In a way, facebook is like your life flashing before your eyes right before you kick it for the last time.
(Originally posted on myspace on 2/16/08.)
Current mood: inquisitive
Today I’m in my high school auditorium. It’s graduation day. They made us sit alphabetically, so I’m not anywhere near anyone I give a hoot about — the people on whose shoulders I should be crying and with whom I should be sharing subversive whispers and knowing smiles — on this most sacred day.
Instead I’m stuck next to the Indian kid from down the street. We’ve been on the same bus and in the same homeroom since seventh grade and I’m not sure we’ve ever spoken. On the other side is the true irony — a former friend turned mortal enemy. Yes, it was over a guy. We don’t speak.
There are speeches. Everyone seems to think it’s amazing that we’re the first class of the last decade of the 20th century. Who can argue with that?
I wonder how my hair looks, since soon I’ll be singing with the chorus one last time and the whole thing will be broadcast on the school’s cable channel. People will be taping it.
They start calling names and handing out diplomas. I’m near the end of the alphabet but I’m listening hard for my friend’s names so I can hoot and holler for them, even though we’ve been warned to save our applause until the end — the last defiant act of a theatre geek, honor student and run-of-the-mill nobody in a class that is full of them.
The names keep coming. There are over 400 of us, so it’s going to be a while. There’s some shouting and clapping here and there, but other than that, it’s just names. I realize that there’s a part of me that’s waiting for some kind of tallying up of accomplishments and sins. I mean, this is IT. This is THE LAST MOMENT for any kind of retribution, any kind of justice.
If this were a movie, the bullies would be de-pantsed as they walked across the stage to accept their diplomas. The sluts would arrive with herpes sores and wouldn’t be able to stop scratching their crotches. Those who were too pretty would be struck down with oozing acne, shielding their shame with big hairdos, all pitched forward to cover bleeding foreheads and cheeks full of whiteheads. But we’d all know. And some geeky kid who is sure to go on to win the Nobel Prize some day, the kid who everyone made fun of except you and a couple other people, would make a speech that would make everyone realize what a great and important guy they had missed out on. You’d sit in your seat noddling slightly and smiling. You’d wipe away a tear.
If this were a movie, the day would end with all those people who broke your heart standing in the parking lot, crying, as you drive off into the sunset, sitting on the top of a seat in the back of a convertible, surrounded by friends and your super-hot boyfriend who induces jealousy in all those who dare to look upon him.
But, no. Just names. I accept my diploma. I sing with the chorus one last time, meet with the family, say goodbye and keep in touch to a hundred people and leave.
It’s over. It will take me and my friends, the few I actually do keep in touch with, a few weeks for it to sink in that it really is done, that we’re not accountable to those people anymore. It will take us longer to realize that none of it mattered at all. There will be no final accounting of passes and failures, profits and losses, etc., before we’re allowed to move on to the next phase. It was all a dream.
So that’s done.