Monday, August 29, 2005

Sentimental 'State' of Mind

Yesterday I got to thinking... I was in my car, the window rolled down, the hot air slipping up the sleeve of my shirt, blowing my hair back. It was late afternoon and I was just getting to my list of things to do. The first daylight my eyes were seeing was at 4 o'clock. I popped in the Garden State Sdtk. and hit track number five...letting Colin Hay sort through my thoughts. "I drink good coffee every morning/It comes from a place that's far away/And when I'm done I feel like talking/Without you here/There is less to say..." I used to skip school in college when I was living in Pittsburgh. A lot. I'd skip class and wander off down dismal city streets. I explored coffee shops. Traded uncomfortable words with the homeless. Cried as I walked aimlessly through crowds of strangers. I had one friend. I sometimes bring him up in conversations with other people. Here and there. I realize that I don't bring him up often because I fell in love with the idea of him and somehow got it into my head that I shouldn't still think about him. When I think back to that time in my life, however, he is the only one there. Behind the building where I frothed gallons of milk and he dumped bagels into boiling water. Sitting against the dumpsters and listening to him tell me what Utah is like at night. On the side of a mountain, giving me a different view of the world. Around the corner from class, making me feel less alone when he offered to join me for lunch. Parked outside my apartment, giving me a song to remember him by. "I don't want you thinking I'm unhappy/What is closer to the truth/That if I lived til I was 102/I just don't think I'll ever get over you..." My friends and I have done a lot over the years. We've partied, we've gone to bars, concerts and fairs... We've been drunk, we've been sober, we've been sad. When I left Rachel's house Saturday morning, I was thinking about how much I enjoyed our talk...and that I had been up for almost 24 hours. But I didn't regret a single minute of it. I don't regret a single minute of my friendship with her. Then I thought about all of my friends. I don't regret a single minute with any of them either. Even with the petty arguments, and the more intimate, painful fights. I can trace back all my favorite moments...and the ones I've forgotten, they usually remind me of. I don't regret any of them...good or bad. "I'm no longer moved to drink strong whiskey/I shook the hand of time and I knew/That if I lived til I could no longer climb my stairs/I just don't think I'll ever get over you..." There are others. People who I only know as acquaintances. Maybe only one or two conversations between us. Maybe not even that. There is one who gave me the most enlightening talk at a bar, and he probably doesn't even know it - considering he was drunk. The two of us just outside everything that was happening in that bar. There is the one who knew more about me than I thought would...but that's okay. Even though he wasn't necessarily careful with the knowledge. There was the child I saw walking through the park by herself...the thought of her being alone more than I could bear. There was the one who I'll never know whether or not she was really my friend. There are those who shared my classrooms...and my secrets. There are those who no longer roam this earth with me, and those who are yet to be welcomed into it... "A face that dances/And it haunts me/The laughter still ringing in my ears/I still find pieces of your presence here/Even...even after all these years..." I have never met anyone I haven't been amazed by in some way. I am intrigued and interested and blown away by each one of my friends...when I think about them. I am changed by every moment. And even those that lead to feelings that may feel unhealthy at the time...they are just as precious. I'll never let any of them go. I just don't think I'll ever get over any of them. And you can't make me.