She didn’t realize thirty whips by and like Ferris Buehler said: “If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Based on what I saw at the reunion, the Class of 1982 wants to look around more than once in a while. In fact, my classmates reminded me a lot of my Uncle Al who is ninety-five years young. Uncle Al is gregarious, and lately, highly sentimental. When he tells a story, his voice quavers with emotion. His hugs echo the words from Titanic, “Don’t Let Go. Don’t Ever Let Go.” At this point, the sight of pastrami on rye moves him to tears.
At our reunion, old chums weren’t simply happy to see one another; they were elated. Old flames didn’t shy from the past, they flaunted their epic make-out session stories for all to hear. Even people you barely knew got long-lost cousin treatment.
Also, the party felt like Speed-Dating. People recalled teachers who changed their lives, parties that made Project X look tame and riding rollercoasters at Knotts Berry Farm with white powder residue beneath their noses. The hours sped by faster than the drink tickets disappearing in your hand.
Around eleven, the restaurant management flicked the lights on and off to signal the end of the party. We continued talking while sipping our margaritas. The balmy night seemed tailor-made for weaving stories from the patchwork of our past.
Interrupting our reverie, the lights came on and stayed on. Management wanted to go home. Or perhaps they pulled the welcome mat after the pungent smell of weed wafted from the bar to the kitchen.
The DJ and his selection of 80’s favorites went home. The screen that had been featuring the slide show went blank. Gradually we moved to the lobby, and finally to the street. It was midnight and nobody wanted the party to end. For many, it didn’t and they walked down the block to The Beverly Wilshire.
They must’ve been up all night.
You’d think that’d be enough time. It wasn’t. I realize that even if the event lasted a week, we’d still be swapping stories and unearthing more memories that have somehow taken on a deeper meaning with the passage of time.
I am a little worried about the fortieth. If we’re this emotional about seeing each other now, in ten years we’ll probably be sobbing at the sight of a fellow Norman.