One of my favorite parts of my twentieth high school reunion last month was re-reading my senior will. For those who didn't have that tradition, it was a final message published in newspaper format filled with inside jokes and send-offs before we were coughed out into the world. A death of youth where we left our last testament to who we had been. Reading it all these years later was like uncovering some ancient Tonkawan language where you and only one other person could deciper the clues that lead you back to a slide in AP European History class of Louis XIV looking like Dee Snyder. Reading it made me want to write another, newer version because, let's face it, no writer is ever satisfied with what they wrote. If I were to write a newer twenty-year senior will it would look like this:
For the guy I thought crashed the reunion from the downstairs bar: the letter A, so you can appear earlier in the posted yearbook pages instead of on top of the janitor's closet near the johns. Oh, and my hangover cure-all...oj, maple syrup and hair of the dog...because there was no prize for the drunkest attendee. For those women who made more rounds than Danica Patrick at the Daytona 500: a sparkly, light-up belly dancing bikini top, the only thing that would have said, notice me! in a more subtle way. For those who became snacky-drunks and partook of the bar appetizers two hours past e-coli: Rolaids, 10-pack. For the boy up the street I had a crush on: Scope, so your cigarette breath didn't shatter your twelve-year-old perfection. For G.P: A hug. I saw you wander the bar as you did the halls, mostly alone. You wouldn't have known me, but I knew you. You were our Einstein. You could have been discovering time travel that night instead of reminiscing in all the pretentiousness. For M.M: a photostrip that will never see the light of day but has a special place above my writing desk. For the name-badge table greeters: A firecracker to wake you. For the same ten individuals in a class of eight hundred who occupied the only scrolling photo display: a life apart from Facebook. For those drowning in a room full of people you think you should know but don't: the life raft and a cheat sheet that, I, myself needed. For those who botoxed, implanted, crash dieted or otherwise altered their appearance to come: the present. The past is no place to live. For who lived near me whose families always pretended to be so happy: my rose-colored glasses, well-worn.
I thought I would have something funny to say about my reunion. I tried. My Vortex 10 List started out as the Top Ten Ways HS Reunions Are Better Than Enemas, but the words never took off. This one night fell victim to the same dangers inherent in any time travel experiment: no matter when you are, you always wish to be somewhen else. In my case, right here, right now, at this moment. I wouldn't trade now for all evil mushroom appetizers in the world.
Next up: Terra Nova, The Dino Poo of a Lost Attempt