Next Saturday is my twentieth High School reunion. Because it’s in Indiana and I am in Tennessee and the gas to get there and back again would cost about as much as a new iPhone, I will not be going. But that’s just my surface excuse.
It kind of breaks my heart in a little bit of a way. I didn’t really have the Breakfast Club type of High School experience. Sure, there were jocks and hot chicks and braniacs and nerds, but since there were only 26 people in my Senior class, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to exclude people that often. My class was less like a school to me and more like a family. I went to Elementary school with most of them, left for a two-year stint in public school and returned for 8th grade on. I spent every day and many weekends with my classmates.
In those years before blogging, my high school class was a lot like a blogging group–which is probably why I took so instantly to the friendly bickering that was the Nashville Blogosphere three years ago. We (that high school class) argued politics and religion on a weekly basis. Bible classes were about deep theology and the practice of Christianity in the modern world. We didn’t agree, but we loved to disagree.
On the last day of my Senior year we had graduation practice and then went to Cheddar’s for a farewell lunch. One of the memories that still makes me cry to this day was looking down the long table at all my comrades in arms and realising that we would never again be together in that same close way. We might all see one another from time to time, talk on the phone and send cards. But that group of people in that setting was done. It hit me in the gut like a death. Sometimes when I’m awake at 3:30 in the morning and it’s just me and the moroseness of the night I’ll touch on that memory and have a good cry.
One of my classmates added me to her friend list on Facebook last week, and as I was looking through the rest of her social inventory I saw an 11th grade girl. The daughter of one of our classmates is now roughly the same age I was that day in the Cheddar’s when I said good-bye to a large part of my family.
I want to see my classmates. I want to hear what they’ve been up to. But I don’t think I can go back to do it in person. Just as I can’t open the box of Casey’s ashes in my closet, I can’t open that other box to spend that time with the dead. It hurts too much.