Don't You Forget About Me
|Graffiti on the bathroom stall of my high school. |
Don't worry, sweetie, come back in 25 years, and it'll all be good.
Karma's a bitch, too, so I hear.
Vacation, All I ever wanted,
Vacation, Had to get away.
“Yep, she's got strep throat,” declares Husband across a crackly connection, as I juggled my cell phone and Diet Coke while speeding north on I-45. Crap. “Well, you’ll be able to handle everything, right?” I implored. “Oh, sure, it’ll be fine. You have fun at your reunion.” Thank you, Husband-of-the-Year.
Forever young, I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
She came bounding out of the house, her I’m-all-grown-up house, in a t-shirt and shorts, with legs that looked like they hadn’t seen a day past graduation. Her smile was just as bright, hair equally bouncy. And when we hugged, it felt like coming home. We can’t look at each other without giggling.
All for freedom and for pleasure,
Nothing ever lasts forever.
Everybody wants to rule the world.
Immature quarrels, unexpected alliances, and lonely days spent playing the odd man out. Hurt feelings, dramatic declarations of we’re-not-friends-anymore. The empty halls and lockers are echoing these things, but twenty-five years later, I’m not listening. Friendship, forgiveness, understanding and love are singing louder.
Keep feeling fascination,
Looking, learning, moving on.
Here we all stand, smiling and sipping. Eagerly hugging some and tentatively approaching others. Everyone earnest and questioning and listening, no signs of past barriers. Common ground serves as an open invitation to see each woman with fresh eyes. Older and more weary eyes, but kinder.
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow,
If I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe.
No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.
I wish I could tell Mrs. Dorfmeister thank you. One Spring day, the classroom of girls snickered at her request to close our eyes and put our heads down on our desks while the song poured from a giant silver boom box in the corner. “Clear your mind and let the words soak in!” she chirped. “What does this have to do with Theology?” I mentally complained. But I did what she said because I always did what teachers said. And I guess it sunk in.
Walk forever by my side, never lose sight of the day,
When we will run through all our weakness,On through the fields strewn with our broken dreams.
Divorces, failures and disappointments were freely swapped with joys, accomplishments and triumphs, with plenty of I’m-so-proud-of-yous and I-knew-you-could-do-its thrown in for good measure. Strength in sisterhood. So longs and farewell-until-next-times earnestly exchanged.
Freedom, freedom, freedom
You’ve got to give for what you take.
Two Diet Cokes and four hours behind the wheel with nothing but Sirius XM for company, and I finally crossed the county line. I perked up at the sight of a palm tree and a church van full of eager kids waving at me, noses pressed to the glass window.
This is the place that is home to me now.
Everything counts in large amounts.