Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nostalgia bit me on the behind, over at Memarie Lane

My friend, Memarie, did some digging in a box of high school memorabilia and her findings made me think about those days of yore.

It really wasn't all that long ago that I was a teenager; we had internet access in some of our savvier teachers' classrooms, low rise jeans, cell phones, spinal meningitis scares, and Columbine. Can you spot me in this sea of faces?

But it was long enough ago to feel like I could forget it all, if I'm not careful. Sort of like the answers to questions about how old your child was when they did x, y, or z. I really don't remember how old Conner was the first time he held a toy or slept through the night. Too much else has been jumbled into the too small mental storage space I have to work with. Insignificant facts from high school seem to have been lost in the fog, as well.

Why do some things stand out in my mind, like it was yesterday? Is it the emotional quotient?

Anyways, I feel inspired to regale you with a tale of mortification!

I was 17. This was a time of complete wierdness for me; I wore "wierd" cropped pants (capri pants enter as a fad, just a year later) and wrote some decent poetry with metaphors that I actually appreciated more when I re-read my work a few years later. I was very "esoteric" and reading way too much. Besides, my choice of literature was, er, different.

Ginsburg, Carlos Castaneda, Timothy Leary, Albert Camus, Kafka, Jim Morrison, James Joyce, Leo Tolstoy, and Anais Nin topped my library bill.

Did I mention I was also having problems with basic repsonsibility and remembering things from day to day? At 17, I was lucky if I remembered to GO to school, much less to return library books!

Right around the end of my senior year was when I "became a woman", so to speak and the experience had a huge impact on me. I was so happy that I had waited until then, feeling very in touch with my burgeoning adulthood.

Thankfully, memories from that specific time in my life don't evade me too much. But maybe it helps with the remembering that I ended up living in that same house, with the same man, smelling the same roses every day as I came and went. I recently unearthed a photo of my son, as an infant, wrapped in the same quilt that had been on the bed THAT day, years before, when I was almost 18, done being a child (and almost done with high school & with being so wierd and esoteric).

Well, enough setting the scene, and onto the embarrassing part:

I had a teacher, the grey and wizened Dr. E, whom I found really inspiring. He was controversial and wierd and well-read. He'd let us sit in the hall outside his class with thick volumes if we felt like reading instead of going to some nonsense-class.

One day I had (no doubt, distractedly) been journaling/poetry-writing on the back of a research paper outline I had to turn in to Dr. E. And what I had written was pretty licentious, albeit creative. Interestingly, his note on my paper advised me to continue to write- on my own time!

Ok, now the story is preserved for posterity. My work here is done.

1 comment:

Memarie Lane said...

I didn't care for Camus, was freaked out by Castaneda, but I loved Anais Nin and Ayn Rand.