They are a bunch of high school seniors and college co-eds, with a high school teacher and his wife thrown in for good measure. They still take a lackadaisical view of school work, skipping classes with great abandon and hanging out in the theatre when they should be in social studies or biology with the best and brightest teachers from the district, lured to the spankin' new school experimenting with the hippie open-school theory of education. That open school environment lends itself to slipping away unnoticed to go party down at Burke Lake or at one of the homes of kids with divorced parents whose now-single head of household is off to work each day.
Maybe they've all gone off to college and still return on breaks to see the left-behinds. Those left-behinds among us take trips to visit the colleges their older friends attend and, a little later, to visit New York City or the Jersey Shore or Virginia Beach where new college graduates plant roots and thrive.
Or having graduated college, they work for little pay but purported great satisfaction at jobs they knew they were made for. Some, hoping to break into acting, toil as waiters and stagehands as they pimp themselves for a breakout role.
At most, they're in their mid-20's, with just a very few married with a newborn or toddler or baby on the way. They have better paying jobs and are truly settled, but still so young and still able to recall adventures to Myrtle Beach or Martha's Vineyard or the crypts or the farewell week of a Mormon boy off to Bolivia for his mission.
But no way are they in their 50's, an unimaginable age, older even then most of our parents at the time we were the talk of the little theatre in high school. Facebook postings have clearly been manufactured. He doesn't have grandchildren. She doesn't have children who have graduated from college. He isn't possibly the nurse of the year.
Were I to believe all that -- that they exist in real time as real people -- then that would mean that I, too, am there as well.
Daughter is at about the same age I was when first I met that high school teacher and his wife, when first I forged the strongest of high school bonds with a handful of oddballs and wannabes. Eldest is at the age that I recall as being the best year of my life. Plucking them from this time and placing them at that time doing what we were doing gives me pause. Pause and a wonderment that my kids are now the same age as those friends, frozen in time.