Sunday, May 20, 2007

"I told you forever
I love you forever
I told you I love you
I love you forever
You might have laughed if I told you
You might have hidden a frown
You might have succeeded in changing me
I might have been turned around
It's easier to leave than to be left behind
Leaving was never my proud..."

Here I am, on the eve of my graduation. I promised myself I wouldn't get worked up over this. "It's like a surfeit of good food and wine," I told myself. "You're full. You're satisfied. You're ready to push back from the table with a satisfied sigh."

And I am. I am ready. I know it, and William & Mary knows it. (Hence my leaving.)

But tonight, in the midst of a bunch of inside jokes that only a student of this college who has laughed, cried, sweated, and bled through four years of their life here can get, the professor addressing us at the candlelit ceremony said something serious. He said (and I paraphrase), "You're coming to a point in your life where experience fades into memory, where some friendships leave off. You have to come to terms with the fact that only a few of the folks you knew here will continue the journey with you."

And it hit me all at once that some of those friendships, those connections that I treasure as individual gems, have already ended without me even getting to say goodbye. Sure, I'll see some people when I come back next year to visit, but we're kidding ourselves if we think it's going to be the same. There is a gap that presents itself after every leaving. I've left home and felt the lack too keenly to think differently.

And on the heels of that came the thought that, in thirty years, the people that have been left behind from this crucible of change will be a photograph in my memory through the colored lens of time. Maybe I'll see their faces in a picture I took my freshman year and feel a twinge, the re-awakening of some long-forgotten feeling, the same feeling I get when I flip through a middle school yearbook and see a picture of friends I used to know and people I used to love. And, like now, I doubt I'll feel any real pain over it.

They say some things seem easier in retrospect. Right now it feels like the corollary is that they seem more painful in advance.

(I'm still flying. It's not much, but it's enough.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

So Much For Eternal Vigilance

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Almost Too Good To Be True

My roommate has kept this in the cabinet for some time--he just hasn't had the heart to drink it. It really merits a post of its own, unphotoshopped and unaltered. The way God intended.

Suggested Slogans:
-"Lutherbier: It Nails You to the Door!"
-"Here I Stand; I Can Drink No Other."
-"For When You're Tired of a Diet of Wurms."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

He That Plays His Tune With Me Shall Be My Brother

This year, Phi Mu Alpha instituted a novel concept for the scavenger that takes place during the pledging process. We told our pledges they had to cook us a meal. Naturally, being guys, we assumed that they would cook us something fairly foul, and we would then tell them that they had to eat it. Har har, great joke. Imagine our surprise when one of the pledges, the estimable and sophisticated Antonio Manuel Ignacio de Loyola Elias-Marino Rego Celia Martinena D'Urso y Fernandez Cozarelli Suarez Luaces de Diego Rosania IV, with some assistance from the other pledges, prepared us a penne carbonara dish that proved delicious as only pasta with a cream and bacon sauce can. Kevin Sapp, our fraternity education officer, told Antonio that since they (the pledges) had done such a fantastic job that they could eat it themselves if they wanted. As it turned out, there was more pasta than three people could eat, so a good portion of the fraternity ended up well-fed by the end of the evening of scavenger hunt.

As a result of such success, Antonio was kind enough to host a Sinfonia Pasta night in Old Dominion. We feasted on linguine al dente with the same amazing bacon cream sauce that had so delighted our senses earlier in the spring. Adam Boltik stowed a bottle of Chardonnay in his backpack and brought it over, and we discussed various types of wine--naturally, since John Muniz and I were there in full pretentious force--and which varieties we favored the most. John and I also noted that the film Sideways had done us a great favor--its popularization of Pinot Noir had driven the prices of Merlot (which we favor over Pinot anyway) down substantially. At the end of the meal, Antonio brought out a secret bottle of port, and gave me an education on the chemistry of Madeira.

I can't do the evening justice, really, with description. As I left OD, I reflected on the lonely times during high school when I had read Dinesh D'Souza's descriptions of drinking wine and eating dinner and listening to comedy albums with fellow conservatives and intellectuals, and wishing, praying, that I would get to do the same things. Naturally, such visions didn't come true in exactly the way I had pictured them, but an evening with fellow musicians--W & M sophisticates all--involving pasta, wine, and port is a balm to ease the worries of my troubled mind. Not only that, it gives me confidence our fraternity as I leave The College--confidence in the contiuance of the fellowship and closeness that draws men to institutions such as oursa. All in all, it was a lovely note on which to end my collegiate tenure in our chapter of Phi Mu Alpha. I wish the brotherhood continued success and serendipity.

(I'm still flying.)