The email alert popped up with annoying regularity, reminding me that my high school reunion was approaching and I had not yet purchased my ticket. I had already decided months earlier that I was not going, not this time. And time was the operative word, because this reunion marked forty years since my graduation. Attending would force me to face that reality head on and I simply wasn't prepared for it.
In the fall of 1975 I went to a birthday party. It was a time when we were quite impressed with ourselves, my friends and I. We had the right clothes -- overalls and carpenter pants, Frye boots and Huck-a-Poo shirts, and we were, for the most part, left to our own devices, free to smoke cigarettes and pot and drink cheap beer, walking from house to house in the cold nights, safe in our little suburban town.