It's a strange thing being back in a place you grew up after an absence of fifteen years. There are so many people I've never kept track of who appear in the bookstore. It's disconcerting to run into them at a time where I am not doing what I want to be doing, what I have trained to do, what I have been doing all those years I have been gone. And yet it is interesting to have glimpses into these lives again. Although I grew up in more or less the same place I went to 4 different schools in very different towns and so some of the people I see I haven't seen in a very long time, since kindergarten or fourth grade.
Today while walking the dogs I ran into my middle school Spanish teacher walking her son to school. I ran into a ex-elementary school classmate who is now a married cowgirl. An old physics teacher of mine, who allowed the class to construct a catapult and aim it at the nearest highway, browsed through our literature section. I had lunch at a fine restaurant that turned out to be owned by an ex-high school classmate. Most startling of all was the local cop who had met me in the Small Alaskan Town At A Cross Roads three years ago at a potluck who remembered both my name and our topic of conversation. Just before closing the door opened and, my mind having already dismissed it as impossible, in walked an ex-high school classmate who I had last seen in Alaska. It is interesting to me to note that there are the people you consciously stay in touch with an see frequently because of it, and there are some people who you don't try to stay in touch with but who seem to pop up in your life over and over again.