I get my mail before anyone else does. I live three or four blocks away from a huge Canada Post outlet. Today, in the mail, I got an envelope from a teacher I had, in twelfth grade.
In it was a page cut out of the 1997-98 yearbook, attached by paperclip to a note. The note said, "Remember this guy?" It was a picture of me.
I remember him. I remember he did way too much drugs, and didn't go to a whole lot of class. I remember he had oily skin, a huge mop of long, black hair, and a love of metal. When he did go to school, he usually skipped class and hung around in the cafeteria.
I have grown up a lot since that guy, but I remember him well. Sometimes I see him. I see his mark on me, and it's a good thing.
His skin was young, too, and now I have smile lines. The gray hair is starting already, but this is no surprise. My mother started graying at eighteen. But it's startling, when you wake up on morning and dark circles that never existed stand sentinel below each eye. It's startling when you start to realize that your time here is finite.
I've changed, grown up. I'm smarter. I might even be wiser. I am still able to laugh and climb on things. The smile lines hide under my beard. The gray hair's been bleached clean. I'm still young, I know that, but goddammit, I never wanted to be a grown-up; but it's been worth it. And I still love metal.
Besides--maybe, just maybe, my time's not finite here at all.
Today is my third E2 anniversary. Thanks for coming.