Friday, November 26, 2004

Ghosts of my alma mater

I recently joined after following a link in a blog I read. It provides a web-based database of every school (both primary and secondary) in Australia (and New Zealand I believe). You can enter your details for your years of attendance and search for fellow school-leavers.

After entering my details, with some trepidation, I began to search for former classmates. To my surprise, there were quite a few entries from people from my high-school graduating class. The biographies that people offered were limited and gave one the tiniest wormhole into what they may have been up to for the past 17 (eek!) years. My own biography consisted of: "Went to Uni. Got a job. Got married. Got divorced. Moved to Melbourne." I was happy to see a few names of people whom I would love to contact, and a few others of people that I was surprised to find.

So then I began to widen my search to the graduating years above and below me, and neighbouring schools. Finally, I decided to look at my "brother" school. Going as I did to an all-girl school, we had a nearby boys school as our obligated male partners to functions. Many of the boys I knew from primary school, so a search there was warranted. As the database revealed its search contents, my jaw dropped when I saw a name I never thought to see again.

There are people who make a short but outstanding impression in your life. L was one of those people. He was a beautiful and creative soul. Incredibly handsome and a great deal of fun for me. He became a friend to me, and my partner to my Grade 12 formal. Since I had no boyfriend at the time, he filled the date duties well, by being a wonderful escort, a total gentleman, and by looking stunning in the photos recording the event. I think it goes without saying that he was also gay.

He lived a few streets away from me and during that break between high school and the rest of your life, we spent much time plotting and planning our futures.

In the year or two following the end of high school, we lost contact - as inevitably happens. I heard a number of stories about where he went and what he was doing. And none of them were happy.

One story had him as a drug addict.

One story had him in the late stages of HIV.

So you can imagine my overwhelming sense of joy and surprise when I saw his name listed amongst his former classmates. Happier still when I found that he is currently studying and living in the same city as me! I would like to try and catch up with him and see if what we liked about each other is still relevant all these years on. What are the chances?


Anonymous said...

We've spoken before about those people who seem to have a special role in the life of others. Miss S is definitely one of those people and perhaps L is one of these people for you as well, maybe there's a lesson that you forgot and need to be reminded of.

On a much less sappy note - can you change your schoolfriends profile - it's a common profile and you're certainly not someone I'd describe as common in any sense of the word. - R

Cath said...

Gee shucks R - you are a sweetie. You are definitely right about Miss S. Her prescence in my life has certainly been a fruitful one.

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