I had coffee with an old high school friend today.
It was a little odd.
I am out of practice talking to people outside of my parenting world. I worried about my ability to carry a conversation, to be interesting.
We talked about a mutual friend that committed suicide.
It was nice to talk with someone about that shared traumatic experience. Not nice, but comforting. Who wants suicide as a shared experience? It is like this awful thing we carry around with us, that profoundly shaped who we are, but is not something we can talk about with other people. He said that the experience made him shy away from being alternative or artistic, at the time, as if the end result was insanity and death.
Interestingly, I had just the opposite reaction. I wanted to reject every middle class and mainstream thing in my life.
I felt that the mainstream murdered my friend.
I have continued to feel that way since 1985, until today, sitting in a noisy cafe, when I suddenly felt like I was possibly wrong, childish or foolish to harbor such bitterness and resentments.