Part 2: Sophomore Year
The slow swing of comfort. A lot of people retreated for the hills that first year. Others stuck around and turned into what they didn’t realize would eventually happen to all of us. We would become so amplified in our personalities, that by our sophomore year of college it was safe to say that we were on our way to becoming actual full-fledged human beings. Although, some people managed to fake it better than others as always.
I still felt as if I was somewhere slightly in-between that year. A lot of major nuances had fallen apart right in front of me, other imprinted fanatical ideas about people I hadn’t seen for over a year slowly started their long road trip to a place of kindred reminiscence. I would think of them more than often, dwelling on all those moments and memories that didn’t happen, writing elaborate scenes that only existed for the sake of my own sanity. I suppose on occasion everyone has to run around in the past, avoiding false claims of ownership and lingering suspicions that even though we are all slightly getting older, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re different people.
However, I did feel different. I was coming into my own in a sense, living my highly uneventful life in stride. There were some things I couldn’t see coming, and in that way it was good to later reflect back on them, taking the time to breathe and say to myself, “Wow, that was seriously fucked up right there.” Then there were nights when I all too obviously realized that nothing was going to happen. Any potential progress would be my own, and most likely turn into some sort of distant archival note to sit quietly on the dashboard representing the less than enthusiastic person that I was at that particular moment in my life.
The good parts slowed down. After the summer, it’s almost as if everybody has to coordinate plans for larger-than-life conquests into small-town obscurity. We need to find the little air-raid holes to crawl into with others so all of us can calmly decide that even though it’s not something huge, it’s still something. My main problem with this initial concept is that fact that she wasn’t this way at all. I was in love with somebody who in the clearest of lights, although I chose to blindly hide in the dark for so long, was always looking for something better than what was offered. I was there, with some seemingly boring albeit truly genuine ideas of where I wanted the night’s events to go, and she would be looking for the next shot, the next hit, the next mistake and the next excuse the next morning.
She was good at coming up with all of the excuses, the most common and I suppose gut wrenching of all of them being this: “It’s not like I ever have to see him again or anything.” This seems beyond stupid, doesn’t it? That such a truly shallow statement would somehow manage to get to me, to tear apart my insides and leave me all alone on most cold nights staring up at the ceiling and wondering why certain people are a certain way. Why certain people decide that there always has to be something better to do, something much cooler out there.
I was never this way. I thought that the things we were and weren’t doing were all somehow a truly beautiful manifestation of who we were as people. We knew each other when things were and weren’t happening, and we all dealt with the subsequent consequences following the slow spin of the alcohol the next morning. I didn’t used to indulge so much before that year, and yet as time passed and we all began to wonder why we didn’t know about this and that going on, myself more so than not simply wondering why this gigantic feeling that I had calmly kept bottled up for so long wasn’t fleshing out in quite the overly cinematic way I wanted it to, we soon realized that maybe it wasn’t the best of ideas to continually have nothing to do. I searched for other jagged possibilities and yet still ended up falling right back into my overly pathetic routine at the end of that school year.
It was strange, almost as if nothing had changed. I would look around at my friends, the ones that had been there since forever, a lot of them still waiting for their highly publicized fall from grace, and I wouldn’t see all the same things anymore. Some of them were growing up too fast, only later deciding to indulge in their childlike impulses when we they knew it would most likely be frowned upon. I was still me, though. I know that I was, and despite the occasional dazed obsolete feelings of heartbreak, I figured that there was still some sort of lingering bottom-of-the-barrel chance that eventually everybody will realize what they’re missing out on. After all, I was the same way once. I didn’t see it all as clear as day before, and yet even though I tried not to notice her gradual shift into pure unadulterated human irreverence, eventually it would get to me.
That time, though, that sophomore year full of cars passing us by, and moments hidden in familiar locations, us becoming regulars to our own self-indulgent and highly self-destructive ways, was beautiful. If anything else, I suppose I was happy to be in love and heartbroken about such a fact often, rather than hating myself for being stuck alone with nothing to do, listening to the voices of those who did ultimately decide to stick around. I had to get away and see what was and wasn’t happening, for the sake of myself, and yet I still don’t see how I could have been so fucking naïve to how it all was. I should have changed faster. I should have become as numb as possible earlier. If anything else, it would have most likely sped up the process. All my decisions were small and insignificant that year. There was no real reason for why they had to be any other way.