Having lived in the same locality all the bloody time, and owing to my good habit of walking to most places, I do keep bumping into old friends and acquaintances many a time. Rather depressingly, I am starting to feel these meetings end up on a rather disappointing note.
Perhaps some explanation is needed. You see, we tend to have these wonderful memories of everyone we knew as a kid, and every time we refer to the person, the memories and stories we evoke conform to that image. Of course, no one is going to stay the same all the time. Hell, I can hardly recognize myself sometimes. If I were to hear myself blabbering on 'official' calls I would probably ask myself to get a life, but that is besides the point.
It is akin to the generally accepted principle of never personally meeting your hero - the moment you find out he is just another human being as you are, the bubble bursts.
Now when we meet up with childhood friends after they would have been through 'the grind', they would have assumed a 'mask', just as you have - the mask which one acquires as one enters into adult/professional life, which enables us to maintain a stoic exterior calm when dealing with the outside world and prevents us from betraying our emotions, in other words, helps us be 'professional' at all times, or they just might have been bogged down by their responsibilities, and you begin to wonder what happened to the dork you knew back then.
Of course, as you begin to peel away, you find some of their habits you remember are still there, they remember all the stories you remember, and the person you adored as a kid is lurking somewhere behind all the facade.
Whether they succeed in peeling your layers off is another matter, but then again, that is how you know who your friends are I guess...