Have you ever been completely blindsided by nostalgia? Well I got flattened by a freaking nostalgia train yesterday. Normally this would just be a pleasant diversion, but in this world we live in now, these kinds of occurrences haunt me. I feel like I’m walking around in a daze. It’s all the cognitive dissonance, I think.
So I was walking through Haven with my baseball bat (it’s still my security blanket and probably always will be. It basically works like a walking stick now.) Everything was good, and some guy working on the wall walks by singing some snippet of a dance song from the 90’s. He’s singing and working and suddenly I’m back in the 7th grade at a dance I completely forgot I went to. I literally stopped dead in my tracks.
I was there. All of Haven melted away and I was in this big room with a bunch of dancing preteens. I’m on the outskirts (as I always was), watching a really cute girl (as I always was), and this song is blaring in my ears. And life is suddenly so simple.
It’s a testament to how messed up this world can get that I’m pining for the simplicity that came from middle school, a time in my life that was maybe a notch above the ninth circle of hell. I still haven’t bounced back from that flashback. I’m looking at everything through that filter of childhood now. What would my preteen self say if he knew the zombie apocalypse was coming and that everyone in his life was going to die? Friends, teachers, the anonymous cute girl. They all died and yet I, the social misfit standing in the corner at the dance, survived. I don’t think anyone saw that coming.
I think about everyone I knew, everyone who made up my preteen world and it’s sobering to know they’re all dead. At least I assume so. It’s a sad reality of the world today that death really is the safest assumption as to a person’s ultimate fate.
I’ve been in this odd little world all day today. It’s not unpleasant. It’s just a strange way of looking at this already strange world. And I think my brain is trying to milk it for all its worth before I have to walk past walls holding back moaning monsters, on my way to mediate arguments between grown adults who can’t stop acting like children. For the first time in my life, I don’t want to leave middle school.