My high school class is having a reunion in Las Vegas, a city that I have never particularly wanted to see but feel obligated to, as if it’s in the good American Handbook.
Rafe and his wife love it and we were planning on going and then continuing onto Santa Monica/Venice which they’ve never been but have seen so many slide shows of they could recognize entire streets. I’m a compulsive photographer. Once I begin I can’t stop. Digital cameras and I were made for each other especially since I figured out what the “T” stands for on my Nikon.
Though I can write directions, I can’t follow them. It’s part of a problem that I’m 99.9% sure that I have.
Central Audio Processing (CAP or APD) problems might have been known about when I was in school, but it was never tested for. I was always light years ahead of my grade in reading comprehension. While I did poorly in class tests I excelled in standardized tests, except for spatial relations, and math. But I got an 88 on my geometry Regents and in New York if you passed the Regents you passed the course. My average was 58; I didn’t understand a thing. That was my lowest Regents score by far. Well no, did understand that triangles have three sides.
We moved when I was in Seventh Grade, and while I had the social skills necessary, I had panic attacks that abated them. Unfortunately my school went from seventh through twelfth grades.
I made friends and had more friends elsewhere but my memories are more of the first awful three years. Really I never gave most people a chance. I can’t turn back the clock though I would love to redo those years if I could keep most of the years that came later.
My one real girl friend, the class intellectual/artist probably wouldn’t go. Have no idea who I knew well will go. Though everybody knew everybody else as the school was so small.
My one good boy friend, but never boyfriend; one of the most popular boys in school killed himself when we were 23 or 24. I introduced him to his last girlfriend. When we were twenty we sat outside a hippie Jewish frat house in one of the many sound towns our friends lived in.. Couldn’t help myself, I asked him:
“David, why did you take my role? I’m supposed to be mute.”
He laughed, but he didn’t talk much.
His girlfriend broke up with him the next year; while two boys asked me to marry them. I blossomed as he withered. It made me very sad.
David died several years later in the same water we had been sitting in front of.
When I think of my problems I do think of lost potential, but I also think of David and all the people like him who couldn’t make it. It breaks my heart; and the one thing that I have never felt guilty about is the incredible survival mechanism that has enabled me to function so well. I have panic attacks; I do things anyway.
I’m on a small dose of an anti-anxiety medicine; it helps a little. I have tried higher doses and they don’t help anymore than the lesser one. I have tried so many medicines, done so much therapy, been tested so much, I’m resistant to it now.
I feel like a puncushion that has lost all the stuffing it’s been pricked so much and I’m raw. I talk about this because I think it could help people.
If you were me would you go to your high school reunion if it happened to be part of a bigger trip with friends?
Would you go alone to see how people who have remained permanently adolscent in your mind turned out?
Would you skip it?