As I laid on the couch tonight, fishing through Facebook, I saw something so odd and familiar: pictures from the twenty year reunion of the class one year ahead of me in high school. That means, if you remember those math skills, that my class is next. Twenty years from the end of high school is next summer. Twenty years. Back when I was a senior in high school, the internet didn’t exist (at least not for any real practical purpose). Neither did cellphones. There were beepers, and our idea of a “mobile” phone was a cordless that you could, amazingly, take from the living room all the way to your own bedroom. No long-ass cord to maneuver around corners, setting traps to behead unsuspecting passers by. Oh, how times have changed. I am laying here, with a touch screen, connected to a network I can’t see or touch, posting my nonsense for the world (or at least, a tiny fraction of it) to read.
Seeing those faces, some more familiar than others, the young, teenaged kids I recall have grown into full fledged, respectable adults. Well, that’s how they seem, anyway. Then I came back to the bedroom and caught the eye of this kinda familiar grown up man, me. I don’t know how I look to others, but I imagine it is similar to how I see those other faces from the past…older.
I feel older, or old, depending on the day. Though, in a lot of ways, I still feel like such an unsure kid, kinda learning on the fly how I am supposed to behave to pass as a “man” and not just a guy. It goes child, kid, boy, dude, guy and man and somewhere between dude, guy and man I find myself splintered. I fight it sometimes, but most of the time now, I just try to embrace that I will probably never really feel like a full grown man. I will always think I can run fast, like I did when I was 17, even though I am down an acl and often feel like someone has thrown some lead weights in my shoes when I try to accelerate. I still think I could make a comeback in baseball and show those damn pros they are just juiced up, naive kids. That despite the fact I never even touched any level of pro ball and am bored just watching a nine inning game now, never mind playing a one.
My point is, um, twenty years. Shit. Time really does fly. If you don’t look around once in awhile, you just might miss it (thanks Ferris). Whatever I am, man, or some man child, life is quite the trip, isn’t? I bet in another twenty years I will have the same thoughts, even as my own kids (hopefully) live down the hall, and both knees have dissolved to rubber bands and my hair has grayed or strayed, or both. I always heard from adults when I was a kid that they felt like they were still just kids. I guess I am just a cliche now.