While waiting in line to pay for lunch at our favorite Tex-Mex joint, I saw my old fifth grade teacher and my elementary school principal having lunch together. Apparently there was some truth to the playground allegations involving sitting in trees and people ending up in baby carriages.
This is a weird side-effect of living as an adult in the community in which I grew up. For whatever reason, all my closest chums moved off elsewhere, but many of my nodding acquaintances stuck around and I run across them pretty often. I knew them well enough back then to recognize them now but not well enough to stop and “catch up” with them.
Like the other day I was eating in a buffet restaraunt that I am loathe to admit on the Internet that I patronize. And I could have sworn that two tables to my left was — Jennifer, I think — a girl I knew in fourth grade who always said I had cooties. And across the restaraunt was a guy who threatened to beat me up in seventh grade. He was sitting with what looked like one of the girls we all thought were so “foxy” back then. But the other day, she just looked kind of tired. It’s a miniscule time warp — a sprinkling of long-forgotten past on top of the present moment.
It felt weird. I certainly wasn’t going to go over and say hi to any of them, but eating my buffet food in the same room but at different tables felt like I was back in the old school cafeteria at Ross Elementary.
Like the fact that I work with a number of my old schoolmates’ fathers, this time warp phenomenon is just part of my life in the Burbs from whence I came. You can go home again, apparently, but the feeling is surreal.