I am in my hometown on a Wednesday right now, where my 30th high school reunion (Empire Falls High School, whose mascot is the Reaper, I kid you not) is slated to occur on Friday night and all day Saturday. I went to my 10th and 20th reunions, but seeing as how things are different this year, I’m debating whether to go to the official events or not.

It’s not a matter of being comfortable with being myself, because I am, but my best friend from high school, Slade Taggart, has implored me not to go and make a fool of myself or cause a sensation. My first reaction was that he was just being foolish, but upon reflection, I also think that he may be right, and I’m at an impasse.

Let’s assume he’s got a point, and my presence would cause a sensation. Not being an “in-your-face” kind of person, and not being interested in bothering people, I wouldn’t be interested going. But it may be the case that I would cause no sensation, and the only discomfort lies with Slade. Even then, I would hate to go to these events just to tear up what is left of our friendship, so I probably won’t go in either case.

But it’s not like I’m sitting around crying. I’ve contacted my old friends and told them I’m in town and said we should have a beer or pizza or a chat — or better yet, they ought to come out to my place and visit for the downtimes in between official “Class of ’78” activities. And so far, the schedule is filling up, so it may be the case that I’ll get almost all the benefit of a reunion without burning my bridges with Slade.

Slade and I are having lunch on Friday, an appointment he’s called at least twice to confirm, so I take this as a good sign after our last communication. It may be the case that Friday will soothe his fears and help him realize that Joyce isn’t terribly different from George. Or it may be that Friday is going to be his opportunity to break off our friendship.

I hate being indecisive, but I’m stuck at this point. I have had good interactions with my bankers and accountants today, and they didn’t run screaming from their offices when I showed up, but then again, I didn’t go to high school with them.

If we reap what we sow, then what exactly am I planting here?