I want to be the one who doesn’t spend
one minute worried about how fat I am,
how fat or bald you are, if that’s Botox
smoothing out your smile. Are those boobs real?
No—none of that. I want to hug old friends—
yes, OLD, or old enough. It’s only time
that’s passed. We’re so lucky if our clocks
are still ticking. Ten years from how we’ll feel
more grief than we’ve felt yet. The 50s are hard
to live through–heart attacks, cancer, car wrecks–
we’ve already lost a few–who’s next?
At our 40th, we’ll just be glad we’re not dead.
I want to be the one who gets that now.
I want to really get it, the blessing of right now.
I’m looking forward to the 30th high school reunion this summer, partly based on how much fun I had at my 20th.
Lines that didn’t make this particular sonnet:
I want to be the one you want to see.
(cut: too needy.)
I want to be the one who asks you how
you really are, who waits to hear you say
(nice idea, just didn’t fit)
And besides, if it’s like the 20th, what I’ll be asking is, “Hey, have you seen my husband?” And I hope the answer is, again, “Yeah! He’s out in the parking lot drinking homemade wine out of Mark’s trunk.”
(IF I have enough to drink myself, I might ask the guy who keeps posting Bible verses on our reunion Facebook page, “What the fuck?” But we’ll have to wait to see about that. I feel as though I deserve some sort of massive bonus karma points for not posting that as a comment on f.b. already, although, of course, this whole paragraph pretty much zeroes out any gain in karma points.)
But in memory of those we’ve already lost, and with high hopes for good times in August, here’s to the class of ’83!
UPDATE: let me clarify, because I don’t want people to get offended for the wrong reasons: I think it’s perfectly fine to post a Bible verse on the reunion page. The verses posted thus far, though, seemed kind of random to me & the fellow didn’t post any context. Verses that would seem less random might be “Wine is a mocker and beer is a brawler.” Bonus points if you can name chapter and verse WITHOUT Google or a concordance. (Honestly, I just know it’s in Proverbs somewhere, but given my Baptist heritage, I shouldn’t even get partial points for that.)
Marnie, you had the same response to the Bible verses that I did. My response was, if you want to preach, go to church. Just leave me out of it.
I wouldn’t even have minded a shout-out sort of sermon, a sort of, hey it wasn’t all about drinking–whatever. But just the verse? It seemed like someone random at a party saying “Here, hold my shoes.”
But Marnie this is the truth: “I want to be the one you want to see.”
Those people we want to see, we want to want to see us.
I had my 40th two years ago, and it was grand. Everyone we see there, we want to see, to know they are not dead or senile, or too embarrassed to come. We want to know they want to come to see all those with whom they share this space that only they share -those precious, hellish years of school.
I am grateful for these folks. All we have in common is our past, our dreams at their bud, our hopes. The reason reunions are painful is because none of us lived up to our true dreams, which is why we are shy to show ourselves even if we go. By going, we realize that we are not alone, and again love our classmates, even those we hate. They are us. And we are all okay.
It was honest, “I want to be the one you want to see.” So I played it both ways–cut it (from the sonnet) and said it (in the blog).
I think it’ll be great. We really had a terrific time at the 20th.