It appears that I am a regular time traveler. I do it constantly. And I can tell you exactly how to do it too. Just think of a place where you spent a lot of time or had a meaningful experience, but haven't been back to in years. Then go there. And suddenly all concepts of time will warp and twist and you will wonder what year it is and how old you are.
Perhaps I'm being a bit dramatic. Can't help it. It's my nature. And funny enough, the subject of my post today just so happens to be about drama.
I'm skipping ahead in my blogging by the way - there are many things waiting to be blogged about such as birthdays and cousin visits and stuff, which I'll definitely get to. However, since I just had a total time travel experience, I had to write about it before the feelings dissolve into placid memory.
I went to a play at East High School tonight - I was supposed to go with my dear friend Elyse - it was totally her idea to go. It was a production called Take 5 - EHS has been doing this for over 50 years. It's a selection of five one-act plays that are written, produced and directed by students. It's pretty cool. I mean, some of the plays are of course way better than others, but it's a really neat tradition at the school. In fact, way back in 1991 I was the student producer, I had a play in the group and I directed one as well. I was very involved. But I haven't been back to see any for such a long time. It feels like probably since I was married I haven't been back to see any shows, shame on me. So when Elyse invited me, I accepted and was excited. So excited in fact that when Elyse let me know shortly before we were supposed to leave that her husband was sick and she couldn't make it....I went any way. I just felt the desire to go.
Begin time travel. EHS has changed a lot since I graduated - lots of new remodeled areas - I don't think I could find my way around there any more or even recognize most of it. But they left the auditorium and "Little Theater" in the basement just as they were. Entering that room with its black-painted walls and iron-barred balcony along one wall....even the wide metal doors brought back such a tidal wave of memory and feeling I was in shock and really was happy to just sit quietly and look around.
I enjoyed the shows quite a bit - they were funny, or off the wall, and one was desperately serious and poignantly written. And when they were over I almost just scurried off. Instead I sat and pondered. I thought about my own high school experience of being totally and completely immersed in the theater department - it was my absolute world for four years. As I watched the cute high school kids putting on the show I tried to get a glimpse of what might be going on beyond the performance; what kind of social structure existed and who had a history with whom. How many of these kids lived for the department and how many were only in a show or two? Of course I'll never know. The only thing I know is that seeing a play is just getting a bare glimpse of the surface of the experience of those kids. (Who all looked WAY younger than I ever felt when I was there.) I even saw the drama teacher, who had a very familiar and sleep-deprived look on his face which reminded me fiercely of my own dear drama teacher, Carter. How many hours did I spend in those rooms over those four years? Impossible to even guess. More time than I ever spent at home, I can tell you that!
When I finally began to make my way to the exit, I noticed the drama teacher standing in the doorway to his office and it occurred to me to ask him about The Scrapbooks. Way back when I was there, the drama club president each year was responsible for creating a scrapbook for the year, filling it with pictures and programs, funny notes and memorabilia. I remember pouring over those books and have often wondered if they were still in existence. The teacher knew right where they were and let me kneel in his office and browse through them. I hope he didn't notice that as I found the first book from one of my high school years I was hit with a fist of emotion and promptly began to weep a little. I quickly snapped a few pictures from them, but saw that I would need to return with a real camera and really capture these treasures.
This is probably a long, dumb, boring post for you. Sorry. I am reeling with memories and love for the luck I enjoyed when I entered high school and found my tribe, my people, my very first year there. That group of people meant a great deal to me, and whenever I get tired of a teenagers behavior and begin to roll my eyes at whatever drama they've got themselves upset about, all I have to do is cast my mind back to those precious years in the EHS drama department and remember all I experienced and learned there and I feel more patient and understanding. I'm so grateful I felt prompted to go this evening, despite Elyse's absence.