Back to the Future

I woke up in a panic: Oh my gosh, another deadline looming for the newspaper column, and I hadn’t a clue what I would write. And so this morning’s blogging time on the first “free” morning at home in a week has been given over to obligations. I will eventually post the whole piece here, but for now, just an excerpt from a piece about Ann’s recent high school reunion in Mobile:

Friday’s Meet and Greet under the vaulted atrium of the hotel lobby was an informal gathering. I consented to go briefly to be introduced to a few of her most cherished friends. It wasn’t long before I found myself standing among the Ficus trees along the margins, conspicuously disengaged as gray-haired folk passed by for a quick look at my nametag. Was I was another of their classmates grown unrecognizable over the decades?…

…Soon, I slipped away to our fourth floor room; she didn’t even notice. I stood there in the dark quiet and watched the crowd and my wife of thirty-six years, one of the strangers mingling in the lobby below. Hugs, back slaps, handshakes–a hundred ants touching antennae and moving on. We’ve come so far together to be so far apart for these two days, I thought. But such is the stuff of high school reunions, of separate realities that have made us who we are, for better or for worse.

I read it to Ann a little bit ago with the certainty that she would object; it’s rather personal and she is a much more private person than Fred the Blogger. But she is fine with it, and I think this prospect of facing a high school reunion is enough of a shared reality for married folk that it will be of some interest and value for the Floyd Press readers next Thursday.

At any rate, I got that to-do item checked off my list. And now, oh wow, what a beautiful sunrise. I gotta go.

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4 thoughts on “Back to the Future”

  1. I can so relate. But I bring Joe’s picture. That way they can all see him but he doesn’t have to stand around.

  2. You nailed it once again, Fred. One of the loneliest times in my entire life was at my husband’s 20th high school reunion. The moment he spotted his old buddies he forgot I existed, and I didn’t know a soul there. I went back to the hotel room as soon as the wretched dinner was over, and he didn’t notice that I hadn’t returned … for the next six hours.

    Apparently this is a common experience. Colleen has a very good idea. If he ever goes again, he’ll go accompanied only by a photo of wife, son & his wife, and grandchildren.

  3. Why would she object? The first time I read this I thought, “Ann’s only thirty-two years old?”

    More coffee obviously required…

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