Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Gradual Departure

"Wait...what am I doing back in the dorms? Where the hell am I? How did I get here?"

As I tried to put together bits and pieces of the events that led me to this strange and foreign bedroom, I rolled over in the bed I had been sleeping in, after a night of reckless drinking, to discover SOMETHING, or rather, SOMEONE next to me, that I recognized.

"Ohhh...I know you..."

It suddenly all came back to me. I gradually lifted myself out of the bed, careful not to stir my throbbing brain too much. Recollections of the drinks, the sights, the sounds, the music, and the people I encountered the night before streamed through my mind as I attempted to regain full consciousness. Just to make sure, I looked around the bedroom I was in; instead of a dorm room, I had just spent the night in Sarah's house. As I collected my belongings together to head back to my house a few doors down the block, I couldn't help but steal a quick glance at Sarah lying snuggled up in her bed sheets. Deep down inside, I knew that this particular, somewhat voyeuristic moment would never come again. I could only smile as I silently bid a final farewell, our paths forever heading in separate directions from that point on. Sure, we'll see each other again at some point in our lives. But never like this. Never again as college students...

The thought hit me like that bus hit that chick in Final Destination. As college students. On the last Friday morning before Commencement Sunday, I finally realized the full scope of what “graduation” really meant: goodbye. The end. The closing of a book. It took me all this time, even after all the “one last drinks as college students” I took the night before or the countless hugs, kisses, and hand shakes I gave out to everyone as we all celebrated our final Thursday night drink-a-thon together as a class. Somehow, in between all those drinks, the meaning of the word “goodbye” failed to register. I remember heading home thinking that I would have to top myself the next Thursday, never fully realizing that there wouldn’t be another chance for me to do so after that…

At least with this Class.

With one more semester to go of classes, I had a rather unique experience going through the motions as a graduating senior during Commencement Weekend. Behind all the pictures, ceremonious pomp, and yells of “congratulations,” stood someone who had yet to be free of the weight of academic pressure that my fellow classmates had managed to overcome. While everyone else spoke of “never having to go to class ever again,” I stayed quiet, knowing all too well that I could not say the same thing. For me, Graduation Weekend did not give me any sense of accomplishment; instead, it was kinda like I was giving myself an “IOU;” here I was, going through all the ceremonies, but I still had just a bit more to go.

Regardless, the gravity of Commencement Weekend was significant if not for its personal symbolism, but for its ceremonious goodbye to the good friends and acquaintances I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and chilling with over the past four years. All the horrible classes, all the midnight runs to Pita Pit (El Saha, biatches!) and Dominoes, the South Campus parties, the cold walks home, the times spent in Schine doing absolutely nothing… all that stuff adds up to a lifestyle that we, collectively, as a class, will never have together ever again. The thought of not seeing so many people who were a part of my daily routine for four years actually made me tear up for a couple of minutes as I sat in my quiet apartment two hours after Sunday’s Commencement ceremony. As so many of my friends had already packed their bags and cars and started their way home with their families, I suddenly felt alone. Left behind, even. I couldn’t help the cold feeling gnawing away at my insides. It was as if everyone left me all alone in a cold room, and the last person who left turned off the light without looking back to say goodbye…

As my mother, her boyfriend, and my grandmother sped back to NYC mere seconds after Commencement (a fact that angered me to no end… more on that in another blog entry), I found myself staring at a Playstation magazine and flipping through pages that I couldn’t even bother myself to read. Instead of reading about the latest video games, I was thinking about the last four years of college and thinking about the people I had encountered along the way. Each page I flipped through represented a different, random, person, and with every page turn, I said a personal farewell to each one. Some of them I just know I’ll run into again, but for others, well, as Penelope Cruz said in Vanilla Sky (insert cute Spanish accent here), “Maybe in another lifetime, when we are both cats…”

Sarah… It’s always been a pleasure being shoved into your closet and sharing a drink or three with you. I can only hope I’ve trained you well, my young pimpette. Bricks ‘n’ all. :-) Three cheers to the girl who experienced the delightful Sadler 7 along with me.

Patti… Med school won’t know what hit ‘em. And neither will anyone who cuts you off on the road. We went way back to WRT 105, with that teacher we both suspected was gay. Thanks for all the rides, laughs, and random runs to IHOP.

“Prince”… You crazy friggin cracker. I’m gonna miss your antics, your memorable comments, and your liquor cabinet. No matter what you say, though, you always were Morgan’s bitch, though. :-)

My Avondale girls… Melissa, Lauren, and Chenell. (Jessica, you would be here, but you’re staying another semester, like me!) We all go way back, especially Lauren and Chenell. I’m gonna miss you all, you friggin Stumpies. Between hitching tents in living rooms, messing with rodents, and collectively beating the crap out of Chrissy, we’ve had some good times. Chenell, though, you need to learn how to pick up your phone!

