High school was an awkward time.
You’re either one to fondly reminisce or discreetly sweep it all under the carpet of adulthood – never to utter a mention of puberty or pimples again.
I have mixed recollections.
There was a time where I was probably a carpet sweeper. But living overseas kept me distant and removed from all teenage memories. Stepping into adult life, there were moments of nostalgia, wondering what happened to those who influenced you when you were vulnerable and young.
This is a story about an unlikely friendship. But one that has stood the test of time.
It’s about the boy that provided fun and laughter while jamming in the music classroom – me bashing away on the beat up old piano and him strumming on a cheap nylon stringed guitar.
My Guitar Buddy.
Whether we were talented or not, that didn’t matter. We both just loved playing music.
My Guitar Buddy and I weren’t in the “popular group”. Although, neither did we hang out with the nerds. We both happily coasted along in the happy medium.
We were amongst the students who diligently completed homework, never got into trouble with the teachers and were involved in swotty extra-curricular activities like playing the clarinet in the school orchestra or singing in the choir (Glee, much ?)
In the beginning of his budding music career, my Guitar Buddy was an oblivious figure. Floating through the school corridors in anonymity.
As for girlfriends ? None to really speak of. Just his musical platonic partner in crime – yours truly – who he had*ahem* tentatively promised to take to the Year 10 formal.
Then, like all legendary rock stars, he landed his big break.
Assigned to play in the high school rock band for the annual high school musical – he of course was the main guitarist, and I took over on the keyboards – my Guitar Buddy shot up in the popularity stakes.
He became an overnight sensation. Our yearbook voted him as “The Guy You Would Most Like To Have Dinner With.”
Then came every male rock musician’s ultimate dream: the female fan club.
Playing the blues on the guitar snagged the chicks. And there were plenty.
With an abundance in choice created by his sudden fame, decisions on who to take to the Year 10 formal became somewhat tainted.
No harm done. I ended up having an awesome time with my girlfriends. While apparently at his after party, he drank so much that he threw up near the host’s backyard fence…almost all over his pretty, blonde date.
20 plus years later, when he found me, his initial email message also included a heartfelt apology for not taking me to the formal.
Life works in mysterious ways.
Even after a 20 year hiatus, there must be an explanation why we have mutually gone to great lengths to become reacquainted – his visits to Sydney and our recent trip to Tasmania.
We can still share a laugh. We can still talk about music. As adults, our values in life are closely aligned. Even our families get along.
I guess it’s only natural that this post, a tribute to our lasting friendship, is written on – of all days – his birthday.
There’s a few things about high school that I would gladly leave in the past – my peacock 80’s hairstyle and obsession with hairspray; my bedroom wallpapered with posters of Duran Duran; my gaudy hot pink tube skirt.
There’s barely a handful of high school friendships that I will commit to.
But my Guitar Buddy and I ? We’re solid.
I’m still friends with the boy everyone wanted to have dinner with.