10 Haiku for My 10 Year High School Reunion, or, “This is Probably a Mistake”
An old friend asked me if I would be able to make it to our 10 year High School Reunion. I had no idea what she was talking about.
Sure enough, it turns out I am a member of a 370-person Facebook group dedicated to the commemoration of C.K. McClatchy’s class of 2005.
I live in New York City now. I have kept in touch with a shockingly small number of friends from my childhood. Honestly, I’m not sure why so few friendships from that time have stuck. I was friends with a few different groups of people back in Middle and High School, and I suppose I never quite cemented myself in any specific clique. Looking back, maybe I was like a jelly fish, floating along pretty chill, lighting up every now and again, just doing my thing, as jelly fish do. Or maybe it’s the amnesia.
When the question of my attendance arose, I was surprised at my intense response. I was deeply shaken by the conflicting feelings of curiosity and a fear-of-missing-out of sorts, and a repulsion to the idea of artificially reuniting with a group of people who, I assume, have nothing to say to me.
In this deliberation, I tried to make sense of my thoughts through haiku.
from what i can tell
everyone is still the same
some have changed their names
Basically, I’m curious about what types of people we have become, what paths we’re on. I feel at times like I haven’t changed a bit. Other times I don’t recognize that person. It’s a morbid curiosity — where does it come from?
my more mature friends
divided on the topic
how long’s a decade?
I went around town asking all my older friends and colleagues if they attended their 10 year reunions. Had it been satisfying? “Worth it?” I got many different insights. One person said not to bother with the 10 year, it was the 20 year where things got really interesting and people started looking really awful. How frightening.
what if everyone
has mastered acting their age
while i’m still a child?
This thought surprised me. I’m so proud of all the weird things I’ve done, the travels, the education, the business experience, the insane mistakes, the rebellion, the romance, and the poetry. I don’t have any desire to be an “adult,” yet this thought still crept out of some dark place near my brainstem.
will our teachers come?
surely they’ll have forgotten
all my truancy
Thinking about memories, and the preservation of individual and collective memory, I started to wonder if anyone would remember me at all, or I them. And if I was forgotten, or forgetful, would I mind? Also, I remembered just how often I found more interesting things to do than be in class. I couldn’t stand administration, and always tried to subtly break the rules, even then.
i can’t remember
the names of the people
that i’m supposed to hate
Dwelling on memory, different rivalries people had, terrible and awkward things we experienced… there are some people I’d rather not see, and I’m not sure why. Does anyone else still have shadowy memories of this time? Certainly we all must.
is there anyone
from our millennial class
who remembers me?
Asking myself this question was very eye-opening. The ego remains intact and ready to be brought to attention at the slightest provocation. I would be lying if I said the thought of being forgotten by long-lost peers didn’t frighten me. Also, oy, what a bother being a millennial, right? I don’t think we knew the term then, but we knew something.
what became of the slackers
and the teachers’ pets?
What is everyone doing with themselves now, seriously? I wish I could watch a one-minute time-lapse of each of your lives. Does snapchat have a function for this yet? Some of the characters we went to school with were so extreme they could’ve been characters in The Breakfast Club. Are they still those charicatures of humans? Are they dead or are they diplomats?
let’s just take a quiz
on who we’ve fucked and how hard
how many zeros
This haiku emerged at the… low point… of my feeling toward these questions. What’s the point of it? Competition? Validation? Networking for some strange reason? Resolutions to those little bothersome things you still remember and want to hash out? I remember someone I didn’t know once called me white trash while I was alone in a hallway. Will she be there? I’ve heard about some of us doing pretty badly by the standards of the status quo. Does that make the rest of us feel better or worse about our own middling and sporadic successes? Who has the best sex life of the C.K. McClatchy class of 2005? Please let it be me.
some had it rougher-
is it too late to wish them
the most happiness?
Once I hit mental rock bottom I was able to finally move past my own tiny perspective and think about actually sending some helpful thoughts and intentions toward the people who were bullied, who got pregnant, who were misunderstood, disenfranchised, and who probably won’t be joining the reunion. If they do, I want to give them an open bar tab.
have we accomplished
anything worth mentioning?
give it ten more years
All in all, the process is a humbling one. Recollecting the past, trying to reassemble the dreams you had then, and layer them over the picture of your present life, like sheets on an overhead projector. I finally decided that I would in fact love to see anyone and everyone who had the foresight and commitment to plan a reunion for us. I looked once more at the date of the reunion — July 18th — and realized that I will be on a plane to Hawaii at the exact moment you are toasting to the past decade.
I’ll miss the reunion, but I have a good feeling that in 2025 I’ll be celebrating our 20th reunion with bells on.