There’s been no high school reunion this week, and yet I’ve encountered several once-familiar faces in new places. Although the Facebook phenomenon must make these meetings much more common, Facebook hasn’t been responsible for mine this week.
What interests me most is that despite the gray hair on the boy that I went to kindergarten with, the addition of several pounds to the frame of the high school football player, or the $250 tie on the guy that drove the broken-down Karmann Ghia; they are pretty much the same people as they were at age 5, 12 or 17.
The snarky laugh of one, the warm hug from another. Most prominently, the cocky confidence of my old kindergarten nemesis who swore that his dad’s car could go a mile a minute and that was faster than my dad’s car going a mile a second. Of course, he must know something, because he has his own private plane now … and I guess I have misplaced mine.
I could see in their eyes too that I have changed. I saw them recognize something in my face, enough for me to be familiar yet puzzling. Something that makes them wonder what has happened to me over the years since we turned eighteen and wandered off into the world. This week, despite the distances we have traveled since then, we found ourselves once again at home, and pondering how time can be both fast and slow, kind and punishing. And how we can have changed so much and still, at the core, believe our dad’s car is clearly much faster than anyone else’s.