Where, oh where, has all the time gone? It certainly doesn’t seem like 20 years ago I was walking across the stage of the Myriad Convention Center in Oklahoma City accepting my high school diploma. It was funny, then, that I was even there. I thought I’d never make it. I’m not saying I was dumb, but my attendance of that last year of school was a little more than questionable. And back then, I never imagined I’d be where I am today.
Going to my 20 year high school reunion wasn’t something I had any interest in doing. I didn’t have (m)any friends in high school. Certainly not by my senior year. Most of the friends that I had in high school graduated the year before me, or went to a new high school that opened up a few miles away the summer of my senior year. Imagine how bad that sucked, a new high school absorbing half of a junior class, separating friends that had gone to school together for four years, making them rivals.
It goes without saying that Jimmy was my absolute best friend in high school. I think I may have blogged about him in the past. I met him my junior year, while he was a senior, and under the strangest of circumstances we became extremely close, best friends in a very short amount of time. To this day I still consider him one of the few people that I could count on in any sort of emergency, or simple vengeance plan. He is my brother, my sexless soul-mate, my confidant, my all. People often wonder(ed) if there was anything between the two of us, but the thought of any such suggestion makes me want to hurl a bit. And I believe if you’d ask him, he’d feel like hurling too.
I met Teresa (no “h”) in 7th grade at Highland West Middle School. This was the pre-gay, and I had a huge, ginormous crush on Teresa. She was everything I wanted to be…smart, beautiful, intelligent beyond her years, more stylish than Molly Ringwald. She was the entire package. I’m thankful, now, that she repeatedly turned down my advances, and instead became one of my closest friends. She helped me through a lot of emotional shit my senior year of high school. I stayed in contact with her for a few years after high school, after I had moved to Austin. She had moved on to the glamorous life of Europe, while I moved on to scraping cow shit off the bottom of my boot. I lost track of her decades ago, but through the magic of Facebook, I reconnected with her a couple of years ago. She sent me an email last week asking if I was coming to the reunion, cuz she wanted to hug me and drink with me. My “undecided” immediately turned to a yes.
There are a few others I’m hoping to see while I’m “home” this week. Jim C., I met in fifth grade. We were better friends in 5th through 8th grade and lost track of each other afterwards. He also contacted me a few years ago (via MyFace) and said hello and that we have A LOT of stuff in common still today (IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!).
I doubt she’ll be there, but another mutual friend of Teresa’s and I, Kristi, was very influential in my life at that time too. While I was going through “the gay” thing, she was going through her own “not gay” things. I lost track of Kristi after I left Oklahoma and, oddly enough, her sister-in-law found me on MyFace a few years ago and put us in touch. I talked to her once on the phone for about an hour, but other than that I’ve not been able to talk to, or keep in touch with her again. I hope to see her…but.
And, sadly (or is it?), that’s it. Those are the people I look forward to seeing the most this week. Like I said, I didn’t have (m)any friends. These were the ones who didn’t bat an eyelash when “the gay” came up. These are the ones that stood by me when everyone else called me names or hurled insults at me. 20 years have come and gone and I still have a little bit of anxiety about walking back through the halls of my former high school. But the one thing that I feel absolutely shitastic about is that I’ve seen MANY pictures of the people I went to highschool with on the message boards of how they look today, and they look like ass on wheat, while I still look fabulous. I can’t wait.