There’s a bittersweet feeling about being back home in Winnipeg. I’m sleeping in my childhood bedroom, surrounded by the posters of Death Cab, Mumford and Sons, The Shins, and all the other bands I worshiped in my high school years. On my desk beside my bed, there’s an old desktop computer that I spent my life savings on the summer before grade 11…It looks like an ancient artifact now, covered in dust. It’s covered with stickers that I found at the game shop down the street… It’s bringing back all the memories, good and bad, from growing up. God, I am so glad I’m done those years. Whoever said high school was the best years of a person’s life was clearly pissed out of his mind.
On my wall, beside the window, there’s a photo of my friends from high school and I drinking together at a house party after graduation… These are the kinds of friendships that I like to call “fishbowl friendships”… the kind of friendship where you stay friends with someone mostly because you have to. After high school, none of us kept in touch much… Not surprising since we had no common interests. The only thing we had in common was our graduation date. Well, when some of these guys caught wind of my being in Winnipeg for Christmas, they all decided it would be a fantastic idea to meet up for drinks and catch up. So we headed out to the old watering hole, Shannon’s Irish Pub.
As it usually happens during reunions like this, it turns into a competition of who’s doing better at this stage of our lives. This night was odd though. Two of my friends wound up working dead end jobs, and the other is studying engineering. It was clear that we had little in common. I was glad that we had alcohol to loosen the obvious tension that comes with this season. The season does put a lot of pressure on us to play nice and get along, so me and my friends were pretty comfortable with each other. But like most aspects of the season, this comfort soon expires in January. And that night, as I sat reminiscing with my friends, it was clear that we’ve all grown apart and grown up (or not), and those things will probably divide us forever.
See you next year boys… maybe.
And that’s another reason why I hate Christmas.