One of the best, or perhaps only, things I like about Facebook is having been in touch with a few friends from my long-ago past, people I will likely never again see in my lifetime.
Recently my old friend Russ sent me a video from many years ago. I think I was fourteen or fifteen at the time this home movie—“Attic Drinking”—was shot.
When I first watched the video I laughed heartily and I loved seeing these high school friends I haven’t seen in decades, but I also experienced negative, shaming feelings. How could I have behaved in this appalling fashion—and at such a young age?
I keep asking myself why I’m willing to share this video. For a few laughs? Maybe. But a part of me is cringing inside. As a cautionary tale to other young people? Perhaps. But I’ve managed to live a reasonable life. It’s not like those days as a young and defiant teenager served as the harbinger of my personal ruin.
I guess I’m posting the video as a way to own my past behavior. We all have to take measures of ourselves and hold ourselves accountable: this is who I was, today is who I am.
I’ve shown the video to Harriet and to my two young adult children. I didn’t expect they would find it so entertaining, even harmless. Could it be I’m still a decent husband/father in their eyes?
Not everyone is so pleased with this video being “out there.” One of my friends who appears in the video posted a private and cautionary message on Facebook. He’s a VIP who thinks people still care about back then. Maybe he’s planning a later-in-life run for political office. My apologies. Me—I’m just a writer. I’ve already put myself out there, my heart naked and exposed for the world to see. And to judge. If you want to.
A note on the video: It’s short, just three minutes, with no sound. In the first segment, I’m wearing a dark sweater with a strange striping around the collar and down the front. Following a brief and inexplicable interlude showing some animals a the Buffalo Zoo (real animals, not us boys), I appear in the second segment in the St. Joseph Marauders sweatshirt, doing my college prep high school proud!
Watch it here. (no, sorry. I had to remove link for now).