Ever since I graduated, I had always felt slightly blasé about meeting up with my millennial counterparts, the class of 2006. Not that I disliked my classmates or anything, but I had my teen years behind me and had only casually stayed in touch with a handful of folks (social media not included). Yet when I first saw the event page and invite proposing a laid-back “meet-up” for drinks at a downtown pub, I warmed to the idea. Drinking, for me anyway, takes the pressure off, which is perhaps why many of best stories and memories I have are due to some imbibing.
I had somehow become a quasi-coordinator of our ten year meet-up. Well not really, coordinator; I guess I was just trying to make the event more formal than it was (or even a separate, “black-tie” affair). Although my travel commitments made my organizational skills mediocre at best, in a way, I was glad nothing more came about. Sometimes life has a way of surprising you…
It had begun as one might expect. A few of us guys had met up for dinner beforehand, including my next door neighbour and other longtime friends I had known for – GASP – over twenty years. It was actually quite nice – food, drinks, chit-chat – just a bunch of old chums catching up and shooting the breeze. It helped as well, in preparation for all the people we knew that were getting loose a few doors down from us.
Although many of us had now married or were engaged, and a few of us had had kids, I privately wondered if the night was going to turn into one of the stereotypical reunions we always hear about: were two single former classmates going to laugh and bond and inevitably hook up at the end of the night? To the best of my knowledge, that did not end up happening; if it did no one posted about it on FaceBook – which, let’s face, is sometimes the only way we know what has happened to past acquaintances in our lives.
Much of the night was a vivid whirlwind, shifting back and forth between various individuals and groups, some of whom with which my relationship was a bit more complex. There were good, longtime friend whom I had been close with as a child; others who we knew but didn’t follow in the same the social circles are even take classes with. A couple bought me drinks as a “thank you” for helping organize, though I don’t think I deserved it. A few kids from the year below us also happened to be at the same bar, though I don’t it was by chance.
Chance, I suppose that, like life, that is really what this story is about. It was probably around 1am, I had had several drinks, but was by no means “going hard” and still had a good head on my shoulders. The party had seemed to be naturally slowing down, so I had decided to take a seat. That’s when I heard his voice. He happened to be sitting on the stool next to me, but I didn’t recognize him at first. He had had asked me my last name a had I made the assumption that he was somebody I hadn’t gotten around to yet. When he told me who he was, my life hit me like a ton of bricks.
He was just a kid the last time we saw each other eleven years ago. We were in the same theatre show together, though he was just eleven at the time; I was seventeen. We got to chatting and he introduced me to his hairdresser/barista roommate and their other friend. I suppose that’s when the night really took off.
Back at his place, we ended up having more to drink – because of course we did – this time it was his roommate’s Korean rice wine, from when she was 16 and had done an overseas trip. There was some powdered Molly snorted. Eventually, the two guys left the room, leaving just her and I alone together.
My so-called year of asexuality ended rather quickly that night. One minute we were kissing on the couch, the next, our bodies were intertwined together. So, I guess in a way, I ended up a high school reunion stereotype. However, this is not where our story ends.
We did our best to cover ourselves up and went back to join the boys, and everything, and everyone, became a little bit muddled. Everybody kissing everybody and some sort of werid/drug-fuelled pseudo-battled ensued. I decided to take the two of us (me and her that is) away from the action for our own little party. This time, as we were obviously a little more out of it, we ended up in a different room, with an unopened, unlocked door. Clearly that was interpreted as an invitation and pretty soon we were all together, in various stages of nudity.
We were the first two to wake up in the am, and it turned out to be not as awkward as I feared. Inevitably, I was still a little woozy, only going on a couple of hours of sleep. Nevertheless, we both reached our destinations in relatively stable condition.
And that was that. After fighting off a sickness for a couple of days, I returned home to the mainland a few days later, and they going back to their lives. Whether I see any of them again, remains to be seen, though it would be nice, but at least, for one night, I got to have a good time, unfiltered and uninhibited. Definitely a high school reunion for the ages.