“Wasn’t it yesterday we used to laugh at the wind behind us? Didn’t we run away and hope that time wouldn’t try to find us? We might not have tomorrow, but we had yesterday.” And the memories linger on.
We all got the memo. We showed up brought a wing and a prayer in hope that revisiting the site of our youth would play out without too much disappointment. The evening more than overrode the old adage “you can never go home.” We theoretically put on our tennis sweaters, madras shirts and dexter’s mentality and double hugged each other.
With cataract improved vision we entered the time machine and there we were, the place the cafeteria at PHS, the late 60’s only obvious difference was cocktails replaced chocolate milk.
And so the juke box of our past, that held all our secrets, preconceived notions and memories of who stood with who before the bell rang and our days began, was replaced with the here and now.
The beauty of last eve was we were all one. We talked over each other, left quick catch up stories mid stream to get up and sit next to another very familiar face. Perhaps our personas remain in tact but our storied lives over the past “50” holy mackerel years have added the depth and Kodachrome patina that adds to our allure, our glow.
We held on tightly to the remember when’s and were equally glad to share pictures of our children and grandchildren. The sense was that we were on a veritiable speed date, get all you can at the supermarket game before the buzzer sounds.There were no whispers, only out loud emotional confessions of how very thrilled we were as we looked around the table and stole visual moments of our youth. “So do you think there were other towns like Passaic that offer this kind of welcoming,”was the ever present buzz throughout the night. Was it something in the Passaic River, or Rutts relish? Perhaps Awful, Awfuls or the steak sandwiches on Friday nights at The Bonfire in Paterson. We marveled at how well we looked in the absence of not too much Botox. There was no height requirement to get on the ride and exhume a very big piece that fills the shadow box on our mantles.
My take away as I debrief the evening was how easy it was to pay subtle attention to who ordered the dressing on the side, as we were really all there for the main course. I’ll double down this time and go for seconds. “Oh what a Night.”