My 35th high school reunion came and went last weekend, and I didn't attend. I had decided to go, at one point. It would have been great to see this, that, or another person after all these years. Then it became apparent that, out of a class of 500, maybe 25 people were attending. And these people were not my friends, or even my good buddies.
I am positive that if I had gone, I would have been happily welcomed. These folk had not been overtly hateful to me, back in the day, as dozens of others had been.
But, on the other hand, neither had they been there to comfort me when my mother died. The memory of me weeping uncontrollably in class, during a showing of "Brian's Song," not long after her funeral, still lingers. No person, not even the teacher, thought to offer me tissues.
I became quite ill during my final semester of senior year with Grave's Disease and I could not continue school. My mother had had thyroid disease, too.
I cannot recall anybody, save for two friends and my high school counselor, who gave a rat's ass about me or tried to help. (After all these years, my memory may be faulty.)
I never graduated high school. I had surgery, a partial thyroidectomy, the summer of '75, and even my older brothers were absent. Where were they?
I left home for good that August, and still I wonder why I keep looking back, wishing and hoping that I missed something.