11.14.2008

Ghosts

I see them everywhere. Forever etched into my mind as adolescents, it is a bit of a shock when I see them in their adult form. Full-fledged grown-ups, just like me.

The woman behind me in line at the grocery store, an old friend from middle school. The friendship ended badly, over something petty that I no longer remember. We both avert our eyes, not wanting to call attention to the painful details of our shared past.

The gas station attendant who fixed my car, a boy mercilessly bullied throughout his teenage years. A speech impediment continues to plague him. I wonder if memories of being on the receiving end of countless wedgies in the boys' bathroom continue to haunt him. I thank him for his help and quickly leave.

The woman manning a craft table at our hometown fall festival, former arch rival from elementary school. I turn the other way and all but sprint in the opposite direction. A nasty child surely grown into a nasty adult, someone I do not care to associate with.

I see them everywhere. And I know they see me too. Yet, we say nothing. Maybe someday we will outgrow those old hurts and find the courage to start anew.

7 comments:

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

Once again, I am right there with you! Living where we grew up, this is par for the course. This just reminded me of a few awkward encounters, hmm, might have to post about that.

And way to get in the game, nicely played.

Niksmom said...

*sigh* I think you just described my experiences on moving back to my hometown after being gone for 25 years.

Well done on the you know what. :-)

Jordan said...

This is amazing to think about. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was 18, although I now go to visit and realize what a lovely place it was and that I would probably be happy there as an adult. But I have never had that experience and it's really fascinating to read about it.

Thanks for sharing it, and for participating - if you know what I mean.

jess said...

i'm missing the inside joke

Stimey said...

This is one of the reasons I'm glad I live far, far away from the town I grew up in.

kristen said...

I'm with Stimey. Far far away...

Osh said...

those ghosts haunt me too