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.