posted by Joe Anaya on October 8th, 2012

My class reunion is coming up. Of course my first thought was, “Holy crap, has it been that long?” It seems like only a short time ago, I was hanging with my friends doing ridiculous high school hijinks. (Think Jackass without the cameras.) When I don’t look in the mirror, I still feel like a young man not that far removed from the carefree days of endlessly talking about girls and sports. (Kinda like having a blog.)

My next thought was “Damn, I need to get a better job.” Although I’ve had my share of success in Hollywood, going to a reunion made me feel like I should have a more impressive body of work. I’ll bet James Cameron doesn’t wonder if directing two of the biggest blockbusters of all time (Avatar & Titanic), sounds good to his old high school buddies. Plus, being a freelance writer, I spend most of my time technically being unemployed. That doesn’t sound very impressive.

Then my wife piled-on with, “Are you going to lose weight?” “What!” Is she saying I NEED to lose weight? Or is she just asking, “Was that on my agenda?” Although I’m sure she meant the former, I’m going to pretend she meant the latter.

I may need to pull out my yearbook and do some studying before the reunion to avoid those moments when people recognize me, but I have that blank stare on my face, desperately trying to read their nametag without getting caught. At my ten-year reunion, there were already people whom I didn’t recognize. Their appearance had changed so dramatically (some positively, some negatively), even after they said their name, I struggled to link them with my memory of them. There are those lucky few, who look exactly like they did in high school. (How do they do that?) Then of course there were those people whom I didn’t remember at all. Not their face or their name. Like I said, I see a cram session for faces and names in my future.

My wife was going to go with me but something came up at work. It’s just as well, I’m pretty sure she was going to try and drum up embarrassing stories or prove once and for all that I was some sort of tuba playing dork. “Hey, I made tuba playing cool.”

But after I got over my little anxieties, I began to get excited about seeing old friends that I’ve lost touch with through the years. I call them the second level friends. For example, thanks to Facebook, I know Bruce P. is working on building a yurt (a kind of Mongolian tent house). Greg V. has some sort of day job, but his passion (as in high school) is music and he’s a DJ on a radio program. Chris W. is taking a break from coaching wrestling. I can’t wait to see them and find out what’s the story behind the latest news from these great guys.  People I’ve always liked but through circumstances of time and proximity, I just never quite made the continued connection necessary to remain friends through the years. Basically, I don’t have any classes with them, but I wish I did.



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