It feels like I am hardly ever able to write but I can actually get back to doing the one thing I enjoy most more than once every two weeks! I have a graduation coming up fairly soon where I will be celebrating the culmination of far too many years in school. It makes me think, what’s new right?
I guess there is this sense of what comes next in a way. I applied for my Master’s for spring but was denied due to one of my letters not being turned in by and individual. So, I am applying again, this time all of the letters are there. Hopefully that works out. I guess this all started a bit ago. This feeling of being accomplished and yet unaccomplished at the same time.
It started with a video.
I found this old “horror movie” me and one of my best friends, Ben, did when were probably 17 . I had it converted to DVD. I re-watched the video and it was a little crazy but pretty cool all the same. Then the screen goes to white static and when it comes back, it is me dressed up in a shirt and tie. My mother had just bought this camcorder and could not grasp the fact that it was not a camera and we couldn’t just rotate the picture, so I am sideways on screen. Then my mother asks me what day it is and I say that I am about to graduate high school and she asks me my plans. I say that I am enrolled in college for journalism and I hope to one day be a comic book writer. It then cuts to me graduating.
It hit me soon after that I am not the person in that video any more. It isn’t a bad thing but I have to wonder if I had pursued what I wanted then, where would I be now? This really bothered me because….well, I don’t know. It just did. For days I was haunted by the ghost of myself. Saying things that never rang true. I felt like I had failed.
So, my friend Ben called me a week or two later as I am about to go into a restaurant. He is in the Army and we hardly ever get to hang out but it’s always a blast when we do. I have very few close friends, by choice albeit, and he is probably one of the closest. On the phone, he tells me he has gotten some bittersweet news. He is going to be moving to Japan for 2 years. I remember hearing that and it sounding far off. Like an abstract idea explained in the distance. My best friend would be gone for 2 years. I am here and he is on the other side of the world. The End.
I felt badly for him and felt like I was losing a friend but there was something else under my surface. Even now it is hard to put into words. I thought about how exciting and scary it will be for him and then I think about myself, selfish I know. I start thinking about the future. Friends moving away, dwindling connections. It isn’t a sad or bad thing. It is just a thing.
We talk a little more and I don’t know what to say. I mean, it’s easy to sympathize but I can’t empathize because I haven’t come close to that kind of distance from my family. So, he knows I will be there for him and I made a promise to visit him for a while which I intend on keeping. We hang up and I remember the young me. I was so full of ideals that I have since lost. I thought about how much I need to live. I keep working for the future and not living in the now (he says, finally making his point).
I mean, it is like your car running out of gas in the middle of the highway. Cars just fly past you while you are sitting still, trying to get signal on your cell phone. I feel like Odysseus sometimes. The man who was at the mercy of fate itself. I feel like that is me. Waiting for fate to turn its wheels and move me in the direction it intends. I mean, I wanted to go backpack around Europe and do those types of things. There is a lot I want to do and a lot of change going around me. I feel like I need to play catch-up.
We go in and I tell my friends I have to use the restroom. I’m distracted. Where am I on the continuum of life? Existential stuff. I go into the restroom at the pub and see they have no urinals. I get mad. Who doesn’t have urinals? What is this, the stone age?
I go into the stall and begin peeing. I am thinking deeply, as I always do when I pee (kidding), and then I notice a tiny trash can next to the toilet. I see a little green wrapper in the trash can and have a mini-panic attack. I know that package. Growing up with a single mother, I basically broke into cabinets and threw things about as a kid. This wrapper in the trash can resembled that of, you guessed it!, a tampon wrapper. Having no urinals made sense with a vengeance then, my friends.
I had been so dazed by thought that I didn’t realize I had stumbled into the Women’s Restroom. I was freaking out.
All I could think of was that I was going to be put in prison for some sort of sex offender charge because I failed to read signs. I have dimples. Guys don’t last long in the joint if they have dimples.
So, I did my business and for some reason decided I had enough time to wash my hands. I walked out just as a woman was coming in and she gave me the most disturbing, what-the-hell-were-you-doing-in-there look I have ever seen.
I ran to the table and my friend said, “You Okay?”
I said, “Peed in the women’s bathroom.”
He looked at me with contempt and said, “I swear if we get thrown out of here because you took a left instead of a right…”
The waitress came and that stifled the situation. So, weeks later I am writing this blog because I have figured two things out:
1. Life is going to pass me by unless I stick one of my sweet gams out and hitch a ride. This I plan to do. I have got to realize that things will change and that I can’t say that things are going to be this way or that. I have to live life for today. Live with the understanding that tomorrow will come and that will turn into today and then slip away into yesterday. It will turn out how it is supposed to be because as Voltaire once quoted a philosopher but I will do so without sarcasm or indignity, “This is the best of all possible worlds”.
2. I am really bad at using bathrooms.