So how much is four years of my life worth? According to the good people at US Airways–exactly $175 dollars: $25 for the first bag, second bag for an additional $100, and $50 for being 15 pounds overweight (insert joke about me here).
The thing about airports is that they really don’t exist in the real spatio-temporal world. If I were to blind fold you and drop you off in any major American airport, and close all windows so that all you could see were the insides of an airport, you would probably not know where you are, other than the fact that you are in an airport. Thus, the airport exists in its own little world, because every single one of them looks exactly the same from inside. It’s like Starbucks in that respect, which makes the presence of Starbucks inside airports all the more perplexing from a spatio-temporal perspective. Airports and Starbucks are like pocket dimensions: once you step in, you cease to exist in the real universe.
All in all, it has been a great fucking two weeks: it was everything I could have asked for and more. Hung out with all my good friends, drank, partied, fucked around, bought shit, sold shit, and enjoyed the last two weeks of responsibility-free living.
Now that I look back on the experience, I realized what it is that makes close friendship such a good thing: it is essentially timeless. I don’t mean timeless in the sense that nothing has literally changed, because of course they have: people grew up (physically and emotionally), have significant others, upcoming careers, different paths in life, etc. Those are all signs of time’s passage, but despite these changes, something about friends remain timeless. This is the reason why it is so easy, and unconscious I might add, to slip back into what seems like a space outside of time: we all speak in the same manner, still make the same kind of jokes, and generally act like we are in our own little world. I might not have seen some of these people for months and months on end, but the minute I see them, it is as if I’ve only seen them yesterday.
For this very reason, close friendships have allowed me to both forget the past (if only for a while) and not worry about the future. In the company of my friends, I seem to be living somewhere else, a place not haunted by the ghosts of the past nor threatened by the uncertainties of the future. And I’m glad that I spent the last two weeks of my carefree days from them, because once I start working, the dreary reality of the 9 to 5 world will inevitably set in, and I will, as J. Alfred Prufrock did, measure my life out in coffee spoons.
After all, when am I going to have the chance of spontaneously visiting friends in UCSD at 3 in the afternoon, getting shitty Italian food, smoking hookah and drinking beer, staying up all night to play games and shoot the shit? And when am I going to have the chance of visiting UCLA on a Wednesday night and get trashed, do all kinds of stupid shit, get on the roof of an apartment complex and yell and throw empty beer bottles on the pavement below? And then throwing up the next morning because one of my best friends forced ridiculous amounts of shitty rum down my throat the night before.
This is truly the last hurrah, when spontaneous midnight food runs are not only a good idea, but also very possible to carry out; when staying up till 3 or 4 in the morning to talk about anything and everything is the norm; when drinking too much results in saying some wild shit and having your balls busted the next morning by your roommates is not done in malice but in good jest. I might be making a lot more money, but I am also burdened with a lot more responsibilities. I guess it’s time to grow up and pay my dues, but hey, no one said I’d have to take up that particular cross with a smile.
It is my opinion that you can find a Bob Dylan song for whatever you are feeling at the moment, and for this moment, in my unabashed dipping into the nostalgia well, the Bob Dylan song that sums it all up is “Bob Dylan’s Dream” from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. It is a song that celebrates both the good memories and acknowledges the fact that real life gets in the way of the gathering of good friends. And so it is with that song that I conclude this post, because I too realize that with all of my friends’ college careers ending, chances like these will inevitably become rarer and rarer. I’m sure we’ll all meet again, don’t where, don’t when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.