Me and Bacchus would have been homeboys.
Though I’m not one to indulge too often in the earthly libation known to our Native American friends as fire water–and have exactly one minus one times in man sex–I thoroughly appreciates those evening in which I pour a few glasses ( or tie one on as my old white duns call it). While drinking like a freshman that gets found passed out in their entryway is less than agreeable, a few drink over a fish dinner in which you discuss: how much you want to hit Sarah Palin with a hammer, being a a Yale graduate, car insurance, and how much you want you want to hit Sarah Palin with a hammer–probably in the knee but maybe the mouth depending on the situation–certainly qualify with “gangbusters” status in my book.
As most of you probably aren’t aware, my girl The Michelle is heading to the Nati that she might be able to one day take over the good people who make both Crest and Magic Erasers. For me, there is a good deal of emotion involved, namely because it was around six years ago this week that a young freshman scrap in maroon wifebeater attempted to woo her outside her apartment after having grossly miscalculated the distance from Zeta Psi to her residence. There is also a bit of emotion attached to the fact that she has been there through think and thin; through chocolate and vanilla and everything in between. In some less-than-sober way, hers is the only opinion I care for when it comes to my maturation from young scrap to older scrap because, in the best and worst ways, she has seen the arc in its entirety.
I won’t lie: This back-to-school time makes me feel somewhat nostalgic. Unlike your first fall out of school when you’re still trying to figure out why real life doesn’t involve a meal plan and no work on Friday–which I’ve still managed to finagle because I’m ill like that–your second fall is one in which you’re a bit more familiar with how this new phase of life is supposed to work. In this sophomore season, you have more of an opportunity to not only look wistfully upon those who still have the opportunity to live in an alternate reality, but also fondly ponder those times in which your “work” began at the crack of 11.
Over dinner, I found myself doing that. Whereas your last year of college is memorable, wistful reflection has more to do with missing circumstances that are far removed from the present. When your trip down memory lane goes longer, when you think about the early days of black roommates paired together, of five dollar couches and breaking the belt loop on that junior’s pants at your first college party EVER, you start to clear your throat and pour a glass of prune juice. Unlike the little effort it takes to remember when you were a sophisticated senior who had mastered the art of holding the inhalation of a marijuana cigarette while downing a shot of whiskey, navigating the waters of being a “not lame but rather a semi-cool version of lame because you didn’t have quite the right seasoning to keep you from being anything other than not lame but rather a semi-cool version of lame” seventeen year old is both rough and enticing.
As I recounted the story of meeting The Michelle to my parents, I couldn’t help but be struck by how vivid the memory seemed. I’ve forgotten many frames of the movie of my life, but this one–and many from that era–are my Zapruder. In some I’m waving at the crowd; in others, Jackie’s crawling on the back of the limo to grab my skull cap. For some odd reason all these frames appear to be sunny. These images capture a sunshine I secretly miss, even when Jackie’s going to the back of the limo. It’s funny; despite the fact that I know some of these days were a bright, shining lie, I remain dazzled and want one more chance to wave from that motorcade.
Sometimes I want just one more glass of water after a night at Zeta Psi. Peace to The Michelle.
Penultimate Thought: If “liberal elite” means I don’t like the dumb, so be it.
Final Thought: Michigan with an Adidas contract is crime against the universe.