John’s Graduation

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.

My brother John graduated from Chelmsford High School sometime in the early part of June 1997 and for the first time since I’d left high school, I bumped into my old English professor Barry Hazzard. I credited Mr. Hazzard, after gaining some distance from the man, with kicking my ass preparing me for college. Because of his class, I almost didn’t graduate. It ended up being the same with my brother and him, but I don’t think my brother ever saw it the way I saw it, even with distance. My parents and I sat in the bleachers, just down the row from Mr. Hazzard and I did kind of want to go thank the man, but I never did.

I was proud of my brother, though I probably never would have said that. We hadn’t gotten along in years. We traveled the same social circles but if ever one of us got too close to a mutual friend it was inevitable that the other one would back away altogether. We didn’t ever want to get too close, or at least that’s how I remember it.

After the ceremony, John came home and we had cake and such. John’s friends came over and we opened cards and then he went off with them and I went upstairs to think about the computer and whether or not I should buy it and whether or not the job I would have to get to afford it would be worth it.