04 June 2008

Second Dates

I have a date this evening with the first girl I ever took on a date, back there when we were in ninth grade. I’m assuming she liked me and had a good enough time to chance another such event! Then, my father drove a gray Chevrolet station wagon; I guess he was the chaperone. Tonight, she’s bringing her husband and two grown children.

If you’ve been following, over the past several years my past has pursued me, and I have a) refused to attend a class reunion (2006); b) traveled to Italy to meet with a high school girl friend (2007); c) chose to attend a reunion of the boys with whom I was friends in high school (2007); and, d) now, (2008), am having dinner with my first ever date. And I can’t even remember of what that first ever date consisted. (I was listening still to Dylan on this morning’s run: he sings, “I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from!)

It is an interesting phenomenon that until the past several years, I thought almost not at all about high school, except perhaps, for some of the teachers there, and about whom I wrote in several of my books. But my formative memories—the memories which form my conception of myself—began with my final year or two in college, in 1968-9, when the world to me and for me changed. Now, when I think of high school I have to recall that it took place pre-1968 and 1969, and that those people don’t know what happened to me then and subsequently what has occurred based in then. For me, it is a great psychological leap to imagine me then, and even more effort is required to know them now. But there is something about these meetings which gives my life an interesting symmetry. It really isn’t a straight line at all!


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