She’s missing, her face on the news every night, public inquiry really just badly-disguised voyeurism masquerading as some sort of public service announcement instead of badly-plotted soap opera.
Meanwhile, twisting driving through hometown streets - anticipating a reunion - every face looks alien, every face looks strangely familiar. Do I know them? Do I care?
It hits me as the first few recognizable people drift into the bar – all my friends, all the people I ever cared about during high school, did not graduate with me. They all were different than me, graduating a year before, after, or perhaps not at all. They will not be here tonight; this gathering is not for them.
They appear slowly, in clumps of ones and threes, the people from my past. I cannot be alone in this feeling; others I try to talk to confirm it. Not knowing whether or not the person who just walked in is someone you know, someone you cared about, a person you might have even given your life for a decade ago. You promised each other then that you would not grow apart – I know I made that kind of promise to Darrin. He knew better then; he’s not even in the state at the moment to say, “I told you so”.
Here they are, these people you’re never quite certain if you know, casting doubt on whether you really knew them at all. It’s weird – it dredges up memories and patterns as the old cliques start to reform in the haze of smoke and booze.
It is now that I realize it.
This is as “home” as it gets.
This is where those feelings of twisted familiarity come from, overshadowing strange moments with stranger people; this is where resonances – unconscious in my foggy memory – echo ripples across a decade to color my thoughts, my feelings, my mind. Suddenly, I fully and consciously realize where my formative memories came from – yet even the people who I knew in high school still don’t look familiar.
It is strange to realize where your roots are… just as you notice that they have changed.
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