Thoughts On Endings at Dawn

As I drove home this morning at six, I watched the sun rise, the peach-skin skies revealing the sillouhette of a continent of overcast clouds. Leaving out in the dark, I drove and soon looked out the window to see the sky pinker, brighter. You’re left wondering how this happened, so slowly, yet so fast, as if you haven’t even been paying attention. Life’s changes act much like the sky during dawn or evening; we cannot perceive the light changing but it always is. And suddenly as we’re driving, we look up to see that everything around us is different.

As I approach my 24th hour of being awake, I am remarkably conscious and alert. Perhaps much calmer after physically exhausting myself. As far as definite turning points in our lives, graduation could count as one of them. Last night at 8, my school filed across a stage to receive diplomas, and we turned our tassels on our caps to finally become these new people. As if we were supposed to feel different, more grown up, gaining like Spider Man strange super powers like a complete understanding of microeconomics.

But changes don’t come like that, a simple radioactive spider bite and you’re changed. Growing up is as slow and difficult as the DMV.

After graduating, the community held Project Graduation which provided us with endless entertainment for the night including inflatable obstacle courses, jousting stations, a very impressive buffet, a dance rave, raffles, gambling, and free spa massages.

What should have made me pass out has instead invigorated me and instilled me with a sense of calm. I drove away, dropped off a friend at his house, and drove to my own. I opened my laptop to write simply because calmness puts me in the writing mood. There is a certain time of night when I lose my mind and begin to babble, losing sanity. Then that passes and I become simply calm and again awake. Right now, I here family members waking from their beds.

Today, when I wake from the heavy sleep that will come, I may post something else about what happens next: the future. For now, however, I’m thinking only of the past and how this past and future converge at an uncertain dawn. We live so ardently in that past, look up and realize that the sky is turning pinker, brighter. Things have changed, and we haven’t even noticed.

I only wanted to give my first impressions after the night’s festivities. I cannot quite even understand how wakefulness will work, whether my energy will suddenly drop out from under me like a trap door. Like a narcoleptic, I’ll fall violently into dreams. It’s nearing seven. Morning is here finally, full and bright, and writing this, I could not even observe its exact changes, only its general.

Because I am going on vacation, I probably will not blog for about six days. Or perhaps I will be inspired by the sea to write, and the sea tends to be quite inspiring, I believe. Class of 2012, make sure to take a look around. Savor the moments because while you look away, they pass and things have changed.


Bittersweet: End of High School

School emblem

If bittersweet were an actual taste, who would buy that candy? That caramel mellow finality, the sugary rush of the future, the dental office War Head zap. Candy companies would fall. Ice cream trucks would cease to echo their repetitive jingles through suburban streets. Bittersweet is nothing but an ending, impossible, too soon. Once you taste it, the best you can do is simply move on.

We have the future to look forward to, however bleak or bright or vague it may appear. That’s the problems with endings. They’re never final. You expect that lump to rise in your throat, your fists to clench with the pain of nostalgia. But you drive off the lot and feel nothing. Not until years later will we realize we may not see most of those people ever again. Never sit in plastic-bucket-seats, cracked down the middle, the desks chipped away, the metal bars twisted to form cages against our legs. Even going back to walk across the campus, we won’t belong there. Everything may look the same, but it won’t.

We’ll become the ghosts haunting students of the future. Our memories are imprinted there like footprints on the moon, but for such a place so used to change, we can be swept away like the dead autumn leaves.

So long we’ve complained about how hard it is, how terrible it is, when really we will pine for such easy days when we knew exactly what we were supposed to do. Knew where to go and when by the ring of bells. Everything was certain, concrete, and final. And now we’re left with the task of undertaking a new phase of life. We’re leaping off the cliffs into dangerous waters, waving our arms, hoping we’ve learned how to swim.

At a basketball game, cheering on. Oh, look, there’s me in the top-right corner!