Monday, August 13, 2012

Surf And Turf

I got a notice today in the mail about my high school class's  fortieth reunion.
Yeah. Sounds like a long, long time, doesn't it? Forty years?

Well guess what- blink- that's how long it took to get from high school graduation to here, forty years later.
I have no plans whatsoever to attend.
In fact, I pre-booked a house on St. George Island for the week the reunion is going to be happening. Entirely by accident, I assure you.
A complete coincidence.

In another example of complete coincidences, a good friend of mine, one of the few friends I can still claim from high school, stopped by here tonight on his way home to Winter Haven from a cross-country trip after hiking in the Sierra Madres for ten days. He's come all the way across the country in a black, uh, maybe a Camero?- I don't know- and he stopped in Denver to see Jack White play at Red Rocks and he's been listening to an audio book of On The Road narrated by Will Patton who is my favorite book narrator (and I have discussed him here before as he does James Lee Burke's audio books) and he was going to spend the night and then he thought it would be cool to meet me and Mr. Moon at the beach and it ended up that he just stopped by for a cocktail before doing the final push towards home because he's taking his grandson to the beach on Wednesday.

An hour and a half before he got here, I was on my way home from Lily's, stinking to high heaven of spit-up and baby poop and hair-gone-sour from being put-up-wet and I knew my house was a pit of dispair and I had nothing whatsoever to serve him in the way of cocktail food.

Plus, I was exhausted. I didn't sleep well last night and I'd had my walk this morning and Owen threw a fit this afternoon when his mama came home on break.
"NO LEAVE ME!!!! He kept saying, and after she finally had to go he continued to wail and scream that I needed to go home and that I needed to go and get his mommy and bring her home and that his mommy did NOT need to go to work but needed to stay with him.
My heart broke over and over again for him and for his mommy too until finally he grew silent for a moment and then he giggled.
"What are you laughing about, boy?" I asked him.
"I happy now!" he said and crawled up on the bed beside me where I had gotten Gibson to sleep for a nap and then his daddy came home.

So I've been feeling like I have one foot planted in this world and another foot planted in that one today and I cried when Kerry left because how many friends do you have for forty years? How many? I feel lucky as shit to have one or two.

I was a child when I met Kerry and yet, his influence on my life continues to this day. As I have said before, he gave me Bob Dylan and I gave him the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles came to both of us through the ether, free of charge. When we get together, we never run out of things to talk about because it's like we're still informing each other on how to be in this life and I think about him every time I brush my teeth because when we were in high school, he went on some environmental camp thing where they told the kids not to leave the water on when they brushed their teeth and I stopped leaving the water on when I brushed MY teeth and god knows how many gallons of water I've saved since then.
Like that.

So when he left, headed back out in the Camero (?) for his home and his wife and his grandchildren, I cried.

I cried because I was tired and I cried because someone I've loved for forty years still cares about me and I cried because Owen had been so sad and I cried because life goes by so fast and I cried because, well, just because. I cried because Jack Kerouac lived and wrote and died and I cried because Kerry and I have been correspondants for all these years, first with paper and pen and now with e-mail and because we both have grandchildren and I cried because some day, we're all going to die. I cried because we can still make each other laugh and I cried because I am not beautiful any more and I cried because yes, in fact, we ARE still all beautiful, and I cried because I am so lucky that he has been in my life all these years and that he is married to his One True Love and I am married to My One True Love and that we can still mean something to each other.

I walked by the piano after he left and I saw that postcard above of a mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs and also, those two carvings of an old, old couple, the woman holding a chicken under her arm and I felt like I was both mermaid and old woman and I posed that picture and I took it.

I have no desire to go to my high school reunion and I am looking forward to my week on St. George Island with all my heart. Let me tell you something- reunions happen every day and mostly, they are reunions of the person we were with the person we are and we all read those stories of people getting together at high school reunions after all these years and re-falling in love and changing their lives but I'm here to tell you, if you do it right, you just stay in love and your life changes every fucking day.

I am fifty-eight years old and I am mermaid and I am crone and I am maiden and I am grandmother and I wouldn't trade places with anyone even myself forty years ago for anything in this world.

I am exactly where I'm supposed to be.

And that's all there is to it.

Can you imagine the Botox involved in a fortieth high school reunion?

Nah, baby, that ain't me.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon


  1. i didn't hang out with high school people during high school- i feel you on this one.


  2. Christ almighty, I love when you write like that, and you do it allll the time!

    How you whirl it out there, spin it around and then sweetly bring it right back in and grab my heart in your only-Mary-can-do-it kind of embrace.

    No one else even comes close - to your wisdom, your ability to see it and the way you give it to us...cryin' the whole time. Sweet sister Mary Moon...oh my god.

