I had just recently spent part of a day in my hometown. I actually drove and walked around a bunch of areas and places I spent a good portion of my childhood in and was amazed at how in one sense everything had changed and yet even the air seemed to smell and feel how I remembered it all of those years ago. I hadn’t done this since the mid-1980’s so it was quite an eye-opener.
After visiting a cousin I was shocked to hear how many kids we grew up with or went to school, little league or church with have either passed away from cancer, accidents or an alarming amount by there own hand--not to mention the ones who are now either incarcerated or homeless and live under freeways and push shopping carts.
I was also surprised to find out that the few people that had moved away are now back living in town again. What’s up with that? There seem to be very few of us who moved away and stayed away. I can count them on one hand.
There was one boy who I met in junior high school who was a very talented guitarist and preferred to play jazz over rock, which I found very cool and just so beyond what any of our other contemporaries were doing. He didn’t do drugs and was a really mellow, cool guy. My cousin had told me that he had passed away from a drug overdose a few years ago and I couldn’t believe it. My cousin also told me about a girl I had known since grade school and how she had died a while back from breast cancer. This was almost more than I could take.
During the long, multiple hour drive back to the bay area where I have been living for the better part of 25 years I had these two people on my mind the whole way and could see their young faces and how I remembered them as little kids, as high school kids and then how they looked when I had last seen them.
The next day I couldn’t get them out of my head so I tried to look them up on the internet.
I was elated that the boy I had known since junior high school is alive and well playing guitar in New York City and doing quite well too boot! However, I couldn’t find anything on the girl.
I guess this is all part of life. This is how it goes and one must take it as it comes. Everything is different and yet nothing has changed.