Sunday, June 18, 2006

Can you just hang around...just for a little while more?

These past few weeks have seen the culmination of numerous paths of life; from graduations to consequent parties to a reconnection with Canadian family up north, including the meeting of some very young and very cute cousins who were born and have grown quite considerably in the last 4 or 5 years. Friends who remain in State College have been infinite comfort and a release from the excruciatingly difficult goodbyes that have transpired as of late as well as the host of amazing news I've heard from different people in my life. Kate and Brendan have moved to Colorado and Phoenix was born to Ben & Audra, beginning to settle in the life of parenthood. I just learned that my grandmother is in the final stages of kidney disease, not knowing when or how these last years for her are going to transpire. Rob & Kristen are engaged to be married and have asked me to be a groomsman. Joe has graduated from the Academy and is now a working officer in Altoona. And I’m still in town trying to reclaim some social and academic consciousness and focus on my final year of school that, on top of karate and PSFA this fall, will keep me busy enough to finish feeling accomplished, hopefully enabling me to graze past these sad events so that I can just move on, as I have so desperately tried to do already.

I’ve spent my summer sitting out at 210 or Sports CafĂ© people-watching with Justin and other people playing the game where you create stories about people who sit nearby or walk past just based on how they interract with their friends or how they sip their coffee. I have had the time of my life working at Ben&Jerry’s with Drigue and the others and learning how to decorate ice cream cakes, cleaning my room to the point that it’s messier than when I started cleaning it, teaching kids karate and the adult class, staying up late and having impromptu parties watching Buffy and Angel with Bridger, eating Ramen and playing Cranium with Bern, Green, Jnette, Vivy, Miyori, Hazel and Pat [Hostel was BAD btw], and singing Kelly Clarkson at the top of our lungs after playing the most intense game of Kings I have EVER played until 7:30 in the morning. So far, so good. Oh yeah, and the 40's were a big theme too.

I am behind in many of the projects that I had hoped to have finished by now though. It is already mid-June and I am plagued by a late car payment and several important trips to come that will inevitably eat away at my time. Obligations keep piling up and I am losing track of which I see as priorities. I hate being a Yes-Man. As I type this, I am watching the trees sway in the gentle breeze beyond the glass. The red maples begin to falter in this extremely dry season, but then I wonder if the same trees exist in Rome, where I remember not having to deal with some of these dreadful thoughts. It’s become my escape, my mental sanctuary, Rome, where I can close my eyes and activate memories to take me there for even mere minutes; its gotten to the point where I don’t even need the pictures anymore. The places have just conglomerated into an image or sentiment or nostalgia that provides for me a sense of deep longing but calming bliss all at once. And then I come back and face it all again.

Upon meeting my new cousin, Giovanni, I was immediately told that he is the spitting image of my younger self. I congratulate my aunt on her first son, and upon remarking on his awesome Italian name, I take a second glance and begin to see why others felt he looked like me. The same inquisitive eyes i recognize from my pictures at that age, same mischevious smirk, same longing for independence from authority unable to firmly hold on. Plus, he liked my laptop. As he scrolled through the internet (which he was surprisingly adept at) I leaned in as if to whisper in his ear. And I thought to myself, hey kid, if you want, I can tell you everything you would ever need to know about life. About the people you will meet, about the people you will love, about the people who will care nothing about you. I can tell you about the people who will leave you. I will explain to you the intracacies of the first crush. I can expound on looking past the surface of the water to see the shiny rocks below. I can tell you of the limitless color the world takes on before AND after the storm. I can divulge to you about the unfairness that will disgust you and tear you down... and the disappointments you will experience when your heart is least prepared for them.

And then I looked at Giovanni again, and I thought to myself: I could never rob you of that. The divine happiness you get from life, the reason life is worth living is because you couldn't feel MORE alive when these things happen to you. When you learn about them all on your own. That's when you find out who you really are. And then i sat there, and I watched him draw on Adobe Illustrator.

I have to go find a REALLY good present for a really good friend.

Earth-Shattering Revelation #18: The comfort of life can be drawn from reassuring yourself that where ever we all will be, despite how far between our conversations are and the miles that stretch between all of us…wherever we happen to end up and whenever we will see each other again…

…we’re going to be ok.

Current Tune: Matchbox 20, Hang