August 12, 2005

small world, big world

My 20th high school reunion is coming up, and I volunteered to run the email list for it. Twenty years ago I left Connecticut, smack in the middle of Ivy League territory, and came west for Berkeley. Since then I've seen only a handful of my classmates from high school and kept in touch with fewer than that.

Now all these names are flooding back into my in-box, and it's surreal. Some I remember quite well and would like to see again. Others I remember with a vague fondness or smoky animosity. The vast majority, though, are like names I've never seen before. It's odd--I expected that I would remember nearly everyone, but so many of the names mean nothing to me. The ones I remember bring back instants in my life--a certain party or class or team or moment, or even their faces return. Some get jumbled, like the girl I thought had performed a song but it was actually one of her best friends.

The most surprising thing is how many of us are now out on the west coast, specifically in the Bay Area.

I'm not the type normally to seek people out for any reason. The prototypical loner, I'm quite happy with my own company thankyouverymuch. But I am intrigued by the people who have moved out here and stayed, and I hope I get to see them and get to know them again. I doubt many, if any, will go the 3,000 miles back to our reunion in November (I will), so I guess I'll just have to break out of my crab shell and make contact. With an actual human.

The reunion, I guess, will be strange just for the fact that there will be so many strangers there.

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