An emotional hit.
A reunion with old school friends today brought back memories of old, going back on teacher horror stories we now laugh at, the trouble makers of old, where they are now and what they do. The day was spent catching up, talking IT-techno-babble in the morning, bowling and drinks in the afternoon until my seemingly quick departure after such a short time. These are friends that I know I have close to my heart; who in my darkest days of school were the 2 pillars of strength I had to lean on and seek out, but now I never see enough of.
It struck me, quickly and subtly at first, until by this evening I was bordering on tears. My friends had brought their partners with them; their partners to be married, or all-but-engaged. We had discussed over drinks about their mortgages, their progression up the ranks in careers. I felt empty inside. I had little or no morsel of information to offer back, to say how I had found someone equally long-term and close, they simply couldn’t make it here on a week day, such is life and finding the time. I too had plans for finding permanent settlement and a nice house with the mod-cons. Alas I remained still, taking in the conversation until the afternoon where we took to the 10-pin bowling alley and settled old scores as per the last reunions of 6 years ago. My feelings grew more colder as I watched the 2 dancing couples around me, mingling, the occasional meaningful smile and peck on the lips. I was in a tug of 2 emotions; happy to see friends who I knew had struggled at times in their life to finally find a happy place and someone to share their lives with, and yet empty with the unbearable thought of not knowing what this feeling was.
Every relationship I’ve seen in and out of my life I could described as “enduring”. I “endured” the time, striving to impress the wanton lady or man of the time, of which I believe at the time of writing this is now a total of 8 acquaintances and dances, lasting no more than 18 months. It hurts sometimes, other times it pushes me to find that one person. Either way on today of all days, it hurt like a freezing icicle through my chest. Towards the point of having to call it a day, and leaving to catch my train, my bottom lip was quivering. These were friends that wanted and seek my company, but due to the enormous distances in between us we could rarely ever meet. These were also friends who are about to commit to one of the most important decisions of their lives, who will settle down and undoubtedly start families of their own. Then what will happen to these reunions?
A most recent movie, “The Worlds End” had me laughing when I first watched it. I have loved Nick Frost and Simon Pegg’s work, but this most recent blockbuster upon reflection, plays on heart strings. I’m getting older, but I’ve not done the “older” things in life. I am the Gary King character without the suicidal tendencies or the drinking problem, not quite at the point of leading a band of robots across a post apocalyptic Earth, but the growing up seen by Gary in his old school mates of the 1990’s…
I witnessed that first hand today.