Reuniting with people is... strange. Cool, much of the time, but still strange. It happens at the strangest of places too, making it even more bizarre. The supermarket can even bring about the sighting of someone you haven't seen for years and years. That's what I did today with so many people when I went to my old elementary school today.
I went there with the puppet troupe I volunteer for and I happened to have spare time afterwards. So, of course, I figured I would visit everyone. It was quite strange to me going back there because everything seemed so much smaller. Nothing had changed and yet everything had changed.
Right before the show, I saw a familiar form. I thought, Is this it? Is this really him? But then, as he walked closer to the cafeteria, I knew that it was him and that he hadn't changed a bit in terms of appearance. And so I met up with him and we talked and it was quite cool to catch up with him. He didn't recognize me at first (unsurprising considering that, in addition to growing, I cut my hair, started to wear makeup and got my braces off).
There's so much space to cover that it's hard to cover especially since it's been years since we've last seen each other. I could say "Nothing much" but that's not really true. So much has happened, little and big both, that I didn't even know how I'm even supposed to respond to what he had said. So I told him the basics about my writing awards and how I got into photography and all of that good stuff. It wasn't like I had that long of a time but it was long enough for me to feel waves of nostalgia rolling through me as I did.
How do I explain how different that I was anyway? I was such a strange sixth grader and I am so, so different now. Could he even get that in the span of a few minutes?
And that's the true disconnect in reunions. You don't know that person at all and they are now a practical stranger and yet... You still have those feelings for them, that connection through memories. You had a memory of them frozen in time but things have changed, so many things have changed. It's hard to start off on somewhat new footing because you don't even have scratch but something worse than scratch. The new person in front of you is in so many ways unfamiliar and will be for a while. No words can really bridge that.
It is, of course, always interesting and enlightening to catch up and find out where a person is. To see an update on things. Sometimes they can be in the craziest of places really and completely shock you. It's cool, of course, and yet... The lingering sense of weird still stays.