Okay, so I was just surfing around, checking out various and sundry blog sites as I’ve recently become acquainted with this new form of lovely addiction, and I run across a webjournal of a person I knew in high school. Now this person and I were friends of the hang out, and occasionally make out, persuasion. We had a lot of mutual friends and spent many evenings en masse listening to music or otherwise doing those things that parents fear their teenaged offspring are engaged in, despite having done the same things themselves without an iota of harm coming to them. (Except for my mother, who grew up in some alien culture with some really weird-assed cultural expectations and apparently didn’t do squat. But that’s a whole ‘nother rant.)
Anyway, back to this ex-friend. He was, and apparently still is, a highly intelligent individual, but I remember he was also socially clueless with a veritable cocktail of neurosis that tinged every interaction with him with a patina of awkwardness and strained silences. Once, he made it known to me that he was quite taken with me and was interested in progressing our relationship to a closer level. Now this declaration wasn’t all that surprising since it was delivered, if memory serves me right, on the tail of a prolonged kissing session on a grassy hillock (while another pair of friends were engaged in similar impetuous displays of hormone-induced libido beside us). However it made me contemplate him as more than just someone to have casual lip contact with and I realized that part of me shrank away, twitching under a coffee table, at the thought of it. There was too much that was alien about him to ever make me completely at ease, and that’s no way to conduct a relationship. So I made some comment to put off my answer and hoped he’d get the hint. He didn’t always (remember that social cluelessness from above?) but this time, it seemed he did. We continued to hang out, but as time passed and I saw less of him, I didn’t really make an effort to keep in contact. But he was a markedly intelligent individual (and I value intelligence more than any other character trait) with a creative bent that I always admired.
And now I’ve stumbled across his blog. And it seems like he’s turned into a caricature of who he was in high school. His entries scream out witty intelligence. His ironic satires make me envious of the smooth turn of his phrases, wrought with allegories that are insightful and keen. Yet at the same time he’s devolved further into his nest of neurosis, living alone with his cats in an un-air conditioned apartment swirled up in a dark morass of paranoia, anxiety, and isolation, working at a minor-ducats job he obviously despises and that is way beneath his abilities.
So. Okay. My childhood was, by all measures, a bad one. My mother was insane, not someone who should be allowed near children, and my father was a shit who left her and me when I was three. I can’t blame him for leaving her. I would have too if I could have. But he was a shit to me as well during the sporadic visitation periods he “gifted” me with and his sole interest in me was to elicit promise after promise that I would take care of him when he got old. My father didn’t have issues. Uh huh.
But high school was different. I became who I am during those years, largely due to the influence of the company I kept who, though being for the most part assholes who suffered from low self-esteem and thought the cure for that was trammeling my self-esteem into the mud, introduced me to different ways of thinking, thereby setting into motion the realization that everything that parents, school, and society had fed to me as truth was up for debate. Despite the trashing my ego was taking, I discovered I could think on my own, thank you very much. And that stuck with me. (And eventually I bandaged my ego up, stuck it in a sling, met the most wonderful man in the world, married him, and lo and behold, my ego recovered.)
But okay, so it’s left me with some really weird-ass feelings about high school and my hometown. This person who’s blog I’ve discoverd was one of the rare few who never tried to build himself up by cutting out other people’s legs from under them. And he’s got some qualities that I find laudable and rare in people. I considered, for a moment, contacting him, sending him an email just to say “hi, how’s it going?” But I’m in touch with my inner reality enough to know that I won’t. It wasn’t a conscious process at the time, but some part of me made a decision many years ago to lose touch with this person. I’ll respect that.
But now it’s left me feeling weirdly nostalgic. The past is a strange and murky creature. I love mine and hate it. That’ll show it.