You’re chillin’ at your favorite bar, you’ve had a couple Absolut and tonics and the good times are rolling. Until some random chick runs up to you screaming your name. “Don’t you remember me? You died my hair blond at three in the morning and we made out in Eric’s bathroom in 1992.” Nope. Well kinda. Holy shitballs it is you!

It’s hard to escape your past. Especially when you live in Maine, where there are only three degrees of separation between you and any given party. I thought that when I moved to Portland from the small town of Bethel that I would be starting a new life of anonymity, a life where my name wasn’t the only one in the police log at least once a month. The cops have a little more action to keep them busy here in Maine’s largest city, but as soon as I relocated here I realized that it is in fact a small world after all.

Every time I go out I see someone from home, or someone who knows someone who I know from home, and that just makes me uncomfortable. When your hometown only consists of 3,000 people you grow up with a paranoia that no matter what you do, everyone is going to know all about it before it happens and it’s probably true.

Some people don’t mind having the personal details of their lives open to the public but I’d rather not have everyone know that the first girl I had sex with is now married with three babies, and that I was suspended for a week of my senior year in high school for showing pornographic slides during our winter carnival talent show. Some stuff is just better left behind you.

So what do you do? Pretend you don’t know what they’re talking about? Most of my memorable moments take place when I’m really drunk so I always go for the lapse of memory deal, but when the people you grew up with are calling you out it can be hard to escape the truth.

Even worse still is being caught on video. I recently ran into an acquaintance who has me on Hi-8 wasted at some party with a freshly shaven head, and two punk rock girls coercing me to stare into the camera and repeat “I’m going to be a movie star,” over and over. If I could get my hands on that tape .

How come no one remembers all the cool stuff you did and only the times that you tap danced on coffee tables and puked in your friend’s sink? The only thing you can do is retaliate. Remember that time that you came to my keg party and got so drunk that you ran around naked and sceamed “I need more So Co.” Do you Mary? And how about that time we went to that grown-up wine party and you regurgitated cabernet in mid-conversation, and the general manager of the hotel we worked at had to help me look for you in the woods for three hours . Theresa. Oh yeah, and Corey, how about that time you stole my bottle of tequila and took a leak in the middle of your living room? See, it’s fun huh.?

So come on everyone. Let’s leave the past behind us and just forget about all that tired crap that happened years ago. I’m sure that you can do a lot worse with a clean slate.

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