I hooked up with three of my high school classmates earlier today. This was supposed to be an annual reunion of the Durban Class of 1983 who had moved up to the City of Gold (Johannesburg to you), but we had not seen seen each other in two years. Our meet last year never materialized, for one reason or the other; actually we kept putting it off because of work and personal commitments and eventually December 2008 arrived…
This year however, we decided to commit to a date (today), and we all actually managed to push our other engagements aside for a few hours. As I entered the Newscafe in Woodmead, I spotted Parthy from the entrance; he hadn’t changed a bit in two years. China was with him; and damn, he still looks like the impish 17-year old from high school. I think I’ll have to also try jogging every morning. While I went off to draw some cash from an ATM, Lawrence arrived. He hadn’t changed much; a closely cropped head of hair revealing a receding hairline. As for me; Parthy commented that I had put on about two more kilos, but the truth is, it’s closer to three. Well, that’s the guys from 83′.
Reunions are sometimes awkward, especially when you haven’t seen each other for several years, but we did not seem to have any problems there. I think it was made easier because we had started the reunion lunch thing about three years ago, and had just had a 20-year class reunion, the year before (if my questionable memory serves me correctly). Parthy actually mentioned that some of the class girls did not show up at that gathering, because they apparently were afraid of how they would be received after 20 years. Am I being sexist or isn’t it always the girls who seem to have issues with acceptance and appearances at reunions? Guys don’t seem to have any qualms about displaying any of their inadequacies at reunions; in fact they revel in reminding each other of them.
During lunch, we reminisced about the “good old days,” and this is where trouble for me, began. No matter how many times we talk about the same incidences, I can never remember the names of the people involved. It happens year after year. My memories of most events are relatively clear, but the names of the participants always escapes me. It has proved rather embarrassing for me in many situations. These old classmates of mine, sitting around the table, could recall events and put names to the participants, like it happened yesterday; while I struggled to visualize them. Is this some sort of disease? Are there anyone else out there who suffer the same handicap?
Happily, I managed to get through most of the interrogations, reasonably unscathed, dignity intact; and look forward to our new mid-year meeting we agreed upon. It’s always great reuniting with old friends, even if you don’t always remember everything they talk about. I think I’ll lay off the booze for a while; might help with the memory.