I think the second most misused phrase in our culture today is:
"What have you been up to?"
I find myself asking it these days and trying to answer it even more as I have been trawling the electronic ether for people whose pasts intersected mine long ago.
The question itself is misleading as it implies that all movement since we last spoke or saw each other, slept together or just had coffee, has been a climb upwards to a shining spot we either exist in now, or still struggle to reach.
Should there be an etiquette to what you say or reveal to a person you haven't seen in so long you forgot they existed until you come across their name in someone elses life? Coy and shy? Vague and mysterious? I like to be strange and totalic in my revelations. That is the only way you will know what they are made of after all these years.
Very early in life I knew that school was not the 'real world' but that something else existed outside those doors and books. Outside of the walls that some teachers tried to build, and the fences that kept you from playing with other kids.
In the last few months as I sit and think about emotions, events, and eventually the people who have traveled this path with me I am amazed at the variety, the density, and the passion of everyone I have ever known. How fun it has been to learn that everyone is filled with the same pain and panic, sights and comforts, wierdness and laughter as me.
Like passengers on a train taking stops, some stuck in the same loop, others forgetting their boarding passes, or not willing to get off, we circumvent this life with different maps of the same reality.
I like to think of my life as a ride in a coach, with lot's of seats and people come and go as they please. When me meet, for the first time, or again, promise you won't use that other misunderstood phrase in our world: