the other night, i came across a message that said that the frankfort middle school/high school band concert would be that night. having felt lazy all day, and recognizing that this may be the last band concert i ever attend, i came to the conclusion that i should go. if anything, it would be nice to walk amongst the warm, late-spring air that has been mostly absent this whole season. i walked with a smile on my face as the warm sun set behind the baseball field. the football field. route 5s. circa survive blaring in my ears. i entered the high school for the first time in two years. interestingly, the only thing that felt out of place was the fact that everywhere were banners and papers proclaiming “congratulations graduating class of 2009!”. even i didnt feel out of place. i knew which rooms belonged to which of my instructors. i could point out my senior locker. i floated through the senior hallway—through the auditorium—like a ghost. nobody recognized me. have i really changed that much in two years—four years? i was not offended by this. i was able to walk through a place still so familiar to me unseen—invisible. not under the watchful eye of teachers or administration.
the soloists and high school band performed amazingly.
the younger of my friends—seniors now, only 8th graders when i graduated—they recognized me. said hello briefly before being whisked away by their parents—bedtime. one of the custodians i worked with during the memorable summers of 2004 and 2005 recognized me. we talked. it was nice. and surprise surprise: i dont remember his name. frank is the best i can come up with. i think i am wrong.
i stepped into the band room—ms. asher barely recognized me. we talked for a short while. she congratulated my having graduated from oneonta—on my acceptance to graduate school. it was so odd seeing a younger teacher now from the perspective of somebody as equal as her: a college graduate. almost like we could be best friends if life allowed for it. it was an interesting idea to toy with in my head. i said goodbye to her for the last time, and began to walk home.
despite my likeness that evening to a ghost amongst tombstones, it was on that walk home—as i passed the tennis courts—that i realized that, no matter how much i sometimes dislike being here, no matter how much i sometimes dislike the people here, no matter how much i want to get the hell out of here already and move to albany, i will always have a home here, and at least a handful of human beings who love me. its a comforting thought.
it is beautiful here in the spring. when it warms up.
heres to you, frankfort.