Thursday, May 14, 2009

24 years

It's been nearly 24 years since I graduated high school. I left the arena our ceremony was held at that June night in 1985 hoping I'd never see any of the people I graduated with ever again. For almost 24 years I managed to do just that, never see anyone, until 2 weeks ago.

I was sitting in the back of the lecture room in the partial program when the door opened. One of the counselors was finishing up a tour she'd been giving a new patient and was explaining the purpose of the room. At first I didn't think anything of it because it was a regular occurrence. Much to my horror though, after the counselor finished talking in walks a chick I graduated with. Of all the places in all the world to run into the psych hospital?!?!?!?

I was absolutely mortified. It wasn't even a case of "is this really her". I was 100% positive the instant I laid eyes on her because she looks almost the same as she did in high school except now she's got wrinkles and is a lot fatter. I don't know if she recognized me. Even if there had been a hint of recognition on her part, I'm sure that glimmer fizzled out the first time I said my name. We weren't friends in high school (she stopped talking to me in middle school because she wanted to join up with the popular clique and I wasn't popular), plus my name was different back then.

So I leave the program and think I'm safe, I won't see anyone I graduated with ever again. It was just a complete fluke that I ran into the first one, right? WRONG! Holy fucking shit! Tonight I went to my niece's orchestra concert and I see 2 more people from my graduating class. TWO! IN THE SAME NIGHT! One even sat right next to me. Again, I don't think either of them recognized me, but still. 24 years without seeing a single one of those people and in just two weeks I've now crossed paths with three of them.

If this happens again, I'm going to lock myself away in the house and never leave.


Blogger Janes Insane said...

Have you considered the fact that, this woman being counseled may have found it reassuring to realize she's not alone? That there are even people she knows that also have things to deal with. Maybe her seeing you, made her feel a little more human & less ashamed.
20 years is a long time, people change. Regardless of what you think of her or yourself, you 2 seeing each other there is going to have an impact on you 1 way or another ~ you may as well make it a positive one.

3:27 AM, May 15, 2009  
Blogger Anonymous Drifter said...

I feel extremely uncomfortable when I see someone I graduated with. I am always reminded of how little I did with my life and it makes me feel horrible. It makes me acutely aware of how much my mental illness has robbed from me.

7:51 AM, May 15, 2009  
Blogger Polar Bear said...

I can imagine your horror. It's amazing how we run into people from our past in the most unexpected places.

I know I've run into people from my past whom I'd really rather not. It's always tough when that happens. I'm always like a deer in headlights - that gaping, oh my god moment.

3:19 PM, May 17, 2009  
Blogger tracy said...

Anon Drifter
Amazing. What you wrote is e x a c t l y how i feel. Thank you for writing it for me too.

11:01 AM, May 19, 2009  

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