Some people regularly pop by to visit old high school teachers, work chums, friends' exes, etc. For most of us, though, I think it's kind of weird. You might get to the place and find there's no-one you recognize anymore. More likely, you recognize people but don't actually have the common ground you once did. You end up talking about stuff that's in the past or, more challenging by far, trying to avoid talking about what you used to talk about.
I used to be in the archery club at Hart House. I loved it to bits and thought it was the coolest feature of U of T. I went back.
Now, I was prepared not to know anyone. I totally felt weird about it. Once the idea entered my brain though, I was compelled by it. It's surely the longest-established archery spot in Toronto and I'd be remiss not to cover it. More than that, though, I just hadda go.
What if Odysseus decided just to hang out in Gozo instead? I think we can all agree that there wouldn't be much of a story if he did. It would be fundamentally unsatisfying.
So I wound through the labyrinthine corridors and stairs to the heart of the building. I even mostly remembered the way! I stepped into the room, still long and narrow but brighter and crowded like I never recall it being in the 90s. The layout has been reorganized but there were those pieces that just make you sigh with familiarity. The wooden equipment lockers there, plastered still with club notices, are the same ones in the back of my memory. Club bows, numbered in permanent marker, could totally be the same ones I used.
I was a U of T student when I was in the club but you don't have to be. Nor must you have read The Odyssey. I didn't. (My friend Rachel just told me about it.) I might now. I hear Odysseus sorts it all out with an archery contest.