I don’t usually think much about the past. But I’ve been doing quite a lot of it the last couple of days, as my latest entries show. In perusing websites aimed at my high school graduating class, I encountered pictures and names of classmates who are, as they say, “no longer with us.” Some of them I knew fairly well, some I hardly knew at all. But there was one young woman named Teresita I have no recollection of whom I wish I had gotten to know. If I could go back to high school then knowing what I do now, I would try to get to know this extremely pretty young woman and see if her character and personality matched her physical beauty. She’d probably have nothing to do with me, but I’d like to think that I’d have more courage than I had then and would at least give things a chance. No, I’m not talking about a sexual relationship. I’d like to think that having experienced plenty of that in my alternate timeline and remembering it all vividly would tame my physical desires to controllable levels and I would not be, in essence, a 50+ year-old man (albeit in a horny teenager’s body) taking unfair advantage of teenaged girls. But if this young woman were as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside, I’d sure like for us to be friends while we were classmates and, perhaps, even until she left this earth. Or maybe our relationship would somehow, for better or worse, change things so much that she wouldn’t leave prematurely. I don’t know how she died, but maybe it wasn’t disease. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe she was in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe our friendship would somehow lead to a different outcome. I’m not sure why I’m thinking these strange thoughts. I guess I’m only now beginning to get a real sense of what I missed during those precious, irreplaceable years.
What am I missing now?