Brian from the ‘Fucks… We only met recently, but damnit, the venom we shared for Starbucks became a natural bonding magnet. Good luck in the future, and stay away from the managers from the SU store! :-)

Omar G… My meng, my fellow Mac fiend, and Avondale companion. Florida’s sun ain’t got as much shine as you, kid. Holla back, bro. And stay away from the gators.

Michelle S… All I have to do is look at that wonderful picture you took of yourself with my camera phone at Commencement to remember that radiant smile of yours. Though we never really were more than just good acquaintances, I’m still going to miss ya, even if it was for brightening up my day every time you walked by. :-D

Cory… I remember thinking freshman year that you were going to blow up some kind of academic building by the time we were done. Instead, you were just a Mac zealot, and a cool dude, overall. Thanks for the software, the DVDs, the cool convos, and I apologize for that broken DV cam!!! It wasn’t my fault, I swear!

Vicki K … You know, I always did have a crush on you, being in Speech, n’ all. It’s too bad you always kept looking away from me everytime I tried to make eye contact. Either you liked me too, or you couldn’t stand the sight of me, but somehow, I doubt it’s the latter…

Omar T… The “gadget man” himself. Law school won’t be able to shake that confidence out of you, meng. Keep doing you. Somehow, I think everything is going to fall in place just fine for you…

Adam… You’re my “number 1” fan on the Inside, my meng. I got nothing but love for you. Stay away from Chemistry. I look forward to seeing you on the other side…

Jorge… Michelle might call you “fluffy” (you seriously need to give that bitch a jaw tap every time she says that), but I call you, “the bro I never had, but always wanted.” (gotta love double meanings) And we both have the coolest last name in the WORLD. :-)

Jennifer T… It’s a shame I only got to know you this year, despite the fact we were cooped together in London. You have this illuminating smile that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy all over. Especially when you’re drunk. :-) Hopefully, you’ll never be a stranger and you’ll give me a holler every once in awhile.

Lim… You’re the first friend I ever made in the Cuse!! I’m going to miss ya lots! I’m sure I’m going to be IMing you every once in a blue moon or so.

Chiyo… Despite everything that’s happened between us in the past year and a half, I can honestly say that I actually really miss you, and wish with all my heart that things did not turn out the way they did. Sure, nothing can change the crap that transpired between us, but at the same time, I just can’t walk away and forget everything else that came before that, and because of that, I wouldn’t wish you any kind of harm at all. No matter what you decide to do in your future, I wish you only the best of whatever life has to offer.

Morgan… All jokes aside, and definitely, no ‘mo, you were one of the better friends that I’ve made during my time in Cuse. How can I forget the times we had when we were roommates, or the endless list of quotes, and most recently, the drunken antics from Jamaica? Stay strong, keep that shape-up crispy, and take the same amount of confidence you have in social environments into corporate ones, and you’ll be fine.

Mishu… Bitch.

Okay, okay. See, it’s burning me to hold onto this. I know this is something I gotta do, but that don’t mean I want to. What I’m trying to say is that, I, love you, I just… I felt like this is coming to an end. And it’s better for me to let it go now than hold on and hurt you. I gotta let it BURN! Burn, bitch, BURNNN…

Whew. Okay. I let all that out. Anyways. Michelle, honey. Sweetie. Plain and simple, I heart you. Our relationship ain’t going nowhere, no matter what station you decide you want to work for in the future. (Bronx News 12! As local as local news gets!!!) We’ve been through practically everything together. And in just four years!? Wow. Seriously, I think you alone were worth paying 120,000 for four years at SU. Fuck the classes, fuck the teachers and the degree. No piece of paper can amount to the kind of relationship I have with you. And that’s the truth. I can’t say it enough times…I love…man, fuck that sappy shit and OPEN YOUR TWAT!!! :-D (inside joke, people, calm that down)

So, goodbye to all of you and the people I didn’t mention in the Class of 2005. Some of you I’m going to see tomorrow, while others I’m never going to see again, but no matter what, it’s been fun.


Blogger Freebird said...

Great post. I read this and it made me sad that you probably won't be seeing some of your friends so much anymore.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Veronica said...

Darn slave drivers aren't giving me enough time to catch up on blogs.

I've just now had some time to read some of my favorite blogs :) and now I'm all teary-eyed. This really was a wonderful post. There was so much love in your school. :) I missed out on all the fun during college. I was working full-time while going to school full-time and I never developed any meaningful relationships. I really wish I would have stopped and appreciated the people around me.

I'm sure your friends will miss you just as much as you miss them.

12:40 PM  

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