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Amazing After All These Years.

So Earl and I just got home from the big high school reunion. Twenty years, where has the time gone?

Simply put, I had an absolutely amazing time. I was surprised to see that about half the class showed up; not bad for a small group of graduates from a small high school in the middle of nowhere. Friends came in from Nebraska, Delaware, Florida, all corners of the country. It was kind of neat to walk into a party of strangers and actually know everyone there.

I think Earl had a good time too. Everyone gave him hugs and such when I introduced him. It was refreshing to talk about my life experiences openly and honestly for the first time with people I had known for half my life.

I think I’m amazed at how my classmates went fared; I was tending to think of them as the graduates I left behind in June of ’86; now I know them as doctors, drug counselors, human resource managers, nurses, teachers and real estate brokers that travel the globe. As the memories were shared and pictures were shown and my true geekiness was revealed by letting out the secret that I still knew my high school locker combination, I gained a new respect for my contemporaries. It was good to see them all.

Godspeed my friends.

~~~
Here’s a picture of me and Shelly, my chemistry lab partner from our senior year. She has since forgiven me for burning off one arm of her sweater with the bunsen burner back in spring of 1986. She was still wearing the sweater when I did it and yes, it was an accident.

chemlab.jpg

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20 Years Later.

Tonight is my 20 year high school reunion. Instead of having it around graduation day in tandem with the annual high school Alumni Banquet, my graduating class decided to have the reunion around the town field days (village fair). At least we’re doing something for 20 years I suppose, because to my knowledge there hasn’t been a reunion since our fifth year, unless of course I wasn’t invited or something.

I’ve only seen a very few members of my class since graduating high school. I haven’t seen my best friend from high school, Jeff, in about six years. I ran into a good friend who is a really talented piano player a couple of years ago and we’ve kept in touch on and off over e-mail since. Other than a passing glance here and there when I’ve been in town, I’ve had little contact with my classmates.

I must admit that I’m intrigued about the whole shindig tonight. I’m a little curious as to see how my other classmates did in this quest called life. I’m also a little bit nervous in a junior high sort of way because of the whole gay thing. It was pretty much a given that I was gay (hell, I knew since second grade), especially the last half of my senior year of high school, but it wasn’t something that was talked about outside of a joking or taunting way. Looking back, I don’t think I was really picked on that much for being who I am aside from a few remarks here and there and a scathing “character analysis” study we did in an Ethics class in which we all discussed what was wrong with each other. An undoubtedly now rabid republican went to town on my homosexuality basically insinuating that I would have to sell myself on the street to survive since that’s what “they” did because they couldn’t be employed in “normal society”. Looking back on that experience I smile a little bit, because I learned a lot about myself and about people in general that day. And to think I’ve only had to sell myself once or twice to make ends meet.

Calm down, I’m kidding. (Mom, you can pick yourself up off the floor).

So tonight Earl and I will make the trek up north to take a trip down memory lane with a few pictures taken along the way. I think it’ll be a good evening.

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That Would Suck.

My pager had gone off in the middle of the night again for the third night in a row. Some produce company in the bowels of Syracuse had lost their phone service and it was time to become SuperTech; no time for tights, no time for a thunder clap, a flash of lightning or an orchestral accompaniment as I made the change, I’d had to act fast and I had to do it in the buff.

After burning what’s left of my eyesight out staring into the bright LCD in the dark of night, I did what I needed to do, involved the people that needed to be involved and forwarded said produce company’s main phone to a cell phone, I kicked back on the futon, hoping to catch the last hour of sleep before having to really get up to start the day.

It was then that I thought, “you know, it’d really suck if I were to die in my sleep right now.”

I realize that a thought like that is quite morbid, but when you’ve been jarred awake for the past several nights by the shriek of your friendly work pager, odd things start floating around in your brain.

It’s not that I’m afraid to die. At all. Despite what the bible beaters will have you believe, I just know in my heart and soul that there *has* to be something better than this on the other side. I just know it. This can’t be all that there is because, well, that would really suck. Think about it; if the meaning of life is making money for “the man” and trudging around with a bunch of basically insane lunatics in every facet of life, then life would suck royally and I don’t believe that the Universe would have it that way. No I think this is a proving ground. You do well, you go on to a better place. If you have more lessons to learn, well, then it’s try, try, try again for you.

After having these thoughts all race through my head, I decided that I would skip the futon, take my chances with another jarring pager announcement and snuggle up next to Earl. Because if I go, I’m going to go a happy man.