I believe in going home. In my home town, there is a peculiar circle of people, composed of about eight or nine girls and ten or eleven boys. We all grew-up in the same wonderful town, and though some of us may have graduated different years, we all went to the same high school. When high school ended the group scattered to new locations – Lubbock, Norman, College Station, Austin, and others. The trait that distinguishes us from other high school friends, though, is that we all come back. We come back not just for the holidays or during the summer, but also some times just on a random weekend.
You can find the girls’ cars and the boys’ trucks parked in front of a house or in an open field to drink, smoke, and talk. Somehow, with just some alcohol, cigarettes, and each other’s company, we manage to suspend, perhaps even turn back, time until the sun rises. Never mind the things that have happened since high school, the things that have changed us. Never mind that some of us have jobs now, even careers. Never mind the fact that couples we graduated with are engaged or even married. Never mind that we are rapidly growing older. When we’re together, all the things that age a person – responsibility, stress, grief – are vanished, and the things that keep a person young – laughter, friendship, silliness – take focus.
Each one of these people are distinctive; an entire spectrum of personality traits can be found. At once, this group includes some of the most amiable and arduous, most open-minded and the most ignorant, most mature and most immature, most determined and most apathetic people I know. The only two things we all have in common now are our hometown and each other. Our hometown: the same high school, the same Tom Thumb where we would all park our cars to go to parties together, the same streets that we would drive at all hours of the night singing and dancing out the windows. And each other: the same memories with the same friends for the same years, the same laughter when the boys decide to dress in drag and crash girls night in, and the same tears shed when a dear friend was killed on a highway at age 20.
In short, we share the same past, and while some people find this kind of relationship in family, we’ve found it in each other. We all know that it will never be quite the same, we have grown up, we have changed, and we have become adults slowly but surely. We also know that in those fleeting moments that each of us make the effort to come together and share, we can freeze time, if just for day, we can be who we were, and who we are and love each other just the same. Mistakes and imperfections don’t matter around this group, because this group is family, this group is home. This I believe.
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