30 or 40 eighteen-year-old ghosts trapped in ravaged, aging bodies shuffling around the room desperately trying to recognize people you knew half a century ago. The time-honored tradition of name tags featuring photos from the high school yearbook was honored. So we smiled and shook hands and looked down at the kids we once were, unable to conceal the “what the fuck happened to you” horror.
We only lost 30 or so classmates (from a class of about 150) which is sort of amazing given that we all grew up eating nothing but fried food and breathing crop dusting chemicals and the toxic plume that was sprayed every summer night to battle the clouds of mosquitos.
I went with some trepidation (I went to the 10 year reunion but none after) but wound up enjoying myself. I can’t speak for others but the person looking out of my eyes was/is that 18 year old who went to school with all of the old people in the room, with their titanium knees and heart stints. I couldn’t see the old me they were seeing. I hope and assume it was the same for everyone.
No, what I thought would be a depressing shuffle down memory lane turned out okay. Maybe a little “survivor high” if there is such a thing. We made it! We’re still here! “Fuckin A!” as we said in 1966.