I just returned from my high school reunion, never before had I gone. There was a bunch of old people there. Many were talking and acting like old friends which they were. These people have aged. I looked about looking for my classmates, we were supposed to meet and greet here. This was a retirement community get together, is there another bar here. Maybe I’m in the wrong room.
Someone called my name and someone’s father was beckoning me to the bar. If this guy had hair and taken off his wrinkle make-up, he would remind me of a kid I knew in high school. It was him. Buddy, you look like hell all old and everything. This was the guy I snuck into the drive in movie with. My friend, everything about you reeks of AARP.
After time, I realized that I was the only one not to have aged. Looking at this crowd was like a reality show called, “Before and After”. Each memory of my high school friends was now measured by the skid marks on their face and the metamorphosis of their bodies. Some were there to show that they had won as if this all had been a competition. Others made no attempt to show that they were anything other than their high school selves.
Garth Brooks once sang,” Thank God for unanswered prayers.” I said that at least twice in the first hour.
In my high school days no one looked better and walked better in a pair of Levis than she did. She was my centerfold from a distance from afar all through school. I went to the after game dance not to dance but to watch her dance. Please God, give me a shot at that redhead over there.
From what I could tell now, she rode that horse too long. Things that could sag did. Posh, I say, posh. Her star power was now a wilted, dried up flower. It was annoying to everyone the way she tossed her rented red wig about. Her Before picture was memorable, her After picture of sitting on guy’s laps and rubbing against them was moronic.
Back in the day, they were THE pair. She tall and beautiful and he a star on the football team. His yellow Chevy coupe was the chariot no one else had. I know at least once I said that I would give anything to trade places with him. In one of my classes, she sat in front of him and I was off to the side. He wrote on her neck,”Mine” and signed his name. I wished at the time my signature was there instead of his. He died slowly several years later. Before his death, she gathered up their two kids and left him. There was a picture of them in a frame at the bar.
The star of the show arrived later as we had moved to the patio. The car was upscale and two bicycles rode on the roof. A athletic man about our age escorted a beautifully-shaped younger woman. They didn’t ask for any special attention, but got plenty. We racked our brains trying to remember this guy. Although obviously in a league of his own, we did not remember him. The drama became so intense that yearbooks were hurried through.
“I think that’s Diane Anders,” said someone behind me. Anders, Anders. There was an Anders family that lived on a little dry land farm west of town. That can’t be. We were so sure he was one of us and instead it was her. Her dad worked at the county dump. A little plump and always understated, she was invisible to the ‘in’ crowd. She didn’t fit in the crowd then and darn’d sure was in a class by herself today. Whatever happened between Before and After must have been marvelous for her and now if she wasn’t so modest, it would a fine time to take a victory lap.
I look forward to the next reunion, I know there will be old people there, but they are my people. I’m still working on my ‘After’.