A couple of weeks ago, I discovered something:
I am invisible.
Now, I know you’re thinking I went off the deep end. I can assure you, I don’t think I can walk around nude, breaking into people’s houses and spying on them without them knowing I’m in the same room with them. Not invisible like that. Invisible like…well…let me step back for a moment.
I have often said that the closest thing I will ever know to jail was the years I spent in high school. Don’t get me wrong…I dated and made a few friends, like Churchill, Renee, Kevin and my ole buddy Steve (who I haven’t really had much contact with in recent years, other than birthday and Christmas cards, but I think he knows that, if he ever needed me for something, I’d be there, and I think he’d do the same for me). But for the vast majority of the time, high school was just…painful. And even 30 years later, I carry a lot of baggage with me from those four years.
Now what does all this have to do with being invisible?
Every once in a great while, I get a bit nostalgic. I start to look up people on the internet that I knew back then, to see how they are doing. Not being on Facebook, this can be difficult, so I try to find pictures from reunions.
I found the 30 year reunion pictures recently. I thought, “Funny, I never got an invitation…not that I ever do or anything…weird.” Then I noticed a section that said “List.” I clicked on it and there was a document that said something to the effect that “We don’t know how to get in touch with these people, if you know where to contact them, please let us know.” And, lo and behold, my name was not on the list.
“Maybe they think I’m dead,” I thought, so I went to that page. Nope, not on that list. I went back and looked at the original list. I must have stared at it for 5 minutes…my name was not there.
The only conclusion I can come to is that, apparently, I was a complete non-entity for much of my high school years. Wow…I mean…I KNOW I was bullied a lot. But some people must have seen me, right? Maybe not. Maybe those years were really a dream…no…that can’t be it. I guess except for a handful of friends, and a whole bunch of bullies, I was invisible.
So why am I writing this? Well, my first blog posting said one of the reasons I was doing this was as a form of therapy. And now I have a couple things to say.
First, to my friends mentioned above, although we don’t stay in close touch, I really do love you all. I wish you all nothing but the best.
As for the rest of you, who apparently either chose to bully me or pretend I didn’t exist, I want to tell you a few things about myself. I’ve been married almost 24 years to a wonderful woman. I live in a really cool place. I make a good living. I have really good friends like Cynthia, Mary and David, Phil and Liora, and of course Leslie and Jan. I like to cook. I’m funny. I love animals. Yes, I am still short, I still wear glasses, and I still like the Beatles.
You may have chosen not to get to know me, to see who I really am, but you know what? That’s your loss, because I’m a nice guy. Yes, I have faults like everyone else. But I’m a really nice guy. And I truly feel sorry for you, because you’ll never know what you missed in not taking a few moments out of your lives to get to know me.
And now, maybe, just maybe, I can start let go of that baggage.
Now, about that mushroom ragout…