snapshot into eternity
June 10. 2000
On Wednesday, my high school graduated its latest batch of seniors. I was driving home from work, thinking how weird it is that I've already been out of high school for a year. It doesn't feel anywhere near that long. And, given the things I've been thinking about and feeling in the last few days, I feel very much like I was a year ago. It was even the same kind of weather on Wednesday as it was a year ago...warm and sunny, but not humid. It was so much the same that I found myself thinking about everything that happened that day.
I was a bit of a sensation that day because I was one of the few seniors who openly refused to go to Baccalaurate. Although it's a voluntary exercise in writing, all seniors and their parents are expected to attend. And I just didn't want to bother going to another church service. I wouldn't have gone to Graduation either, but my parents wouldn't hear of it. I know it's horribly anti-establishment of me to not want to go, but by that time I was just so sick of the place and all the people and the way I felt whenever I was there, that I couldn't stand much more of it. But go I did, and sat for three hours, trying to resist reading a book I had brought with me, listening to many melodramatic and sentimental speeches by my fellow students and administrators who came out of the woodwork for this very occasion. I'm not good at endings. I'm not good at goodbyes, either, so I tend to avoid them completely.
Probably my favorite moment of an otherwise rather tortuous evening was before the ceremony, when John and Sarah and I were all talking together, and John's mother came up to us and said, "C'mon, I want to get a picture of all of you." I really wish I had a print of that picture. I remember exactly how it felt, the sun to our backs as we grinned into the camera, ready to step off the edge of high school and into whatever else came next. I remember putting my arms around them and thinking how fitting an ending this was. A picture with the two people who were probably my best friends in an otherwise unremarkable four years at Cedar Crest High School.