Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thoughts from the Saddle

***Attention - This post probably sucks. You've been warned.***

When traffic is light, and roads are boring, bikers have plenty of time to think. As a thoughtful and introspective kind of guy, I think a lot when I'm riding (when I'm not keeping myself entertained by singing "Rainbow in the Dark.").

One of the things I've been pondering lately is my own curiosity about the lives of friends, acquaintances and sworn, bitter enemies I haven't talked to since high school. High school was, generally, a miserable time and I have no desire to go back in time. I don't view it as "the greatest time of my life," though it was certainly interesting.

For those of you who don't know, by a strange blend of luck and fate I attended a well-regarded, "world class" international private school in Germany for my last two years of high school. The education I received there shaped me into the reasonably-proficient writer I am today, as well as an intolerable know-it-all (reformed) and snob (not so much).

Since the people I went to school with could be anywhere in the world right now, I can't just pick up a phone book and expect to find any of them in it (unless I move to L.A., anyways...). That's not so bad, because I don't want to talk to 99% of them anyway. This is the reason I don't go to reunions.

That 1% I do want to talk to, however, has proven incredibly elusive. Every six months or so, I get a strange compulsion to find out what the heck happened to them. Evidently I'm the only one of my old friends with an Internet presence.

Recently, I've taken to wondering why the hell I even care. There are plenty of people I've known and fallen out of touch with over the last ten years where my curiosity begins and ends at, "I wonder if they're dead or not."

Is it echoes of the intense emotions of the time, and the resulting friendships and hostilities? It could be. I was, to put it mildly, bat-shit crazy back then.

Is it just the unique quality of the experience of living in Europe that makes it stand out? Well, I had already lived abroad once before, so it wasn't that unique.

I don't have an answer, and in the great scheme of things it seems pretty silly.

I really gotta find some gnarly, twisty roads to get my mind off this garbage.


Combatscoot said...

I agree with you: high school SUCKED. The one person I stayed in-touch with over the years got al weird on me, so I cut contact. No matter. Sometimes, I think it's not that we are curious about the other person so much as wanting them to know how much better we are doing now than back then.

gael_cee said...

My best childhood friend, whom I had not seen since high school, called me to do some work at his house a few years ago. We had a nice getting re-acquainted conversation going until we got to the subject of my political outlook. Haven't heard from him since. Kinda weird.

Biker Betty said...

I had a lot of fun times in high school. I played trumpet in band and kept very busy with all the activities that entailed. I still hear occasionally from a friend or two. A lot of my class is signed up with www.classmates.com.