We gathered last night in Mahopac for a planning meeting, RE: the 20-year high school reunion. There was me, the writer. Donna, the coffee shop owner. Lori, the childcare provider. Sue, the paralegal. Debbie, the medical worker. Frank, the sheriff. Karl, the biker. Frank, the magazine ad dude. Some of us were married. Some of us were divorced. Some smoke, some don’t. Some drank wine, some drank water, some didn’t drink at all. We were supposed to talk about the reunionâ€”what should be on the menu; music the DJ needs to play; photo montage, etc. But we didn’t. Instead, we just looked through old pictures and talked. And talked. And talked. Any old grudges had vanished; any insecurities from past lives seemed to have exorcised themselves long ago. It was a wonderful night, and the reason I’m involved in reunion planning. Because no matter how many times John Degl kicked my books down the hallway; no matter how many girls rejected my affection; no matter how shot my pants were and how ridiculous my bowl-styled haircut wasâ€”I loooooooooooove nostalgia. Love it with every ounce of passion I have. I am fascinated by my old friends, and even more fascinated by my old enemies. I want to see if people are bald or short or tall or beautiful or overweight or dynamic or dull or moody. I am riveted. Beyond riveted.
I haven’t lived regularly in Mahopac since 1990. It was never a place I loved, and never a place I hated. I had a handful of close friends, but suffered from popularity envy. Never kissed a girl in high school, or smoked a cigarette or joint; never ran with the cool crowd or, for that matter, any crowd.
But it’s a part of who I am. A big part.