[Before reading, square your shoulders and scan the crowd with a glare that suggests both disapproval and magnanimity.]
Dear fellow Deltona High School Wolves,
I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the reunion. I don’t really have an excuse; I just didn’t feel like going. Seemed like it’d be kind of a bummer, to be honest. I moved as far away as I could from Deltona—to the opposite corner of the continental U.S.—for a reason. Think about that.
I’m sure some of you are wondering why I didn’t accept your friend requests. Basically, I have no idea who any of you are anymore. I’m able to glean all I need to know about my fellow alumni by checking in periodically on the Facebook page memorializing people in our graduating class who died. Thanks to Christy Monahan for keeping that going. Weird hobby though, huh?
Is assistant principal McComb here? Probably not—he was in his 60s when we knew him 20 years ago. Nevertheless, I want to give him a special shout-out and also an apology: I’m sorry we called you “Mr. McDome.” Now that I have a lot of bald friends—my hair is still thick and lustrous, by the way—I realize how hurtful a nickname like that can be. If Mr. McComb were here I’d tell him that I’ve realized the many ways in which life puts us in untenable situations, turns us into tiny cogs ground down by a huge, indifferent machine, makes us each the villain in some threadbare adolescent drama. I get that now.
To everyone else here tonight, I want to let you know that I’m doing great! I write a highly acclaimed monthly column for a wildly popular regional arts magazine. By my reckoning I’m the most famous graduate of our class. Runners-up include Yessica Moreno, who appeared briefly in the background of an episode of Dance Moms, and Steve Huntley, who was featured on a billboard for a personal injury attorney in 2002.
Oh, and of course there’s Caleb Venezia, who stabbed that guy in the face at Houlihan’s over a game of air hockey. Can you guys believe Houlihan’s is still in business?
As our class’s most well-known grad I suppose I should offer some words of wisdom. But I’ve got nothing. Instead, I invite you to reflect on the many choices you’ve made to end up here and raise your glasses in a toast.
[DJ plays “Asleep” by the Smiths]