I went to my 20 year reunion for high school last weekend. While I'm not at a loss for words on the subject, I am having some difficulty accurately describing how much I enjoyed seeing people I haven't seen since the last reunion, and in some cases, longer. Like the trooper that I am, I'll do my best.
I left work a little early to beat the traffic. I guess I didn't hold the monopoly on that idea, as it was bumper to bumper from Southcenter to Fort Lewis. I'm not just talking about the regular, heavy traffic, I'm talking about the "never get above 10 mph" traffic interspersed with long, single lane stops. It was grueling.
It was only bearable because I was trading text messages with Joe & Daniela the entire way down. " Yes, I'm 30 minutes ahead of you". "No, traffic still sucks down here. When will it end??" You get the idea.
As I drove into Aberdeen, I decided to make a restroom stop at the local Wal-Mart. Why? I have no idea. I guess I was a little hungry and not thinking clearly. Anyway, I went inside and it hit me. I haven't been back home, except to see my brother under what I would call "stressful circumstances", more than just a handful of times, yet it always feels like home. Not the warm, fuzzy "grandma's making cookies" type of home, but the uncomfortable sort of home that you never really want to go back to. It hit me how much I've grown since leaving The Harbor. My worldview is so altered that I just don't feel as comfortable there as I used to.
With nature no longer pestering, I decided to try and find Amber's house. I was a little nervous, to tell the truth. The last time I saw her was at our 10 year reunion. I cheated used my iPhone to give me the aproximate location, and after several trips around the block (Yes, Amber, you need to put the numbers back up), I made it there. I called my wife to let her know that I made it to town and would be meeting up with friends. My other motive was at least give the police a last known point on the off chance that I was at the wrong house and wasn't to be seen again.
As luck would have it, I had the correct house. Amber was a very gracious hostess. I showed up before everyone else, so we spent that time catching up, looking at old yearbook photos and talking about who we thought we'd see at the bar that night. I was appalled at just how big a jerk I was toward the end of high school. The things are wrote in Amber's yearbook, while meant to be in jest, sounded horrible. I felt bad, especially as I was sitting in her kitchen. (So yeah, I was an ass, Amber. Sorry. Thanks for not holding it against me. )
(More to come in Part 2...)