Monday 19 June 2017

Adolescence: Revisiting the RSS Class of 1981

Calling from the deep
This morning as I got to work, my phone rang and at the other end of the line was a voice I could not make out. A name and my memory went into a tailspin, I was trying to remember a quinquennial period of my life that ended just a few days over 36 years ago and my recall was not recalling much.
Apparently, one of the most enterprising of my secondary schoolmates, and I mean that in every way, he drove his own vehicle to school, but was not given a parking space within the school walls. He had set up a WhatsApp group and invited the class of 1981 to join. I was added to the group and very few could remember who I was.
Now, that I think of it, apart from my sadness at the way the Parents and Teachers Association of my secondary school treated my class in the summer of 1980, I have hardly written about my secondary school life. Yet, it is not without event and adventure.
More fiends than friends
One other thing is I have not necessarily kept contact with the closest friends I made in secondary school, from the scoundrel to the evasive, the fleeting contacts we made afterward only showed how divergent our lives had become. The common strain that brought us together was kids born abroad and with another bedwetters, but that did not beyond school materialise into friendships.
It is strange that in a conversation with my dad some time ago, he noted that I had not cultivated friendships with my secondary school mates. Then I think of friendships I have tried to rekindle from my primary school days and other friendships that have lasted a lifetime from my post-secondary school days.
There are issues that seem to set my secondary school relationships apart and I do believe the time has come to begin to document those parts of my history. Then again, I have acquaintances I made in secondary school who have indeed become friends, not only that, I have made friends with their relations too, who in some cases have married into relations of mine.
My large family of One
However, this collision of the shadows of the past with the intricate and delicate balance of my present brings some interesting areas of complex and somewhat strained conversation. We all make assumptions about the lives of others following a particular trajectory when in reality, that is rarely the case.
I have to tackle the very extant and pertinent question, “How are you and your family?”. Indeed, I have woken up in a jolt from the nightmare of dreaming I had a wife and two children. The thoughts even in the dreams questioning how all this happened to me without my involvement.
I was once integrated with a nuclear family until I was 10 before I was sent to boarding school, after that, the family was a nebulous mix of close and distant relations, many of whom I now hardly know, some have already passed on and others I relate to on Facebook. I have three half-brothers I have never met, one of whom is already a father.
In my bowels, I have reached the age of grandfatherhood, I know this because one of my very close friends who is much younger than I am has been a grandfather for at least 5 years. Yet, I cannot say I do not have a family, rather, I do have a family, it is a large family of one. I never married, I have never had kids. To enter into much more detail about that would challenge the seemingly conservative disposition of some of the entrants into the WhatsApp group.
Conserve on the detail
Suffused with religious supplication and the grandiosity of prayerful incantations, the more liberal matters of a life less ordinary may not be understood, neither would I want to impose any of my worldviews into the Remo Secondary School (RSS) Class of 1981.
My family is well, I am glad to reacquaint myself with you all, of all I can remember, we at least liked each other and there was rarely if ever, any hate or animosity between us. I look forward to recalling the wonderful memories of my early teenage years. I finished at 15, and I guess most if all are now over 50.
For God and Fatherland was the motto of the school, I guess, I am not doing much for either today, on reflection, there is much to be said and much more to be forgiven.

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