I’d like to start with a line told to me and my camp co-conspirator Mike, from an older lady with an urge to tell us everything that came to her mind—because this sort of thing often happens on the downtown-bound 3 train once one reaches the Upper West Side.
“Bananas, they look so innocent but they are really killers!”
The reunion was late that Saturday night, in a bar I’d never heard of on 23rd Street. I thought about changing clothes and didn’t; I thought about getting more cash and didn’t; I thought about leaving/ arriving early. Didn’t. Barely could get myself out of the door. I was tired and my trepidation was growing, slow like a balloon. What would these kids be like? Unlike some other schools I didn’t expect the group to be a self-selecting unit of ex-football jocks (we had no team) and sorority alumni and geeks who’ve made it big.
After all, we were all geeks. Even the slightly prettier ones or the more athletic ones. There was never a serious strong delineation or a poking fun at the smart; being stupid was certainly a cross to bear.
I walked up to the bar wondering how on earth I was going to start the conversation, thinking that I hate the common standbys, “isn’t this awkward,” “you look great,” “oh my God you look so different!” But in front of the bar was Tina (who never graduated and is the class’ advocate for repeated baby-making with one’s partner) and Paradise Hotel’s Dave (and his goofy girlfriend who thinks I’m fun), some other fellows, and my friend Grace who I’ve lost touch with, who has the same “f**k it” perspective I have, and is also into public policy kind of things.
Turns out the reunion was pretty fun. Not some sort of revelatory “I’ve made it” or “I’m better than you” kind of jam. But good clean fun. One of the hosts and I chatted a bit, probably more than she and I did in high school. Some awkward moments, but nothing too bad; even made goofy and nice with a Boston resident who I always thought was pretty nice.
Of course there are those people you don’t talk to and can’t see a reason to; though some of them come up to you, drunk, and engage you in conversation (and an interesting “you know, people often hook up at this sort of thing” conversation. Let me compliment myself and say it was a come on, even though I know it wasn’t).
And there is always one blowhard. Diane—the Boston resident—and I had a little giggle at him. He was exactly as I expected. Slick, greasy, right in place in a bridge-n-tunnel kind of bar, the kind of place you expect to hear “ohmyGAWD” repeatedly. He and I were cool in HS and I wouldn’t have minded talking to him, but he wanted to be slick and roll with his very tanned very slick girlfriend (who was really sweet from our conversation).
All the men got bald and they also got fat.
Priscilla (who has a few lines in the movie “Kids”—I believe one of them, as she’s sitting across from Chloe Sevigny, is “I just love F**King”) noted that I am bigger than I was. Reconnected with a couple of kids. Saw the friends I already see. Missed out on talking to a few folks; conversed with one fellow I think is an out and out assbag, but it was cool.
I’d give the reunion, on a 5 apple scale, 3 and a half apples. 4 for you sentimentalists.
And happy late birthday, Silver and Christina.