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Monday, August 14, 2006

Paul, Part 2

Well, a very exciting weekend has just passed. My friend from high school and I got together (very briefly) and saw each other for the first time since June 1984 (graduation). He was part of a function happening in town and said I could drop by and check things out if I wanted to.. I did!

I took my 16 year old son and his friend and we headed towards town. Butterflies had taken up residence in my tummy, fluttering here and there. There were actually a couple times when I thought about turning the car around and going back home or just going to a mall, anything but what I was planning... quite nervous.

We arrived around 3pm and I let the kids roam around. I looked at every tall man to see if that was Paul. I had seen a picture, which he even claimed was not the greatest, so I really didn't know who I was looking for... and there were a lot of people. Finally after about an hour I saw someone who I thought might be him, but I really didn't know for sure, and didn't want to walk up to someone and say "Hi" if it was not him.

That moment passed and I did not see that man again, he had walked into a crowd. So, I pulled up my "big girl pants" and sent a text message to his cell phone number, then waited, and waited, and waited some more. During this time my son was sending me goofy test messages, and I was getting irritated. Finally the call came that I had been waiting for. It was Paul.

He was not there. Not in the building. Sigh. But, he was on his way back, he had to leave to get something and was about 10 minutes away. He told me that his hair was shorter than in the picture I had seen, and that he now wore glasses, and that he would be coming in the front door in a few minutes.

I sat close to the front doors of the establishment, but not too close. Didn't want to look to anxious. Mind you there were people coming in and out those door, mostly kids, but every once in a while was an adult. I would look at each man as the doors opened... nope this one was too old, this one was too short, too young, wrong race, etc... Those few minutes seemed like eternity.

Finally there was Paul walking thru the doors. It was the same man from earlier who I didn't want to approach in case it wasn't him.

Big smile on both our faces we hugged and looked at each other and we both lied a bit -- saying "I would have recognized you anywhere".... 22 years is a long time, after all things are said and done. He looked great, same smile as forever.. it was just my old friend Paul!

Another man walked by, this one was a rocker dude, with a modified mohawk and Paul called him over. "Shawn, come here... do you remember Michelle?" It was a guy we went to junior high thru high school with. Wow... meeting up now with two people. It was almost overwhelming.

We had only about 20-30 minutes to talk because they were both very involved in the function going on.. and had only a few minutes to spare. We talked about people we had gone to school with... "remember (so and so), he's a judge now" ... "yeah and (girl) is a lawyer" ... "(she) is a teacher" ... They talked about a prank they pulled in their poli-sci class. We mentioned the teachers who we didn't appreciate as much at the time but who we really admired.

It was really great. I met Shawn's wife. His 15 year old daughter was somewhere around the building but I didn't meet her. I don't know if Paul's girlfriend or kids were around. I did introduce them to Charlie. It was mentioned that it was kinda weird that we have kids who are almost the age we were the last time we were all in the same room!

It was interesting that we all seemed to have felt to be on the fringes in high school. I wonder if all people feel that way about when the were in school? Anyways, they had to get back to the function, and Charlie was pulling on me to leave and get home. So, I hugged the two men and said how great it was to see them both. I suggested that we get together and maybe have a little mini-reunion/bull session. I would really like get acquainted with them again... so, will see how that all turns out.

I kick myself because I took my camera, then totally spaced having a picture taken. Like I said it was a little overwhelming, to say the least. My head is still reeling.