Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Tempus Bloody Fugit
It is an odd thing to come back to one's homeland after an 18-year absence. Certain things have stayed the same. Other things have changed. Change is inevitable. One has to accept that as fact and move on. Often it is hard to do so. Especially when one has for so long idealised in one's mind how something is going to be, how it's going to look and feel. I realise I am 18 years older, but somehow it can be hard to accept that my peers have also aged. In my mind's eye they are all the way I left them. Of course, there are those that I have recently reconnected with through the joys of FriendsReunited, MySpace and Facebook, and so I was prepared to see them older. Some look great. Most look the same, just a little greyer and crinklier.
It can be a crushing disappointment to see someone that you fancied in school twenty years on and discover that they have not aged well. One likes to imagine the scenario of the reunion and play it out in one's head, including how the other person is going to look. When that day finally comes and you see that the eyelids have drooped, the brow is furrowed and those little downward lines at the corners of the mouth are very pronounced, it makes your heart sink. The hair is still the same, the face the same basic shape and layout, but the bits that have aged have no endearing qualities, rather, they have turned what used to be a pretty girl into a haggard adult. And even though I'm a married man and there would have been nothing vaguely romantic about a chance reunion, it still made me shy away and think "Wow... dodged a bullet there".
Doubtless I'll run into her again, but this time I'll know what to expect. This time I'll stop and say hi. It is also inevitable that this scenario will happen many times as I bump into other old crushes and acquaintances. It's just another reminder that I'm getting old. Such as all the young folk I work with that were busy getting born around the time I went to the States in the first place. It blows my mind to think that there are people who are buying their first legal beer in a British pub right now that were being born on the day that The Silence Of The Lambs won five Oscars. Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing, but getting older is a bitch.