  3. I hear you, baby. Loud and clear, from here.

  4. I wouldn't go either. Botox, boobs and fake tans or rustic beauty, clear water and white sand? Not a difficult decision there, I wouldn't think. God, I miss St. George Island.

  5. Personately I've never understood the fascination and undying devotion to high school. I left and never looked back. There are people out there whose lives still revolve around high school.

  6. Sounds wonderful -- I have two friends who I've known for thirty plus years, and they're the dearest people to me because of that -- they knew ME when I was ME.

    So weird. I've started listening to books on tape (it's hard for me!) but right now it's Patton reading Faulkner's "Light in August" -- that man can read, no? And that other man can write, no?

  7. You pretty much just made ME cry with your description of why you cried. I hear you so loud and so clear. And your words moved me. Keep it coming - it's like you're speaking FOR me sometimes. Using words I can't come up with.

  8. I went to my twentieth reunion and it was REALLY fun, but it also made me realize I barely knew all those people.

  9. If I had nothing in common with them then, it is highly unlikely that I would now.

    I love what you say about being exactly where you are supposed to be...

  10. I have never been into the hs reunion thing. I figure if I wanted to be friends with someone from high school I am or would be. I don't have need to go back and revisit how everyone turned out. I loved what you said about being where you are with the one you're supposed to be with and change continuing to happen. You are so creative and intelligent and natural in your writing. It is a joy to visit your blog and read your words each day. S. Jo

  11. Glad you got to see your friend. That's way cool.

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  13. I loved this post. It is wonderful to have old, friends who know your authentic self, and see the beauty that remains. That is true "family" right there.
    And who needs the high school reunion when you have already had a couple times this year of going out with the people you love for music reasons and running into so many people from the past in a good way.
    --Michele R.

  14. Darn it, it finally dawned on me that I lost your link when I installed a new system on my computer. I knew I was missing something but what???
    It was your posts... And Owen, and Gibson. And Owen being silly and send you off into the deep because he cries for his mama but is not really missing his mama cause you are there.
    And old friends are the best! I have a few that I meant in kindergarden... We can take off on any given day without having seen each other for years... Old friends are the best!

  15. Mrs. A- I had my friends but it was hardly the best time of my life.

    liv- Dang. Well. Thank-you so much!

    SJ- You're a peach. A sweet, sweet peach.

    Nicol- I miss it too and I live right down the road from it. I need to be a tourist!

    Ellen- Yeah. There are. They are not my people.

    Elizabeth- It is easy to get hooked, especially when Will Patton is the reader.

    Jill- You just handed me a pay check. Thanks.

    Steve- Barely knew 'em then. Sure don't know 'em now. I went to several of my reunions. They were...very weird.

    Joan- And where else can we be?

    S Jo- I am so glad you're here. So glad.

    Ms. Fleur- It was a lovely, small visit.

    Michele R- Yep. Exactly.

    Photocat- The unending conversation....

  16. I've never been to a high school reunion. My 45th is coming up next year and I don't plan to attend that one either. I am in contact with no one from high school. What's the point of these things?

  17. Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who cried reading your words explaining why you cried. Damn, you can grab those feelings and thoughts and put words to them so well!

    It's a gift to have a friend from so long ago, to share a happy little visit and feel so connected. I wouldn't bother with that high school reunion either. Just the stress of remembering names, no way!

    I smiled at Owen's antics, I hope you told his mommy he was fine as soon as she left. My littlest did that trick for about three years, and it took a long time and some spying for me to believe the teachers' assurance that as soon as I left she was fine. Little bugger ripped my heart out daily, and was happy as a clam doing it!

    Your life is a beautiful thing, and it's a gift that you let us all share in the magic. xo

  18. Wow, those little boy hormones are mighty! Glad he got happy :) It is exhausting, though, rings you out like a wet rag.I can't imagine dealing with it in the heat!

    Gah, a whole reunion class full of botox, that's kinda gross.

  19. Lucy- Well, Kerry and I were talking about it and he lives there, where we went to high school and so he will go because he still sees a lot of those people and why not? That I understand.

    Mel- The poor child! Jessie and I both agreed this morning when we chatted that it is truly a primal memory of so desperately wanting our mothers and that's why it's so painful to hear it. There is no logic which can be introduced to calm the child's soul. Nothing to do but murmur words of love and hope it passes soon.

    Jo- Oh hell. Perhaps no one from my class uses Botox. Ha!

  20. I am going on Sept. 22 to mine. I cannot believe that I am doing this. It is one of the fears that I'm going to face. I didn't like high school and maybe this will be a disaster. But I am going to see some people from my past and put some of that to rest. We shall see how it goes. More will indeed be revealed.


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