Objects in the Rear View Mirror…

“Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer then they are.” A great Jim Steinman / Meatloaf song full of over-the-top angst wherein the singer reflects on moments of his younger days. We all have memories we tuck away and all but forget about – but now and then something stirs them and it can feel like only yesterday when they bubble up to the surface of our consciousness.

‘Out of the blue’ as they say, I was contacted by a high school classmate – one of the few with whom I got along. He has put a group together on Facebook for our class and was inviting me to join. He also mentioned as this is our Thirty Year anniversary there would be a class reunion and he hopes I would attend…

A reunion …

… and things start bubbling up …

I went to a private ‘college prep’ school my last three years of high school. It was a good school and my parents sent me there ostensibly for a ‘better opportunity’ than public school: I cannot fault them for that. It was the kind of school where my entire class was only maybe sixty kids give or take. The kind of school where many (or most) of the class had all attended there since they were little: they grew up together, hung out together. It was a rather cliquish group from well-to-do upper middle class (or better) families: an economic strata to which I didn’t really belong.

… :: bubble :: …

I got on well enough with some in my class, but for most I might as well have not even been there. There are kids with whom I never exchanged a single word in the three years I was there and I’m pretty sure that I had a class with everyone at some point. With few exceptions, no one was actually mean to me – it was more like I just wasn’t there. It wasn’t really a new feeling as I have felt like I was on the outside looking in for a while. My secret cross-dressing and confusion as to what drove me to do what I did served to make me feel quite alone in the world – at that time on my life, I didn’t know that there were other people ‘like me’.

… :: bubble :: …

My senior year was especially hard. I liked a girl in my class and worked up the nerve to ask her out: she said no. Told me I was sweet and such but she wasn’t interested. I suppose deep down I knew that would be her answer, but it didn’t matter – I was still devastated. It only added to the brew of darker thoughts I had been having and I took to ‘joking’ with a girl friend of mine about how I might best kill myself.  She was less than amused but did listen to my whinging and did her best to help.  She succeeded in that respect and I did manage to put my failed (and embarrassing) attempt at romance out of my mind.

… :: bubble :: …

There is one incident that still stings like it was yesterday – one of those things that is almost too clear for how long ago it happened. It was by the book lockers and I had just put some things away and was about to head off to class. One of the girls in my class – one with whom I never really spoke much – walked up to me with a bit of a smile. I said ‘Hi’ and she asked without hesitation “So what are you, about a B cup?” I just stood there, embarrassed and humiliated as she patted my chest and walked away with the same smile. I wonder if she remembers this the same as I do… I find it amusing that she has friended on Facebook. I’m guessing she has since forgotten the incident. I wish I could as well.

… :: bubble :: …

To be fair, it wasn’t all bad.  I had some good friends and I did have good times in high school.  I realize that I view the past through a rather darkly tinted lens.

… :: bubble bubble bubble :: …

Do I want to see these people again? Do they want to see me? The didn’t care thirty years ago, why would they care now? As I finished the email I got to relive all of that ‘stuff’ I had buried away long ago. But in doing so, I found that time has managed to mellow my feelings a bit. It was a long time ago now and none of us are the people we were back then. I accepted the invite to the class group and told him that if I can muster the courage, I’ll likely attend the reunion.

As I look in the mirror, the images begin to fade and once again return the box in the dusty corner where I keep them.

Now to find some nails to secure that lid. 😉

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One Comment

  1. Posted July 12, 2012 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    One day a man walked up to me in the street. I didn’t know him from Adam. It turned out he was a kid who had done a stupid, hurtful thing in High School, and he wanted to apologise.

    It had bothered him for all these years, but I had practically forgotten it.

    I don’t know why I share this, except to say that these strange little events in childhood or adolescence can sometimes fall from the mind, but sometimes stick and become part of us, still causing pain years later, and it seems to be chance which way it goes.

    I don’t know. Good luck with the reunion, if you go.


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