:: NOTE ::
My reunion came and went in September. I removed the link from the main page to this page because this is no longer relevant. But its lack of relevance notwithstanding, I am leaving it on the website because this was how I felt about it 13 months before the reunion and probably will still feel in another 13.
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I have great recollections about my four years at Marcus High School.....
that having been said I feel no great need or emotional imperative to return and socialize with people who have already made their impact on me. With no insult aimed at those who filled my life in that time period, I cannot find within me any desire to join a gathering whose only common and historical bonds are based on times shared out of necessity and geography.
I realize with these statements I run the risk of alienating or even offending people that I have known (in some cases intimately) from my past. And believe me, this is not anywhere near my intention. There are so many people who have made contributions to my life that go beyond measure and commentary. But in a very real sense, that impact, that collision, rests somewhere behind in the pressed pages of my mind's yearbook.
Were I to make a list of people I knew from the years 1988 - 1992 and my feelings about them, there is little doubt I would not stop writing until another decade flew past...hardly a way to spend time I think you would agree. I even contemplated it...making a list that is. Some kind of a verbal snapshot to satisfy my backwards glances at the collection of people who contributed their words or ideas or behaviors to the person I have become so far in this lifetime of reconciliation between the truth and my ideals. But, as noted, that would require too much because there are so many.
Cute girls have grown up to become beautiful mothers. Smart kids have become professionals. Some who rode high are now toiling away amidst the landscaped mediocrity of broken potential. There are those of us who have prospered, while others have been arrested and stunted under the burden of drug addiction, alcoholism, emotional warfare or credit debt. Ambition has abounded and driven a few of us past the guidelines of normally accepted practice. At the same time, there are those who never reached for anything beyond the scope of their own command. Some of us haven't changed while others haven't lived. Herein lies my problem...
Life is as brutal a catalyst as can be imagined. It is a gritty, churning conveyor belt of days that race to stand behind us. Every rotation of the belt beneath us hurts us, or challenges us, or rewards us, or even kills us....but it ALWAYS changes us. Since June 7th, 1992...we have been collecting grit, collecting hurt and rewards, and collecting days. We no longer resemble the same lot we were. Experience has fashioned us new lives and new paradigms.
Taking all of this into account (and believing it like I do), I find a fundamental flaw in trying to revisit a place where nobody lives anymore. We have become fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, professionals, but greater than all those titles...we have become different people. I have an amazing fiancée. I own a beautiful home. I make a great living in a 83 billion dollar a year corporation. I wear a $1500 wristwatch. That is (in a few limiting and purposely shallow descriptors) who I am today. Who benefits from me putting these things on display as badges or plaques or milestones. While I might show these, I might not tell people I battled a severe drinking problem until Jan of 1993 where bleeding ulcers and excessive black-outs led me seek help in a program. I might be reluctant to voice that in Dec of 1994 I was at a spiritual low point that left me broken and self-pitying because the end of an affair I thought was eternal. I would gloss over the drugs, the near-misses, and the fact that as of today I am yet to find a literary agent for lack of any real effort. So I ask again...who derives benefit from seeing my magnificent fiancée? Who is enriched by another's story of success or pictures of their children. In the truest sense...no one at all.
FACT: The only ones enriched by your marriage, or your children, or your wealth, or your triumphs were those who were there when these things happened. These people who were there to console, cheer, and congratulate. They wouldn't need to learn about it in sparing bouts of one-ups-manship. Hearing never takes the place of experiencing. That is the base of friendship, everything else is just comparing clothes, and jobs, and wristwatches.
Let it be noted...if it is not too late...that I am in no way condemning reunions or indicting those who choose to attend. My views and principles have always skewed to the darker side of cynical. And I have always endeavored to maintain an open mind even while using my mouth to lambaste some part of societal habit. Such is the case here. What makes sense to me might be considered over analytical non-sense to others. I accept, understand, and most times encourage that kind of opposition.
I have not embarked on this treatise as a method of isolation. I am not wishing to separate myself or to distance myself from anyone. I receive quite a bit of e-mail from a great many voices from my past through this website...I enjoy all of it. I embrace every chance I get to communicate with people. Do not confuse my reluctance to gather in the swell of calculated nostalgia with wanting to be closed off from all contact. That is not the case.
I offer my warmest regards to all of those who shared those days with me. It is my sincere hope that each of you have found the path in life that satisfies you on all levels. I can only hope that you have treated life with care and it in turn has provided for you with all types of wealth. I have been blessed a great many times in my own life, even when I didn't know it or refused to recognize it. With any luck, those in our number who haven't been touched by loving blessings are in the minority.
Last updated : August 25 2001