It seems to have been an eternity, since those days. The days when he entered college seemed like an eternity ago. Could it have been so long? Could he still be that young man he remembered? It couldn’t be, right? After all, so much had happened. High school felt like a dream that didn’t really happen. Indeed, so little actual growth happened then. Like all the major things in his life, it felt anti-climactic. His first kiss came out of nowhere. He didn’t even have time to process it before the moment was gone. His first time being intimate was with someone he didn’t love It was awkward, yet exciting. For all the great things about that night, it didn’t feel real. Part of him thought that he was still in that motel room, wondering what happened next. Yeah, it was that cliche. That girl won’t even speak to him anymore. So passes our hero from another person’s memory. Like so many before and since.
He stared at the stars. It was the only thing about moving back to the city that bummed him. Out in the Valley, the stars were gorgeous to watch. There had been so many beautiful nights with the Northern Lights. He even saw a star fall! To see something like that, it felt like a good omen. A good omen couldn’t hurt. Indeed, given what was coming, a good omen felt like a pretty good thing.
Back to the city, where so much both good and bad happened. Part of the city felt like a refuge from the ugliness. He remembered his favorite dorm room. That place was a sanctuary. Now, he didn’t have that. Indeed, there were memories in that room that would forever remain there, to haunt whoever took residence in there next. Memories like waking up with her. The girl who was his first. The first time was not the last. There was something in how he would wake up before her, but she slept so light that she almost always woke up not long after. She would look up at him and snuggle closer. Soft memories like that.
Another memory was playing games with one of the most vexing people he had ever met. To this day, he didn’t understand this person. She was an enigma that was constantly trying to be solved. Maybe that was why he found her so appealing. Indeed, this person was everything that interested him.
Then there was the last person he dated. The first time they were kissing in that room. Another person who vexed him. Indeed, almost every single person he has had romantic interest in are the people who he can’t wrap his mind around. Having met so many people, due to his height, it became kind of odd how few people actually made him think that he had met someone truly unique. Why was that? Many questions that maybe didn’t need answers. After all, take away the mysteries of life and what are you left with? Not a lot.
In that dorm room, so much of life made a lot of sense. The insecurities that now nipped at his heels weren’t there. It didn’t feel like he was looking down the barrel, like it did now. The entire world felt like it was in front of him. Was it that way for whoever occupied the room now? He couldn’t help but wonder. He bet that whoever was in the room now didn’t appreciate the memories that remained there. A memorial to the time that was spent in that room. It was a happy time.
How can one grow old in several long years? How can one go from a lost teenager to a lot adult that way? Did he just not notice that he had become a different person? It was one of the little questions that he pondered, listening to an American take on an African vocal number. Peaceful music. Romantic, too. A pity that he didn’t have anyone to share it with. Indeed, his romantic life had gone completely sour. So had his friend life. Indeed, almost all of his friendships had dried up since the days long passed.
College had been an education in inter-personal relationships a well. He thinks back on some of the ones that hit him the most. There was the reunion and subsequent ditching by his oldest friend. The memories of going to her house, which was not far from that dorm, were some of his favorite memories. However, they also felt like an eternity ago. Her husband convinced her to leave, because of a reason that made no fucking sense – to get away from stupid people. Yes, like that isn’t something that you find everywhere. Idiot. Clearly, there was some residual bitterness.
Then there was another old friendship which has quite-recently dried up to nothing. This one was with the first girl that he had a crush on. The two met in primary school. He immediately took a liking to her. She was odd. Had this odd friend that he also grew quite amicable with. Both of them have suddenly become much harder to talk to, in recent weeks. How had it all come to pass? How did their friendship wither up and die so fast? It felt like it was gaining strength again. When an operation nearly got her killed, he went to see her every day in the hospital. Yes, he was still into her. But seeing her when she was sick was done out of compassion. It can’t be wrong. There was no ulterior motive. There is an attraction, sure. But kindness done for good reasons can’t be wrong, can it? One of those questions with no real answer. Like many, in life.
Then there is the one that has touched him most of all. One that he chose to let go of, finally. It needed to happen, and it has felt like a weight lifted off his back. Hope may not be lost on the man. He may still have a chance to set it all right. Who knows?
His future partly frightens him, but not nearly as much as it used to. For the first time, in a long time, there is peace inside. He will be getting a new apartment soon. Another step taken down a long road. What awaits at the end of that road? Who knows? But with each step, he gets that much closer.
This man is no one, and everyone.
Until next time, a quote,
“You don’t know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” -Unknown