I wasn’t going to write about this, but this morning Nirvana’s song “School” has been stuck in my head. Cobain was a genius at taking a simple idea and turning it into a haunting mantra that invades your psyche — the bridge where Kurt mutters over and over “You’re in high school again,” leading to the screaming chorus of “No recess!” I have nightmares that are like this song.
Which brings me back to the reunion last weekend. It’s pretty pedestrian to say, but it really is remarkable how much being in that room made me actually feel as if I was in high school again. And high school was not a fun time for me. Everybody I talked to was nice to me and all, but I just didn’t feel comfortable, in much the same way that I never really felt comfortable 20 years ago. It was a strange and sort of sickening sensation that I still haven’t quite finished processing.
Being back in Alabama has its ups and downs that way, but even the downsides are things that I think are important for me to get through and think about. They are a part of this homecoming experience that is just as important as reconnecting with my family and friends here and being able to eat breakfast for less than $8.