I bought Markley’s novel Ohio at the San Francisco airport when I was there to catch a flight to Dayton to attend a high school reunion in early October. I hadn’t been back to Oakwood in forty years and was feeling somewhat anxious, in part because the last time I saw many of my classmates I had a boyfriend and now I have a wife.
I’d read reviews of Markley’s book and knew it was about a reunion in Ohio but once I started reading for myself, I soon learned that it was not a high school reunion, but a reunion of a few friends in Northern Ohio – I’m from the Southwest part of the state. I don’t think I read past page 50 – too much drinking, drugs, meaningless sex and the aftermath of each indulgence. It was the aftermaths that got to me. Made me feel sick. I felt Markley had done quite a disservice to Ohio. He had received some good reviews but he doesn’t get one from me. Or am I not qualified because I didn’t read the entire book?
So I had been thinking I would write something here about my reunion – the planning, the events, the aftermath – but there’s just too much to say. Plus, I don’t want to offend anyone – or get myself in trouble. I’d like to attend a future reunion and see everybody again. Or see them before there is another reunion which could be difficult as we’re geographically spread far and wide.
During reunion weekend, I can tell you that there was more than one person interested in sex with no strings attached while there was also more than one person who was longing for a serious relationship. I think there were a lot of people like me who were settled into their current life. Some people drank too much. Maybe there were drugs but that didn’t come to my attention. There was plenty of dancing and laughing.
So I decided the story that I’ll tell will have to be fiction. And it will need to be a novel. No, I’ve never written a novel, but how hard can it be? People write novels every day. Yes, I know some of those written every day are no good but that’s no reason not to do it.
I’ve already started. The working title is Ohio Revisited: The Reunion.