really met, but the differences we saw in one another have been rendered insignificant by time. You know me in ways others can’t, because you were there. You may have memories of me that I’ve lost. And I may have some of you that you’ve lost. Most of the people in my life have no memory of the velvet ropes around the tiled Thunderbird. They have no notion of feeling defensive about the word “Thunderduck”. The people in my life don’t see that Blue/Black is preferable to Red/Black. I’m looking forward to using the words “Sun Valley”, “Buffalo Ridge”, “Carey”, “Dry Creek”, and “Okie Blanchard” again. It’s been a long time.
I’m looking forward to seeing my classmates again. I want to know how you’re doing. I want to see where the lines drawn from a shared point go. I want to hear how the second and third acts are, since I only got to see the first. I’m looking forward to seeing my classmates again. Not only to reintroduce myself to you, but so that you can help reintroduce 18-year-old Troy to 48-year-old Troy. It could be fun, tying a bow around 30 years.