A celebration, usually held during the fall football season, when high schools and colleges hold events to welcome former students and alumni who have come back for a visit. Most events usually revolve around current students, especially the homecoming football game, the homecoming bonfire, homecoming dances, etc. The alumni might get to go to dinner together, they might have a dance (playing a lot of old music that hasn't held up well), they might have a reception.

For current students, Homecoming is Prom, Jr.; for alumni, it's nearly always pure disappointment.

Addendum: sekicho says homecoming "generally means that the team is coming home after a series of away games." Well, I'm not so sure about that. I seem to remember homecomings that directly followed home games. But that may indeed where the custom stems from...
A series of novels by Orson Scott Card, depicting the plight of the people of Planet Harmony. It consists of five volumes:

  • The Memory of Earth
  • The Call of Earth
  • The Ships of Earth
  • Earthfall
  • Earthborn
They're thoroughly good series of books, and come recommended by many people. Including me.
Downstairs
a door swings irreverently
in the cool house.
You two-by-two
all the way up
and the fussy stairs complain
of the way you break the silence.
I find it hard to sympathize
I've been waiting for you
all day.


As if you needed an excuse to get drunker than usual. You were at college, weren't you? What, if any, reason was there to go to college other than to find out what was too much in the world of liquor? William Blake probably was a Phi Delta Epsilon or some such shit. "You never know what is enough until you know what is too much." Yeah. That was exactly the thought I had in my mind as I was pouring rum into my pie hole as fast as the Cherry Seven-Up could carry it down.

That first hard rain usually fell in the morning, followed by a cold front which included a hard, driving wind. That wind was crucial to the effect, which was evidenced by the multicolored leaves blowing hard from their homes. Squirrels would be hastily chewing the rinds from the acorns as they swished their robust tails and watched you take your best girl through the quad to that all-important football game. They might wink, in appreciation of the fact that humans can mate in any season.

Rum can be made to taste just like sugar water with enough Cherry Seven-Up to go along with it. That, however, does not dilute the alcoholic nature of the liquor. I'm sitting in the stands at a famous Southeastern Conference football stadium, and my girl is with me and we're having the afternoon of our lives. The problem is the paper cups. I've seemingly poured one too many drops of wax-dissolving alcoholic rum into this cup and it can't be overridden by the soothing qualities of Cherry Seven-Up. Oooops. The bottom of the cup gives up just as Our Team scores a touchdown and we all stand up to cheer. The large man sitting in front of me is not amused as the full contents of my drink spill, violently, from the bottom of my cup onto the very crown of his head.

It wasn't so much the fist in my face that bothered me, because I was pretty much past the point of feeling any pain. It was the fact that my girl saw me just take it and say, "Well, I guess I deserved that," without doing anything about it. You girls can say what you will about pacifism and world peace, but when your man gets hit in the face, you do NOT want him to just admit that he might have had it coming. Do you?

The cool wind blew across the stadium and you could feel the season change right there, even while you were watching. Summer was long gone and there wouldn't be any skinny dipping for quite a while. You might have thought back to your girl laying there by the edge of the creek, naked, while you got another beer out of the cooler. Man, did she look good or what?

As the chilly winds blew across your bruised face and you tried to act like it didn't matter, you caught something out of the corner of your eye. What was that? Oh, yeah. It was the loss of her respect for you.

Homecoming. Yeah, I'm coming home, all right.

Alone.

The other day my mailbox contained something quite unexpected. It was an invitation to my old high school and their annual homecoming event. My first thought was to discard it along with all the other junk mail that greeted me. After all, I hadn’t heard from them in over thirty years and I figured if I bothered to respond I’d just be added to another long list of organizations out there seeking donations or some other kind of assistance.

High school itself was a pretty shitty time for yours truly. I wasn’t what you might call “popular” and in fact took a false sense of pride in myself on remaining aloof from the most of my peers. It wasn’t that I had anything against them, I just wondered what they had against me?. In fact, with the exception of five or six people who I confided in, I learned to accept if not enjoy my solitude. I wasn’t at all surprised when the high school yearbook stated I was voted as “Most likely to remain anonymous”.

But then, curiosity got the better of me and just for grins I pulled a dusty copy of it off the bookshelf the other day and thought I’d take a stroll down memory lane. Most of the faces that I saw seemed to have the fresh scrubbed look of optimism planted on them. The people in the photo’s posed in a sideways sort of manner with a grin etched on their face and a gleam in their eyes that might have been a harbinger of what their future might hold.

When I got to my picture I looked like a Marine with my eyes looking lifeless in a thousand- yard stare and with my mouth twisted into a grimace that made me look like I was shitting needles.

I decided to break out the old laptop and start searching for some of the people of my past. Not exactly cyber-stalking (at first) but more to find out what they had or hadn’t made of their lives. After all, most of us were pushing our early 50’s and most likely had left an internet footprint somewhere along the line. I thought to myself that maybe I could reconnect with those few people who I spoke and rekindle old friendships or to reach out to those who had ignored me and establish new ones. Sure enough many of them could be found via on the numerous social networking sites available on the web and were just a click away.

Armed with their e-mail addresses I sent out a variety of posts explaining that I was trying to reconnect with them. I explained that my motives were pure and that all I wanted to do was catch up on the old times and if all went well may plan a trip to this years homecoming festivity. I give them my address on the web eagerly await their response.

One day goes by, nothing. Two days go by, still nothing. I decide that maybe I’m being overly ambitious and will hold off checking my mail for a few more days. After a week I logon and notice that my mailbox contains nothing but the usual spam. Undeterred, I send out second requests.

I decide to wait three or four days before I check my account again. I’m pleasantly surprised that seven or eight people have responded but the joy I feel is short lived. To cut to the thick of it, all of the responses are similar in nature. They all seem to say “Who the fuck are you and why are you bothering me?”

Since then I’ve done a bit more homework on my high school classmates and where they live and what they do. I’ve gone to the schools website and am surprised to see they have a list of RSVP’s for the upcoming event.

My eyes are a bit moist as I write this. I just polished off a twelve pack of beer and half a bottle of Jack and my flights been booked in advance. I’ll grab a cab to take me to the airport here in a bit. I’m not carrying any luggage and it’s a one way ticket to my old home town.

Someone must pay.

Everyone must pay

Note: For some of you who might think I've gone off the deep end and am actually contemplating something like this, have no fear. This is entirely a work of fiction and written in conjunction with our latest quest.

Home-com`ing (?), n.

Return home.

Kepeth this child, al be it foul or fayr, And eek my wyf, unto myn hoom-cominge. Chaucer.

 

© Webster 1913.

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