Saturday, 29 April 2017

Solitude standing

I graduated from high-school 30 years ago.  The boys are on for a major reunion, so out come the Facebook groups, comments, photo uploads.  Suddenly I'm drawn into this yesteryear world of peering over schoolboy headshots appearing on Facebook and attempting to recall all those long-forgotten faces.  My immersion into this group has been an odd experience, a surreal journey where I find myself flipping between 1987 and the present and sometimes capturing the essence again of being that exact person I was when I was 17 years old and left wondering if anything in my life has actually moved on since then.  Songs or feelings I had in 1987 suddenly flash in my memory and consciousness, vivid and alive.  Suzanne Vega's Solitude Standing album.  The innocence of living quietly and studying.  But that sense of life coming full-circle is somewhat unsettling.  I may have left school, though I haven't really left university.  I work there, and by January 1988 I will have been there 30 years given 2 years and 8 months hiatus between 1992 and 1996.  The university is near the old school, too.  So I haven't really gone anywhere, I'm still here..

No, not much point in turning up and having to justify my non-material, non-trappings to guys who have either houses or families or both while I'm still living like a battler-boho.  And there are some people I really don't want to see.  Having said that, many of those men would like me to turn up and it may be a very friendly experience - they did join ('yank') me into the Facebook group after all.  My face looks the same: fresh-faced and green as a blade of grass though my hair has thinned and greyed around the edges, so I'm probably still better looking than the lot of 'em, the snot-faces they were. Ha!

My 1987 headshot is scowling and unhappy.  That same scowly surliness will be present in me if I attend the reunion although I would more likely put on a contentedly cool front.  Too many blokes, too much garrulousness, too many guys asking the same questions to each other and which I've no answer to.  What have I been doing all these years?  I don't know.  I am here now, as I was thirty years ago.

I'm in two minds about going.  Thirty years is a long time, and the past is well and truly over.

Paul Hewson shooting star

i'm in the sunshine A mate of mine produces a monthly songwriter newsletter which goes out to a hundred or so mainly Sydney-based...