Blind Stars Of Fortune / 7 May 2001

[discovered at 9:30 this AM written in erasermate on a roll of toilet paper]

Dear dream diary!

A high school reunion, one of my history teachers criticizing me for wearing a baseball cap of a team that I had no real interest in — maybe derived from when I wore a New York Giants cap during college, comforted by the knowledge that the team was long dead and buried — before admitting that he does the same thing. The tall, big-haired date rapist said hello to me, all friendly-like, and I was warmly surprised that he remembered my name.

Then I’m a third awake, just conscious enough to recall that my ten-year high-school reunion is indeed taking place this year, and, further, that at the end of senior year we had to fill out a little form to seal up and give ourselves at the ten-year reunion, and it included questions like what are you doing now? (or well actually I can’t quite recall how it was structured, maybe it was more like here’s what I’m doing now, either way it was a potent intermingling of time and space, a Note From The Future, a future that is now the present, cobbled together from the past, etc.), and being the misanthropic-rake-in-training that I was, I wrote something like “hunting down my classmates one by one,” something that, if I’d written it today, would probably get me top billing on the local news and maybe even some free therapy — the burden of being ahead of one’s time is bitterly heavy, my friends.

Then I’m back, and the reunion had revised itself, taking place at dusk in some anonymous, 1960s governmental-type building, unlike any school I ever attended, and I’m leaving early, driving away down a tree-lined lane, and a queue (I only use that irritating UK word because I just said “lined” and I can’t think of another way to say “tree-lined” ok so sue me) to get in stretches all along the way, hundreds of people scattering out of the way as I pass. They seem randomly selected, no one I was particularly good friends with (I had to flip through my yearbook just now to remind myself of one of their names), and it’s not just high school, but people from … what do you call it? Fifth and sixth grade — grammar school? And from Denver, even, a kid from my carpool who now had a kid of his own with curly, whiteblond locks — so cute!

I was pleased that there were so many people. The crowd made it impossible to make anything more than momentary contact, just a few quick words in passing, just enough time to eyeball each other, get overwhelmed by surfaces, and then flee. I think if my actual reunion was going to be anything like that, instead of some smallish percentage of the 60 kids in my graduating class standing around and exchanging business cards, I might show up—

JOSH: [drunk, shrieking] I wrote myself another Note From The Future! From two paragraphs into the future! I have been ab— No, you shut up! I have been abducted and I fell in love with my captor and I shall never return here again! [quiet sobbing] I missed all you dudes so much.

Classmates waved and I was again astonished that anyone recognized me. For much of my life, maybe even through college, I felt like I’d always been exactly the same. I never looked back on how I used to be and was like: Who is that handsome rogue? But then something happened along the way (but what, you cry!*) and now I’m a little less recognizable.

On Easter, we’re watching this weird channel called New England Cable News which evidently only had an hour of programming that they kept looping, and one of their junior correspondents had the same name as a girl who was in my high-school class for a year or two, and she had the same general facial characteristics as this girl, but I was never entirely sure it was really her. She looked older than I would’ve thought. It was like she’d been abducted and an artist had aged her for the milk carton picture so you’d have an idea what she looked like now, just in case you stumbled upon her, ten years gone, still abducted but having fallen in love with her captor and thus free to go out and about, running some errands in the light of day. She looked a little off.

*Our Savior Jesus Christ.

Joshua Green Allen

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