I went looking up a bunch of people I used to go to middle school with, just to see what happened to them. Those kids, for good or bad, made a much deeper impression on me than the ones I knew in high school, possibly because I knew most of them from nursery school through eighth grade, but moved right before starting high school. Couldn’t find some of the people I was most curious about, like the guy who put sand down my underpants in kindergarten and later took me to the eighth grade prom, but one of my old buds is now a successful scientist at an Ivy League school, and a bully who used to beat me up is still living in Princeton and seems to be married.
In other news, I’m going home for the Taste of Northampton this weekend, and to see my family, including my cousin, who is visiting from Canada before going off to college. In my head, he’s still nine years old, so the idea of him going off to study acting gives me vertigo. In any case, since my brother starts work in another week or so, this is probably the last time my nuclear family is going to all be together in our own home for a long while. So, as usual, I’m going to be incommunicado while I’m up there. But for those of you in N’ton, I’ll be stopping by Space-Crime on Saturday afternoon, if you want to say hi!
I just saw a note in a friend’s blog that our college class’s upcoming 5-year reunion is right around the corner, and how it’s making her reconsider her life. My gut reaction was to say, “That’s not me, I don’t feel that way,” because even though I don’t know what I’m doing with my life in the next two years or what I want out of my career, I don’t feel I’ve wasted this time, and since I had the luxury of getting a degree in something I liked studying rather than something I wanted to make a career out of, I don’t feel I wasted my degree.
But on some levels, that’s a load of crap, because for me, the big anniversary coming up is the high school reunion. In a year or so, it’ll be ten years since I graduated, having already written a novel and shopped it around to publishers. I spent every lunch hour, every free period, up in the computer lab, writing away. I was determined to get published by nineteen, like Mary Shelley and Isaac Asimov, and spend the rest of my life writing. Eleven years after I finished that first novel, more than eight years since I graduated high school, I have only a few short story publications under my belt, and I’m starting to accept that while I love writing, and love working hard at it, I may always be at the amateur level, and I will almost certainly be unable to support myself as a writer until I’m nearly ready for retirement.
A few of my older friends, having finally come to terms with the idea that they’re not going to meet Mr. Right and they’re tired of waiting, have decided to bite the bullet and have kids anyway. And even though this wasn’t how they pictured it, they’re happy. Giving up chasing fame and fortune (or at least validation and a steady income), accepting it’s not going to happen, and just writing for the love of it, feels a little like that. It’s healthier. Possibly even more joyful, in the long run, to love what is than to sour it by chasing after what you can’t have. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting.
I went to see Manchurian Candidate on Saturday night with a friend I haven’t seen in years. We were front row center, so we got really huge, distorted views of Denzel’s chin, and that’s about it. Quite aside from that, the movie sucked in a way usually reserved for made-for-TV movies on USA. Now, despite having both seen the original and read the book, I was quite prepared to judge it on its own merits, but there was maybe one good scene in the whole freaking thing, and none of the chemistry of the original.
Then Sunday morning I woke up bright and early for the last day for Shakespeare in the Park (plans to see it with friends kept falling through) and discovered a two mile line of people who had woken up brighter and earlier. Since there was no chance in hell of getting in, I caught up with Chris and Mulzer, old college buddies who I discovered on line with their new beagle, Bartleby, then went home to clean my place top to bottom, watch Queer as Folk, and put together my new patchwork vest. At this point it’s completely basted; all I have to do is sew it up. It’s a cute, lacy little number I’m going to wear over tight black shirts to go clubbing in. No, I’m not crazy; I’ll post pictures of it up here when I’m done and you’ll see what I mean. Think less quilt and more chain mail bra.
But anyway, while I was cleaning my place, I managed to shatter a little bottle of perfume, which immediately soaked into the cracks in the hardwood floor, so between my new Palestinian embroidered pillows and the scent, I feel like I’m trapped in a harem.