1984

The appearance of my old pal Trent in the comments below reminds me: I’m fast approaching an altogether alarming milestone — the 20-year high school reunion.

Which means that I’ve lived (in my case, substantively, due to having been a year ahead in school) longer since graduating from high school than I had up to that day. Somehow that doesn’t seem possible; despite having all-too-readily kicked the dust of high school from my feet, with nary a glance backward, those four years seem in some sense too psychically present to be so far into the past.

I do a quick check of the intervening years: 4 years college, 3 years MFA program, 2 years in over-hyped “real world,” 5 years grad school, 6 years here at the College Just South of the Hill. The math works. It really has been 20 years. Impossible, and yet empirically so.

I’m planning on going home for the reunion, assuming I find out when it is. I missed the 10-year gathering, in part because I’d just re-started grad school, just moved to New York, and was excruciatingly broke. And in part because the list of the weekend’s events included a family picnic (“bring the kids!”), and I just wasn’t ready to see the folks who’d tormented and encouraged me, those kids, as breeders.

But immediately after the reunion passed, I started thinking about people who hadn’t crossed my mind in years, people who weren’t within my closest circle of friends and enemies, but who’d been in nearly every class I took for those four years, and who’d been the kind of acquaintance you expect always to see, whose absence can go unremarked for ages until suddenly you think — good grief — what ever happened to Amy Wise? Or Margot Engelmann? Or Tim Randolph?

It was an odd time to graduate from high school — Orwell’s year, Reagan’s year — not the ideal moment to feel yourself coming into adulthood, perhaps. But the years since have been really good to me, and I hope to much of the rest of the class of 1984, too. I’m finally ready to go back and find out where everyone is, offspring and all.

See you there, Trent.

3 thoughts on “1984

  1. KF,

    This comment is off topic but thematically related.

    I have notices that whenever I access Planned Obsolescence via a browser that styles the HTML file, the page gets truncated. When I access via a text-only browser such as Lynx, no problem I am able to scoll through. Could there be something in your styles-site.css file that causes the truncation?

    Thematic relation … reconnecting with history 🙂

  2. Actually, I think it’s a IE-in-Windows XP problem (or at least that’s where I’ve run across this problem before). If, after the page loads, you hit F11 twice (once to make IE take up the whole window, and once to return it to its normal size), the whole page will be properly loaded.

    Does anybody know a less clunky fix for this issue, or are XP users stuck with the F11 key?

  3. You mean besides using the much better Mozilla, I assume. Good to know about the F11 trick, though, since I’m stuck with MSIE sometimes.

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