Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Excavating my '80s

I've spent the afternoon reviewing my life from about twenty years ago--letters, mostly and some photos I've saved over the years. My father was kind enough to store much of these mementos for me while I was in college and later living in NY, where there just isn't much room for the past in general. I should have the Psychedelic Furs or Peter Gabriel or Madonna playing, but instead the distant mumbling of NPR denizens dissecting the election are wafting in from the kitchen.

It's been both hard and exhilarating. There are letters I've been dreading coming across, and no, time has not healed those wounds, unfortunately. Maybe in another twenty years. And how pitiful that I take the time to reread letters from people I had terrible crushes on, in a pathetical effort to feel better about myself. (They noticed me! They really really noticed me!) I must congratulate myself on one aspect, however--most of aforesaid crushes were wonderful writers. Was it fortune, or good judgment on my part? (I'll consult the Magic 8Ball tomorrow for an answer.) I've been deriving great pleasure from their missives in that sense. Even if they never become well known, I possess evidence of their skill. And I'm proud to be hoarding it.

It's a little odd to read letters from friends who are no longer friends, however. For the most part, I think diverging of paths is natural, and I don't have many regrets. But there are some friends I wish I were still in touch with. I've been doing a few Google searches, iSleuthing around. It's especially odd that friends, good, close friends, have come and gone. I still mourn the Vickie era--I've never really had a friend like her, before or since.

I've also noticed that there was a period where I seemed to have worn the same dress in most of my pictures. I remember that dress well, and loved it, which I guess explains why I wore it so much. I picked out my first wedding dress wearing that dress. Upon further reflection and the addition of twenty years, however, that damn thing looks hideous.

So when I've got this all packed up and organized to my Virgo heart's desire (which must happen before my aunt arrives next week; cat Veronica has been most helpful, wandering through my neat stacks and plopping her enormous fur whale self onto a column here, crashing it into another there), when will I ever review it again? When I've forgotten even more of the characters in the play of my life, no doubt. I should make an appointment to go through everything every few years, if for no other reason to be grateful for how much I've learned, and for how many wonderful people I've shared my life with, however briefly.


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