I went to school with the same people, give or take a few, from age 5 through 18 (and to preschool with some starting at age 3). Granted, my Catholic High School added a number of people to the mix from other Catholic feeder schools, but a lot of them remained the same.
All these years later I still have dreams that I'm back in Clearwater, either at St. Cecilia's or Clearwater Central Catholic, with faces that stick in my mind to this day. Facebook has upped these specters appearing in my head, because they appear on my computer screen daily.
Some of them I've gotten to know as adults, and I like many now more than I did in high school. Others, whom I liked a lot, I've "de-friended" after reading their political rants that they seemed to inherit from their mom and dad, and are now passing along to their 2.5 kids. Clearwater, like everywhere, re-populates.
This photo popped up on my Facebook wall today. It's a group of 15 year old girls, and the one in the yellow wearing John Lennon glasses and holding the camera is me.
On that trip, my first to Europe, we took a ferry to Morocco, where I called my mom for her birthday ("Hey, I'm in Africa!"), took the train in Paris to see Jim Morrison's grave (despite note speaking a lick of French), and had my hair dyed for the first time -- from blonde to pink (it was supposed to be red).
I tried paella for the first time, listened to the Cure on my Walkman during hours on a tour bus, and stared out the window pining for Georgio Spoto. I wondered if I could ever be a writer, and I wore these stupid pool ball printed boxer shorts as shorts because I thought that was cool.
Although I don't remember where this was taken, I often think of these cobblestone streets, wandering through them at dusk and dawn, my love of travel cemented.