Monday, June 09, 2008

Drifting

Random people from my past are regularly resurfacing.

Suddenly we’re friends again -sort of- at least we're friends on the Internet.

Sarah recently invited me to be her friend on Facebook.

I think the last time I hung out with Sarah was in eighth grade.


I was new to the Chicago suburbs and the first friend I made was Cindy.

Cindy introduced me to Sarah and Susannah whom she had been friends with since elementary school.

As we all transitioned to high school, Cindy and I drifted away from Sarah and Susannah and made new friends.

Looking back, I don't recall our making a conscious decision to distance ourselves. Maybe Cindy and I were more interested in boys and make-up than they were. I don't know.

Throughout high school, while Cindy and I learned to drink, smoke and otherwise misbehave, Sarah and Susannah stayed focused on academics.

Sometimes, when I am falling asleep at night, I think about how my life might have been different if I had hung tight with Sarah and Susannah's crowd.

I usually shake that type of thought loose pretty quickly.

Admittedly, achieving great acts of stupidity was my high school specialty and it did leave me with a few honest regrets.

That said, I don't regret who I've become.

It's the who I've become part mixed with high school memories that can make drifting off to sleep interesting.

I love thinking about what it would be like to wake up with my forty year old consciousness in my teen-aged body.

It makes me laugh to imagine myself getting out of bed on my own, grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting down at my parent's kitchen table with the newspaper.

My parents were in their thirties when I was a teenager.

I like to imagine the look on their faces if the (forty year old) teen-aged me looked up from the paper and suggested we attend a lecture series advertised in the Tribune.

I think about walking the halls of my high school and paying particular attention to the people I overlooked when I was there.

I wonder what could have been different if I had known Guadalupe, dated Bill, or been closer friends with Jamie.

Next, I imagine traveling to New York for spring break, seeking out K's high school and watching his lacrosse practice from the field's edge.

His high school girl friends wonder who I am.

Making their territory known, they give me the stink eye.

I am not phased.

I haven't come to interfere with history.

I don't plan to say a word.

I simply want to witness the boyhood enthusiasm that I know so well in the actual boy.

I see it, I smile and I drift off to sleep.


24 comments:

Backpacking Dad said...

Ha! I wrote three facebook posts over on my livejournal a couple of months ago.

http://shawn-burns.livejournal.com/21296.html

http://shawn-burns.livejournal.com/21964.html

http://shawn-burns.livejournal.com/22091.html

Facebook is insane.

Patience said...

Our past, no matter who we were back then, defines us. The experiences we had, good and bad, shaped our lives, creating and molding us. Just as then, our experiences never stop affecting who we will become in our future!

Black Hockey Jesus said...

That was a trippy post. Before I was married, it used to dawn on me that my future wife was out there somewhere, becoming who she was.

Moondance said...

Excellent. I think about that, too. Actualy read a book where it happened. In my driftings, I also imagine going to New Orleans to visit my husband as a teenager, but usually, I tell him who I am. I think he'd beleive me. But he'd still send me off to get finished, because the selves we fell in love with aren't ready yet.

Damselfly said...

I often think about traveling back to my former self, too, and what I would be able to teach my younger self, if anything.

JCK said...

Oh, that was fun!

Mrs. F said...

Hmmm, I wonder if my son's future wife has traveled back in time to watch him. I wonder if we know her, or my daughter's future husband, i wonder if we know him.
What if?

Once again...great post!

Mrs. F said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jess said...

Great post, makes me think me of The Time Traveler's Wife.

I sometimes wish I could go back and do college over as an adult, I was so miserably shy!

Little Monkies said...

Loved this. I used to live with one foot in the past, the other feeling for the future with little holding me up in the present. I think you've shown a lovely way of reversing that with your feet planted squarely where you are. Hugs to you my friend. (I think we would have been bad influences on each other back then!)

zellmer said...

Facebook is a phenomenon that freaks me out, too. I am having drinks with a childhood friend/college boyfriend this Thursday. I'm sure it will be awkward, yet thrilling to see him again after many many years, what seems like lifetimes apart. I blame Facebook.

Circus Kelli said...

I can only imagine what you dream of with pre-sleepytime thoughts like that. :)

From Dawn Till Rusk said...

I am sorry to gatecrash this blog, but I wanted as many people to read this story about a 26-year-old leukaemia sufferer who is writing an online diary with one aim -to save others.
It is so utterly moving and, for any mum out there, totally heartbreaking.
He only has weeks left to live - I just thought it would be nice if he received all the support he could get from us mums out there.

we_be_toys said...

Ah, those night time what-if fantasies - I know them well!

And here I thought I was the only one with a hamster running on his wheel in my late night head!

Bon said...

loved this.

i would like a day like that, too. just a day...not because i want to be younger, or impact history...god no, please. just...there are some people i'd like to see.

Lisa Milton said...

I don't hold on to regrets too long, but sometimes it's fun just to wonder.

Tranny Head said...

I don't regret anything I've ever done - even though some of it was stupid.

Also - man - I can't do Facebook. I used to do it - but it was weird to get befriended by people who went to my high school who were 4 years younger than I am and I didn't even know. And it was too much maintenance. And I'm a lazy biotch.

Above Average Joe said...

My mind drifts similarly about high school. I wonder what might have happened if I joined the basketball team and hung with all the athletes instead of growing my hair long and just doing enough in school to graduate.

But I too don't regret who I have become.

Monica said...

Oh boy, do I have those thoughts. The what if I didn't focus so much on the NOW as a teen but with the future me in mind as well.

I look at my kids (that I never wanted as a teen), my hubby (I surely wouldn't have gotten married if my teen-me had her way) and my home 40 mins from where I grew up (teen me would have had me in another country!) - and I think, phew... I did make all the correct choices for me! Bravo Mon!

But, that teen me sure was a fun gal! ;)

Mon

Maureen said...

Ah, how the smallest decision can affect us in the future, bigtime!

Great post, as always...

Trotsky said...

I love Facebook (check your email) - I've gotten back with a bunch of people I knew through Facebook. I didn't forge strong relationships with people until I was 20-23 (mostly because of moving, and because I was such an unbearable shite), so most of the people I'm reaching out to have no sense of my current life and my current friends.
It's interesting. It's fun. I give it another year before we're all totally bored of it.
As for the rest of your post, you've obviously taken the wrong drugs. I've been to all those places. I went to a lecture series with your parents...

The Chick said...

That was so lovely...it made me really happy reading it. I've had some recent bad luck with resurfaced friends, and knowing I'm not the only one who thinks about these things....well, it just makes me feel reassured.

Julia Stewart said...

Love it!

I thought I was the only one who daydreamed this kind of stuff

Kevin Charnas said...

Excellent...

I often dream (while awake) of witnessing history while not interfering...with myself, or Will, or my folks.

Just to watch...