Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Weight of the World

That's actually the title of a song on one of Ringo Starr best CDs, "Time Takes Time," one which was personally autographed for me, back in the day when I actually was treated to things like superstar concerts, backstage meet-and-greets, etc. I'm thinking of the title in regards to life itself, though.
I just got finished watching "Hit Me Baby One More Time," another American ripoff of a British tv show, in which bands/performers of the 1980s perform first their big hit, then a version of a current hit.
Let me tell you, it made me feel GREAT. Not because of the nostalgia aspect (the first show included Loverboy, CeCe Peniston, A Flock of Seagulls, Arrested Development, and Tiffany), but because it seemed like EVERYBODY had gained weight. No fooling. And the guy from Flock of Seagulls, who had that wild hair...well, he was wearing a baseball cap with a long ponytail hanging out the back.
What a breath of fresh air. In these times, when everybody is so weight-conscious, it felt good to see real people up on stage. Not perfect, real.
My 25th high school reunion is on the weekend of June 11, and it was with no small regret that I realized it was just before a business trip. Yes, I could conceivably make it, but I have a rule that time prior to business trips is spent with as less stress as possible.
Last year, a dear friend (who went to my high school, graduating a year before me) went to her 25th reunion. I said, geez, I don't want to go to mine, I need time to get in shape, etc. She told me it was the best time she'd had in a while, and the only people in great shape were the gay guys (isn't that the truth?). No one cared. It was all about seeing each other.
I spoke to another dear friend last year (or thereabouts) who was student government president to my vice president. He also assured me that we would look fine the way we are. I'll be calling him this week to apologize for chickening out on our reunion.
The more I speak to people who have mattered in my life, the more I have come to realize that it is the PERSON you want to see. Who gives a sh*t about their appearance? Or your own? What matters is that you are happy and, hopefully, healthy. You are still the same person, no matter what you may think conceals that soul.
Tomorrow night, I am going to Flushing Town Hall, where I will be seeing an old friend perform. He was in the graduating class before mine and has made a great life as a husband, father, performer and instructor. Ray Vega was one of the finest trumpeters I ever have known (and performed with -- in high school!), and I am so happy that I will be seeing him, on stage and off. I plan to visit him afterwards, and look forward to one of his enveloping hugs. It's been many years, but I do remenber those hugs. And I don't care how much of our respective stomachs (mine's probably bigger) come between us...because they WON'T. And that's the truth.