So I found myself in the 7th layer of hell today. In other words, I was in a high school parking lot on the last day of high school.
My "little" nephew, who is 6'1, 190 lbs, and 17 years old called me because his truck had died and needed me to come pick him up.
So there I was, in the parking lot with all these graduating seniors and three years worth of kids who were just happy to be the hell out of school.
It amazes me how much things change, but how they stay the same. I could easily pick out the weird kids, the popular kids, the smart kids, and the stoner kids. A whole bunch of them were smiling, and a whole bunch of them were crying and holding on to each other for dear life.
I remember my last day of high school like it was yesterday. It was the same scene in the parking lot, except that the cool kids had big hair, the weird kids had mohawks, and the stoners wore MegaDeath shirts. That to this day was the longest day of my life.
The clocked ticked slowly all day as I couldn't wait to get the hell out of that place. I really didn't fit any of the circles-I did have big hair, but most of the popular kids annoyed the shit out of me. I was a brain, but definitely not a geek. MegaDeath wasn't my fav band in the world, but I did appreciate some Aerosmith or Metallica, and let's face it-I was and am pretty fucking weird, minus the mohawk...
This equation equaled the fact that I had a lot of acquaintances. I wouldn't call them friends, as most of them I never saw after we walked down the isle to get our diplomas. I did have a fairly large amount of these acquaintances that would call me to go to this party or that party, see what I was doing that night, or just want to hang out.
The circle of soul mates were my bestest friends then, as they are now, and R and I were the only two left in high school. Prolly why I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there, as high school wasn't a big horrendous experience, I just wanted to move the hell on.
So as R and I stepped into the parking lot that day for the last time, we had many people come running up to us, crying, giving hugs, swearing we'd always be friends. R and I didn't cry, because we knew we would see those people again that meant the most to us, and I have stayed in touch with those people, even 16 (holy shit!!! 16 years???) later.
Those kids that were crying-I didn't understand why. I mean, we were FREE! We were gone from that place, gone from teachers telling us what to do, how to act, what to wear. I knew college would be a much freer (is that a word?) environment, and I couldn't wait to get there.
As I got behind the wheel of my 1985 & 1/2 Escort piece of shit, I looked over at R. "Let's blow this popsicle stand!" as we tore out of there as fast as a 1985 1/2 Escort piece of shit will go. Hey, it was 1989 after all...
The funny thing is, as I sat in the parking lot of this other school, 16 years later, I really understood the whole deal much more then I did then. When I graduated, I just wanted to move on, get going, get out of there. Now as I look at the kids crying and hugging I realize they are maybe a little sad, a little scared that their safe world is coming to an end and that they are entering a new and possibly scary time in their life.
If I were to graduate today, I probably still wouldn't be one of those kids crying and holding on for dear life. I would probably still be trying to get away as soon as I can, thrusting myself forward into the next stage of life.
Any shrinks out there? I quite sure this means I'm fucked up or sumfin...