Forgetting Friends

For about 18 years now I've had a specific memory plague me which ironically was due to the lack of many memories. For whatever reason, I don't have a clue why, my memories of high school are few and far between. And unfortunately, this doesn't preclude the lack of all my memories with some of my then very good (and near 'only') friends. I was a loaner of some sorts, and the number of friends I considered close were few. A few of these great friends I carried on into my adult life. I even kept in touch at various times with some of them (and still do with a couple). A couple others stayed in my mind only.

Although there were more than one, the particular friend that I write of now, and think of at least once a month (along with those I did remember), is one that I spent near all my time with during and after school. We were even great football teammates. And yet, regrettably, is one I lost in my mind.

My high school is one that actually did a 5-year reunion. Despite the better judgment I used for school dances, I went. All went fairly well during the beginning of the reunion, until one of my best friends walked up and asked if I remembered him. Again, this was only 5 years after graduation (6 actually for me 'cause I dropped out my first month of my senior year). My mind went blank. And I mean absolutely blank. The ONLY person I could think of was another friend I had in 5th/6th grade, and that's the name I guessed. Wrong!

Embarrased? No. Ashamed. And to make it worse, I can't describe the number of emotions he went through in the next 30 seconds. I'm sure anger was in there somewhere. His best friend that he was always with who was also my friend by proxy was with him, and I couldn't recall his name either. I've never gone or even considered going to another reunion again.

Half of my issue is I didn't have any yearbooks to look through. But that's just an excuse. You don't forget your true friends - ever! At least that's the stance I would have taken if I weren't in my shoes.

I've rationalized this situation a lot since it happened. I know I see my life in blocks, chunks, chapters, or even mini-stories. High school is the one short story that has most of it's pages missing. Singed page fragments of a scorched book.

Obviously there's a reason for it, but in my mind, there's no taking it back or excusing it. Because the thick of it is, I should have stayed in touch in the first place.

The only thing I could ever do is to wholeheartedly say, I'm sorry.

So, Cliff Salonga, if you ever read this, I am truly sorry. I have no idea where my memories went, but they did indeed go. I did find a yearbook later on, and was able to recollect some of the memories through a few photos (one in particular taken with our group during a class break). It was then I also remember how many M&Ms I used to eat.

How I can ever forget as much as I have, even if I can ever understand it, will never forgive it.


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