I went to my high school reunion last weekend. It was actually a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. I couldn't convince Dan to go because he apparently still sees everyone from high school that he has any interest in seeing, which I guess would be just me and David. But I think that might have been for the best because Dan might have dragged me into his labels and us-verses-them mentality, which would have just made the reunion like high school all over again.
I wasn't super social in high school. Anti-social would have been a better description. But I decided, going into this thing, that I would put past biases and bad memories aside and give everyone a second chance. And it totally paid off. People were more friendly than I'd ever seen them. I got hugs from a bunch of girls that I was never friendly with and I talked to (and got along well with) all kinds of people that I never really spoke to in high school. It was almost a redeeming experience. Instead of thinking I went to a small town high school full of hicks and preps, I now know it was a small town high school full of normal kids who were maturing and coping with adolescence.
By far the most unusual story I heard was from my old friend Goose who spent about 20 minutes telling me a story of how he developed Schizophrenia and started hearing voices a few months before the reunion. He bought a GPS which randomly brought up a location in the desert that the voices told him to drive to, but he ran out of gas and sorta went crazy on the way. He started giving away money and acting crazy, and he was arrested and spent 2 weeks in an insane asylum in Las Vegas before his mother could get him out. Now he wants to go off his pills because he has a higher calling and he needs the voices to tell him what it is.
It was like talking to the crazy kid in SLC Punk who thought his mom was the devil. I hope Goose pulls through. He was always a good kid. I bought him a beer, I hope it doesn't conflict with his meds.
(talking about my driver's license. The bouncer had hesitated before letting me into the bar.)
Dan: No wonder he didn't believe it. Is that your photo from when you first got your license?
me: Yeah, that's me at 16. What are you talking about, I still look like that.
Dan: You sure loved those bangs.