As I sit in thought trying to conjure up story ideas, naturally, I tend to resort to my own life experiences. I am also resorting to the cliche ideas centered around life, thinking of moments in my life where I had the most profound epiphanies. When I think of these moments I mold to them the question of “when does hardship become triumph” or “when does adversity become a source of hidden beauty”. I’m not even quite sure if that’s how I would phrase my story ideas, but that’s the best I can come up with at this late hour.
One such story is the tale of my freshman year at college. I had attended Rutgers University in New Jersey my entire freshmen year. I remember going there and just being in complete shock. Nearly 50,00 kids and not a single one I knew, living on the international floor with a roommate from China in the basement of my dorm building- a weeping sense of loneliness and a loud solitude ended up enwrapping me like a blanket, and I snuggled right up into it. As time persisted, I learned how to put myself out there. I really had no choice though, it was nearly a matter of survival. Thank god I did. There’s a whole lot more that I can add to this story, but long story short, I made a lot of meaningful friendships during this process. Friendships that still persist to this day believe it or not. Most importantly, I learned alot about myself along the way (I know this is not exactly the most desired phrase for a story, but again, I can add to it). Having almost transferred back here to UVM after the first semester, I’ll be forever grateful towards my mother for pushing me to ride out the full year. I guess one’s comfort zone can be ones worst kryptonite.
The next story is a bit more profound and more recent. It occurred the very first week of school during the first semester this year. It was a Friday, the first Friday back in school, so everyone was home. Naturally, my friend and I were excited to go out.
There were a few situations that happened earlier that day and during that night that foreshadowed the darkness that was to erupt in the night’s climax at around 3am. Essentially, my friend and I met up with a kid we sort of knew while at Rasputin’s. He invited us over to his place to smoke once the bar closed, all we had to do was buy rolling papers. Being the Cheech and Chong we are, it was a no brainer. Fuck yeah we’ll buy papers.
When we got to the house I could sense the hostility that had been fumigating in the air, but god knows for how long. Eventually, for reasons I’m not quite sure of, fighting broke out amongst everyone that was there. My friend and I knew none of the kids so we had no reason to participate in the fighting. Instead, which was also a mistake, we tried to break it up. I remember grabbing a hold of one of the instigators, who happened to be the kid that invited us over, and shoving him on his bed telling him that the fighting needed to stop. As I walked into the hall way my friend was getting jumped. I ran over to help him, but by the time I got there he had stood up and was stumbling. As he was stumbling by the top of the stairs I watched him get sucker punched. He flew down the stairs, not even tumbling, and smashed his head wide open against the wall at the bottom of the stairway. I can go into bitter detail, but I’ll just say that there are things in life that you will never unfeel or unsee. This is one of those moments for me.
For now I’ll just say this: not only is life short, but life also owes you nothing. No matter who you are, how old you are, what you’ve done, what you haven’t done, what you want to do; life owes you nothing. But, maybe you owe something to life. I just can’t say what that is quite yet.