High school

Reconnecting with old friends—the sudden, arresting realization of the motion of time. And then of course there’s the update—who’s where and what are they doing, who have “settled down”—our generation? Settling down? There’s no such thing any more. People marry and get on with the rest of their lives. Or they don’t and they get on with the rest of their lives. We try to imagine the faces we remember from high school, superimposed on the stories we hear. The stories fit just as well as our faded uniforms do. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were running down Pisay’s waxed tile floors?

Get-togethers aren’t like the way we hung out before. Now it’s all about status reports, plans, stories. I tell a lot of stories. It’s a way of understanding what’s going on. I’m surprised at how much has happened in my life since then. Is my life really all that dramatic? Like a soap opera, they say. But it’s just life. I try to ask about other people’s lives. Not a lot of stories to tell yet—they’re still thinking, still seeing how life will turn out.

There’s a mailing list somewhere, a website. There’s probably even an RSS feed telling people of relationship changes, job changes, life
changes. Someday it will tell us of births, deaths, lingering illnesses. I should know about this, but I don’t. I never really got to know all my other classmates when I was in high school. I’ve kept in touch with a handful of people and they tell me of all the rest. I’m not one of those connected people. I don’t tell other people’s stories. But now it hits me, now I feel this urge to know. We starve for companionship, being part of a cohort of other people learning about life for the same time, the startling glimpses of similarities
with people who seemed irreconcilably different back then.

The rest of them are closer. They go to reunions, have parties, write. I’ll be away, but maybe I’ll make it back for the tenth anniversary
two years from now. What can one do in ten years, anyway? It seems like barely enough time to finish university and get started in life.
Is that just me? I’ve been in school. That’s what’s kept me busy. Other people might have stopped at university. Six years is enough to
do well in a company, or at least get somewhere. But hey, I went to a geek school; other people must have gone for postgrad. I won’t be the only one. We’ll see.

In the meantime—life needs to be lived.

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