I've hung on to so much disappointment and hurt from moving my senior year. I've whined and moaned, and let it affect me for thirty years. I pouted for most of my senior year, and stayed angry at my parents for even longer.
So, as I sat there and looked out at my classmates, all of us older and wiser, I realized it was time to just let it all go. And I did. It was just that easy too. Okay, granted, it took me an awful long time and a 13 hour road trip to get there, but just like that, I put the ghosts to bed.
And thus, the next day was one of total peace and low nerves for me. I didn't need to tour the school anymore. I was content to remember it as it had been in 1981. My mind might be a bit foggy at times, but I can remember the band room, the choir room and the stage. I can remember that horrible swimming pool right near the cafeteria (who designed that anyway??!) I can easily see the classroom where I learned about the Ides of March.
I felt so happy.
The dinner was dinner, you know buffet and all that. I sat with Jenifer, Sam, their husbands, and another lovely couple. I hugged Webster Wilson, and he asked me how my parents were. My clever response? Dead. Luckily, we both giggled. I chatted with Chuck Parrish and we realized how much we had missed each other's smart-ass-ness. I spoke with my band instructor and realized he did remember me, and he, too, asked after my dad. The TinMan from our production of "The Wizard of Oz" presented Steven with a picture from those days, and it warmed my heart tremendously. (this gal was Dorothy)
We watched a wonderful clip with photos and candids of classmates. I was pleasantly surprised that I was in as many pictures as I was. I was a tad bit nervous when my picture came up on the screen. But, at least there were no "boos" or such! I felt sad for those who have passed on. The party moved upstairs and people danced. Yeah, all our dance moves are stuck in the 80s.
We moved to a bar and I would swear that everyone moved from the reunion to the bar. No one wanted the night to end. Everyone else drove, but Steven and I walked from the hotel. Uh, it was WAY more blocks than I figured. I was a sweaty mess by the time we got there. Once a dork, always a dork...
But, I didn't care. I was just enjoying myself. I was happy to be right where I was at that moment. The cool kids mingled with the non cool and all was right with the world. Everyone was happy and smiling and it was just good.
I know you're wondering to yourselves, what about Pete Grimes? Is there more to this tale? Well, I put my feelers out people. I heard everything from, "He's been run out of town" to "He's just the same." One report had him looking HOT, another had him looking rough. Again, this is another thing I prefer to remember as I did in 1981. I guess he's to remain a mystery to all of us for a little while longer. (don't worry---I won't give up on THIS one!!) This is one ghost we'll let stick around, okay?
So, no tripping and falling. No school tour. No pants wetting. No Pete Grimes sightings. But folks, I found peace. I didn't know I'd find it there. But honestly? If I think about it, I kinda figure it was hidden there all the while.