Underthecurrent


it was…real.
March 21, 2010, 1:40 am
Filed under: insight

Errands find me around campus, kids are stretched out everywhere. I’m pleased they put benches in my favorite gallery and that people use them freely. Someone sleeps. Another person tutors an exchange student in conversational English. The air is warmer than I thought it would be and the music shuffling slots in one great song after the next. The long way home leads past my favorite apartment, that grocery store, houses of friends, places where things happened. I start to wander purposefully, just to see how it will feel to see these landmarks on a day like today.

2003-2008 was such an intense time that I often forget my own stories from it and when I start to remember them I feel really… lucky. I’ve probably had more fun, random awesomeness, epic romance, adventure, and education than anyone deserves.

To unfairly and incorrectly paraphrase Maya Angelou, it’s not the things done, or the things said, it’s the way they made you feel.

(Incidentally, someone once paraphrased that same quotation for me at a bar and it sort of changed my life, though the exact source of the advice is lost to time, I attribute it in my mind to an American war journalist who had just come from Iraq when I met him)

In the past (almost) two years, if the start of June is the marker, I’ve tried, sort of, to lead a normal life, or what I imagine a lot of other lives of people my age around here must be like. Life as an ordinary, visible, productive member of the community.

I don’t really get it and it feels like a lot of work all the time to pretend that I do. I also don’t really mesh with Normal people because when we are hanging out I am trying to think of normal things to talk about and mostly feel like a robot alien. I sort of hate small talk, and it’s psuedo-intellectual cousin, political debate. I want to hear people speak with emotion, even just plain happiness or anger, to talk about what makes them think and feel. I like humor and being around people who facilitate my own humor, the give and go. I want to know about things that I don’t that are new or different or interesting. I want the moments we are with each other to feel real, and alive, even if it’s hungover brunch or an exhausted post-work beverage. I want vulnerability and honesty. Risk.

Maybe it’s because I know from those years that being around those kinds of things leads to growth and change and perspective, and I’m not ready to be done with that yet.

Last night, in our conversation, I talked with him about how hard it is to not tell people anything about my life right now. I don’t talk about being in love with a crazy man who can’t sit still and sometimes wears viking horns over skype for my amusement, or what I want my life to be like in a year, or all the friends I’ve met along the way doing strange and wonderful things across the world.

Today is the first day of Spring.

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