Back in school, I think I liked my yearbooks as much as the next person. I opened them eagerly, spent a few days studying every page and getting friends' signatures--then basically put them on the shelf.
But the summer I was 16, I fell madly in love with a yearbook. We were visiting some family friends, and their oldest daughter had just graduated from high school. She seemed mildly amused when I started picking her yearbook up, and asking questions about who-was-going-out-with-who, was-this-girl-as-nice-as-she-looked, etc. But as days passed, I know my extreme interest both perplexed and annoyed her.
I didn't understand it, either. Just that those pictures made stories explode in my head, and they filled me in a way my day-to-day conversations didn't. Those yearbook people were all strangers to me, and therefore, clean slates for my random creations of backstories, plot lines and romances. Completely unlike my own yearbooks, which were filled with people I knew. No room for fantasy there.
It wasn't until years later that I looked back on that infatuation for what it was, part of my writer's journey.
For a laugh, here's my graduation picture--bad hair, squinty eye and all:
Wonder if anyone ever looked at it and found the inspiration to create an alternate persona for me? Nah...but hey, I can always dream up someone dreaming me up!
Friday, May 04, 2007