I saw an old friend of mine from college yesterday for the first time in ten years. We met half-way between New Haven and Hartford for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Yesterday was rainy and grey and when I pulled into the parking lot and saw his face it was as if time and weather were all just figments of my imagination. He looked exactly the same and I imagined our conversation and lunch together would be as if we’d been away from each other for just a weekend.
That wasn’t the case, obviously, because rather than just a Saturday and Sunday passing, it was ten years of Saturdays and Sundays and lots more can happen in that amount of time. We sat and talked over quesadillas and margaritas and I learned all that’s happened to him over this past decade. I didn’t speak much about myself because I guess I don’t have much to say–I’ve done the standard: college, grad school, work. I mean, there are more details, yes, but he’d been reading up on the blog and I couldn’t tell him much more than he already knew. Maybe that’s the trouble with writing on blogs regularly–I feel I’ve already said it so there’s no need to say it again, you know? I can listen much more closely now that I’ve written my stories down. Anyhow, this friend of mine hasn’t had it very easy over the past years and so rather than complicate his life with stories of my own, I preferred to eat my quesadillas and listen.
It occurred to me, on the drive home, that I might be in for more of these listening moments this coming weekend as I meet with more old friends from high school at my reunion. I’m really eager to see everyone again and perhaps meet people for the first time. Although I went to a small school in Vermont, and although I knew most people to various degrees, I wasn’t close with many of them. And in fact, my best friends won’t be able to make it to reunion at all–one’s out in Washington getting back from her honeymoon, the other’s out in Oregon working, and the other’s in Nepal living the dream. So this is a little bitter sweet reunion only because the people who my heart is squeezing to see won’t be around and it’ll be yet another year away from them once I go back to Brazil. (Maybe I’ll be back in December. I’m thinking I will.)
But it will be nice to spend time with people I haven’t been spending time with, or who I never got the chance to, or didn’t bother to before. I think in ten years we all do a great deal of growing and maturing and re-evaluating how we treat other people. If I could do it over again, I’m sure I’d be a kinder person in high school. I think there’s a part of me that’s a little afraid of reunion, that maybe once I’d offended someone so deeply that she or he will want to confront me about it this weekend. I hope nothing like this happened, but you never know. There are certainly people in my life who I wish had been nicer to me, but I think with ten years of distance and a pretty good life right now I think I’m able to let it go.
Yesterday was good practice for this weekend. I’m excited to go back home, see family, see friends, and spend one whole entire weekend with Dennis. It’s my last until December, you know. (Sniff.)