Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Three Days to Go

Somebody's bringing their guitar to the 50th reunion. I think they're coming from California, so this is a real commitment, which means we're one step closer to actually doing this singing thing Saturday Night. Sheesh. Two doctors, a professor/poet, a former National Geo photographer, an opera singer, a retired United Captain/Rear Admiral and me, the ad writer. What should we name our group -- The Grateful We're Not Dead? 
           Why can't we be like other old people and just give it a rest? Sit around and get a gander at the sunset with a cuppa tea? Or watch the sun come up on the beach over Lake Michigan? I may just do the sunrise thing by myself. I'm in one of those moods. Not quite melancholy. Not quite at peace with myself.  
           Sometime on the weekend, I'll go to the beach where I met and fell in love with my first boyfriend. I was only fourteen, but I was in love with him for years before he even asked me for a date. Life intervened, and when I went looking for him again decades later, I discovered he had died at forty-two from a malaria seziure, contracted during a mysterious mission in Africa. Years before, he had told me that the CIA had recruited him when he was at Dartmouth. I wasn't ever supposed to tell anyone. Ooops. He probably got recruited because he was bi-lingual, having lived in Peru as a boy, when his father was an engineer for a mining company.  Blew the tips of his fingers off in a mining accident, too -- I was always a sucker for guys like that. The ones with scars and other evidence of put up or shut up. But in a good way. 
           I'll load up my iPod with sappy old songs from back in the day, plus some Bonnie Raitt, go for a walk along the shore, then come back and sit on a bench under a tree. I can watch the waves, kick the sand, and see the sun come up. And get philosophical. Reunions do that to me. Which is why I'm only lukewarm about going. I don't feel like considering what I've done with my life. Or how I'm going to spend the rest of it. Reflections have a way of putting the mirror to some decisions I wish I could take back. 
           The good news is that my bff of 35 years is also here from California for HER 50th high school reunion. She went to some private academy on the north side of Chicago. They had just under 100 people in their class. I was in the suburbs and we had almost 1000 people in my class. Over 50 per cent of her alums are coming to celebrate. Only 30 per cent of mine will be there. Of course, in her case that's about 50 people. In my class, that's about 300. They've lost about seven or eight classmates. Our list of dead is past 100 I think. 
           Her former psychedelic-rocker-turned-webmaster-to-the-movie-industry husband tracked down a bunch of the number one tunes from when we were in high school. He burned three CDs that include a lot of Beach Boys, Everly and Righteous Brothers, Duane Eddy -- over eighty songs in all. Can't wait to blast a few tunes in the lobby of the hotel where everybody is staying. Good times. 
           Yeah. Maybe it will be.           

1 comment:

Uncle Skip, said...

My 50 year reunion (in California) was last month. There wasn't a single guitar... or any other musical instrument in sight.
It's funny you inferred the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia was a classmate in grade school, but not in high school. Most of us had no idea he had any interest in music. Go figure.