Wounds That Heal
by POPSIE 1956
In my mind, I’m..seasoned.
I occasionally will use the word old, but some people (mainly my contemporaries) don’t like it since it makes THEM feel old.
Seasoned is not the right word either…I feel like a steak.
There’s always mature…..but every one of my family, friends, co workers etc will testify that even at 58, I am FAR from that!
I bring this up as I sit here still trying to recover from one of the best weekends of my life…my 40 year high school reunion (Go Shaker Blue Bison!)
What started as a one day event went to three, and let’s just say I know I am not alone in thinking that I am still, or at least I tried to be again, 18 years old.
Despite appearances, I do try to behave myself, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve had alcoholic drinks, and even LONGER since I’ve had..uh..let’s say a more natural form of imbibing.
Great turnout, some say the best they’ve been to, so much so, we’re already looking at the 45th as a formality, and as many mini reunions as possible.
It was also a time to see people I have not seen in 40 years, a wonderful experience to be sure, especially when it came to one of my classmates; I had something I wanted to tell him, which I did, and the final result is a happy ending.
Without naming names, I will call him…Batman (those that know the story will get it, others will have to figure it out, in any event it doesn’t matter what Batman’s secret identity is..and there’s a clue).
It started when I arrived at Southgate Elementary School as a 4th grader, moving to Loudonville NY from Albany.
As stated in earlier writings, I was the not so little fat kid, my parents were a little older than most of my classmates parents and VERY old fashioned, and (except for a step sister 16 years older than I was who got married before we moved) an only child.
Making friends was difficult, at best; when you’re a kid, the odd ones always got picked on, beat up, and had a rotten early life, thanks to neighborhood kids and classmates.
To be fair, Batman was just one of many involved, and it wasn’t like I was ganged up etc, just dumb kids who didn’t know any better. Had the tables been turned, I may well have done the same.
I suppose, in retrospect, I have to thank all of these guys, since for quite a number of years, I don’t take crap from nobody.
(My years in the theater and as a broadcaster also helped build my confidence, but you still needed a hardened exterior to get to that level).
So at various times through elementary and junior high, Batman (and again a number of others) busted my chops, mainly, I’m sure, because I was..different.
By the time I made it to high school, and after a feeble attempt at JV football, I came on my own come Junior Year and never looked back, or really crossed paths with Batman again.
Fast forward 40 years; I’m now one of a group of classmates putting the 40th reunion together.
Long story short, Batman gets involved, through a series of e-mails we strike up a conversation.
I also start to notice the tone of some posts Batman is making on Facebook….is this a kinder and gentler Batman?
Then a few weeks before the reunion, I see Batman for the first time in 40 years at the wake of a fellow classmate.
Seemed a bit odd at first, but we seemed to warm up to each other.
Come reunion weekend, and it’s like that past never happened. In reality, Batman, along with me and all of the others from the Class of ’74, have grown up.
The reunion was amazing! Whatever cliques, stereotypes, and prejudices of the past existed seem to vanish, and there were so many there that I never really knew, or knew at all, that were warm and receptive to me.
BTW, like I said, I took a few minutes to speak with Batman about this story, and how I hoped we could move on and, this time, really become friends.
And he agreed.
Thank you Mister Wayne.