Thursday, October 4, 2012
The Way We Were
By Thea Devine
Fifty years since high school. Yikes! Fifty YEARS??? That is a surreal number, and it couldn't possibly have been that long ago. Really.
Except it has, and this weekend, I attended my 50th high school reunion, which was actually a lovely event. But -- 30% of our class has passed away. We're all a certain age and while we all claim to feel much younger, the numerical truth is, mortality is closer than ever and time on the back end is in short supply, and that is damned scary.
Thinking about attending the reunion was scary. A weekend seemed like too little time to bridge a gap of fifty years. And how would that all break out? Would there still be the same cliques, the same alliances, the same feelings, even? Would I still feel like I was at the prom without a date?-
In the end, none of that happened: once we identified each other, we synched as if we'd seen each other just yesterday. Husbands and wives who'd come were folded in like they were old friends. The conversation never ended, it just shifted from group to group as we performed a "let's catch up" do-si-do.
There was such a nice sense of cohesion and a recognition that we do have a shared history, that we all grew up well, and neither time nor distance can take that away, whenever or wherever we might meet again.
I felt a hard urge to bring everyone home with me. I wanted to make sure at whatever next date we decided to get together again, we'd all still be here, even though that probably isn't realistic. And that's scary to think about.
Maybe that's why Hallowe'en -- and ghosts, ghouls, vampires and zombies have such a powerful hold on the imagination. Life beyond death, no matter form it takes, is beyond seductive, and perhaps worth the price you might have to pay.
It's fun to fictionally play with the idea of life beyond eternity. That's why we write. But mortality is just around the corner for all of us no matter how we fight it, no matter what we do. And contemplating that is scary too.
Thea Devine's books defined erotic historical romance. She just completed Beyond the Night (April 2013, Pocket Star eBook), the sequel to The Darkest Heart. The reissue of her erotic contemporary romance, His Little Black Book, is available now.