In a week’s time this blog will be old enough to drink in the US. 21 years of my drivel is more than anyone needs, but I’ve been re-reading the stuff from my mid-to-late 20s (I needed to look something up and fell down a bit of a hole), and it’s simultaneously wince-inducingly egotistical (with the caveat that a lot of that period was written for Livejournal, which had it’s own set of content norms) and well, actually quite funny in parts, if I say so myself.
I’d try and write a bit more like that now, but I don’t think I can do it without also invoking the wince-inducing parts. Obviously, 40-something year old me is enjoying how much 20-something year old me thought he knew. My major sin appear to have been being far too impressed with my own cleverness, and when 60-something year old me reads this, I imagine he’ll think much the same. Still, if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?
All credit to those of you who put up with me in my twenties and are still around – you obviously have the patience of saints. (Those of you who put up with me now will get thanked when I’m in my 60s, obviously. Stick around.)
But wow, the number of people I’ve more or less lost touch with from that era is both humbling and bit saddening. (In as much as they were lovely people I was hanging out with.) Obviously, that’s just life at work – there are only so many hours in the day, and people grow and change, and there really only so many relationships one can properly maintain.
I could fill this post with a list of names of people I’d love to catch up with in the manner of a school reunion, but there’s no real social construct for a 10/20 year reunion of a random set of friends that some group members have drifted apart from – the closest was the V-reunion we had the other year, but the other friend groups have nothing like it. (And in many cases are still going reasonably strong, I just don’t see the people involved in the flesh more than once in a blue moon.)
There’s a decent number of the obvious names that I’m connected to on Facebook, but it’s absolutely not the same – but then we’re all (I was about to write 10, but it’s closer to) 20 years older, and doing memes spelling out our usernames in the titles of albums we like is probably something we’ve outgrown. And there’s still more that I’m definitely not connected to any more. Casualties of my not being on Facebook at the time Livejournal died, as much as anything I imagine.
But those various social-network memes of “if you’re reading this, even if we don’t speak much, post a memory of me” make quite a lot of sense in that context. They’re a way to assert/check for a form of intimacy that social media robs us of, and the last year has particularly robbed us of.
I’m obviously not going to do one of those, but in the unlikely event that the people I’ve dropped out of regular contact with – those of the V I don’t see much any more, the varous semi-reformed-goths, the Saturday afternoon coffee-opposite-the-British-Museum people, the London actual goth crowd of Slimelight and various other clubs circa 2004-2007 are reading this: yes, I do still think about you with a smile. (And not just when I’ve been re-reading old blog entries.) If anyone is organising a reunion, do let me know.