My wit and my eloquence are not at their best at this particular moment, which is why I have no quick riposte to your ribbing. All my humour is dry and self-deprecating anyway. It’s making me wonder if you think I can’t take an Asian joke or two. The truth is, I don’t know how to make fun of anyone but myself.
Too bad you’ve got piss tests coming up. We’ve got this balcony, the right occasion, and I don’t drink anymore. Doesn’t mean I can’t listen to your war stories, or dangle in the air when you give out bear hugs. Perhaps I’d be less awkward when it comes to such bonding if I was in high-school JV football. Seth made the team one year, and scored a touchdown for guys like us.
I remember you. Iain and I went to buy a $5 hit off your bong 10 years ago, back when we cut our teeth on prairie fires and five-cent wings and I’ll-never-do-that-again. You were dancing to jazz by yourself in a beater and perpetual Kangol when we walked in, but you wore no shame on your face. The world is small when our lives are not.
Last time I saw Iain was at the housewarming, but I still think of him every time I use those crystal glasses he gave me that day. He would have wanted them filled with something tight-bodied and twelve-years old. Nowadays all I can take is a little Bailey’s on my Mayan chocolate Häagen-Dazs. Luckily they’re also perfect for ice cream.
I’ve long missed these nights. Breathing fresh air when stepping out of a stuffy bar. That sudden calm when coming out of the din. Big groups with the chance to change conversations. Nights that have been replaced by dinners with nuclear families and one-on-ones. Oddly enough, the only thing in common are stories of how one’s son is learning to play with his dick. The world would have me believe that a man isn’t made by the drinks he orders but by the attention he gives his kids.
If only I didn’t have to go so soon. I’ve never been to the peelers in Ottawa, and I can only imagine where my bills will end up.
Found this old video of back when I lived on Island Park in a 16th floor apartment, with Trolley and another person who shall remain unnamed.
Trolley looks so young! It’s not his face, just his hair that does it. And remember when I couldn’t stop listening to that AFI album? Seems like so long ago. I guess you’d only remember if you’ve been reading since 2004/2005, when we did stuff like this.
I wonder if I’m still too young to feel nostalgic. It seems like the only people who reminisce are those who are much older than me, but I already get nostalgic about my university days, when things were relaxed, I could sleep in, or skip class, and I didn’t have a mortgage to worry about.
Ah, residence. The first year of university, the first year away from my parents, and my first year in Ottawa. Also, the year I was introduced to Fear Factory, Dream Theater, and Refused.
I found these old pictures while organizing my pictures folder. Boy, do they take me back.
Take a look at this photo, for example, where I strapped a pair of khakis to my head, and started head banging to Deftones — Shove It (My Own Summer). Why did I strap a pair of khakis to my head? Cause I didn’t have long hair. Why did Pita and I decide to do this one day? I have no idea.
Or how about these ones, where the girls agreed to give me red chunks, back when I was obviously in my Tool phase. Nadine mis-read the instructions, mixed the wrong chemicals, and it came out all sparse.
- Failing Calculus 2 with Dave and Jarod. When we wrote the supplemental exam, it was five people total in the program who failed, three of whom were us. I guess I had the wrong study buddies. In the end, I was the only one who passed.
- Most of the guys on the floor getting sued for sexual harassment.
- Jarod and Jono’s rave room, lit with a blacklight and disco ball, which was somewhat famous around campus.
- Constant conflict between neighbors, me and Pita included, over the volume of music.
- Going to the gym with Dave, and having him spot me while I benched the bar. As in, the bar without weights. Afterwards, I would spot him while he benched 240. I don’t think I could have helped much.
Pita took these photos, got them printed, and scanned them. Dated ’99. Sure they aren’t great. They’re dark. They’re grainy, taken with a cheap film camera. But they’re still unforgettable memories, and it gives them a certain dated style. Makes me wish I had a taken some pictures myself.
Continue reading “Residence”…
Among the shots and the rounds, the friends and the fun, I found a graduation photo framed on his shelf, a candid shot of the Class of ’05.
Every one of my “clique” was among the faces. There were others as well, people I knew from class, even though I never talked to them. How different they all looked — all prim and proper in academic regalia — yet familiar.
I was the only one not in co-op, and graduated a year before everyone else. My convocation was insignificant. I only went because my parents wanted to see me make that walk that stage, a return on their investment. I don’t know who the dean of my faculty was, or who handed me my diploma. I was just another number in a profiteering institution. It meant nothing.
But seeing that photo struck a chord in me.
It made me realize how I’ve never really fit in. How I never belonged to a group. For some reason, I still long for that, or, perhaps, to have had that at one point in my life. Last time it was elementary and high-school. This time it was university. I don’t know why. I have my own group of friends now. Not a clique, because they don’t hang out with each other, but a motley crew I’ve built through the years.
I know it doesn’t make sense. There’s a reason I was never truly a part of any group.
The logical side of me understands that it isn’t significant. That it doesn’t, and shouldn’t matter. That nothing is more boring and pedestrian than fitting in.
But another part of me feels like I missed out on something.
And I don’t know if I’ll ever let that go.
The campus life when you’re just a number, when you choose not to party with all the brainless idiots, when university is just another awkward transition out of high school.
I remember this.