mad drunk genius

I used to have all sorts of problems. Now there's just the one.

Tag: college

Fire alarm, round five (or six?)

Okay, so last night the fire alarm goes off again. Just like before, I and most people expect nothing to be truly wrong and I’m sure to dress warmly, expecting another half hour out in the cold while the police and RAs took their sweet time to turn it off and let everyone back in. However, this time I discovered that that was not the case.

Apparently someone on the second floor used their lighter to set off the sprinklers, which in turn set off the fire alarm. However, on the second floor, so much water came out that the hallways and a lot of the rooms were flooded. I am on the first floor, and some of those rooms were damaged too, however mine escaped this fate. Not that I knew this for some time.

So it’s about 3:30 am and we’re told to go to the other dorms for a while, find a friend’s place to go stay at, or just sit in one of the various lounges. I tailed one of my friends and just went with him because he’s on the baseball team and knows more people than I do. Another baseball player with him remembered that one of their friends lives on the third floor and we all went up there to see if we could stay and watch television. We weren’t sure we were at the right place, so the other friend called to confirm it was the right room, but neither of the occupants were actually there. Luckily, the room was still unlocked. Unfortunately, nothing was on cable television and the room smelled awful with rotting junkfood and sodas everywhere. After ten or fifteen minutes of watching ESPN and some minor presentation ceremony for college football awards, we went over to the lounge and hung out watching the firetrucks out the window.

Why did they send in firetrucks to take care of a flood? I don’t know.

We talked about yo-yos, pogs, how we never understood the rules of pogs despite having some. Classes. We were very bored and had nothing at all to do.

FInally the firetrucks started pulling away so the three of us left the lounge and went downstairs to see if we could get back in our rooms for the night and get a few more hours of sleep.

However, when we got back downstairs and outside, the RAs told us that no one could go back to our rooms. Our options were to either go back to the other dorms and try to stay with a friend, or we could go to the old dorms everyone moved out of at the beginning of the year. This is where I had started, coincidentally. It’s not bad, but 40 years old is 40 years old.

Anyway, that was the selection we made and the three of us drove over there in the other friend’s truck because by now, it had started sleeting. Good times.

We got over there and and my friend and I went over to the television room (big screen, reasonably nice) and someone was watching HBO. The movie on was Internal Affairs with Richard Gere and Andy Garcia, although I needed the use of imdb.com to figure that out. Not a very interesting movie, at least not when you only catch the tail end of it. Friend’s friend decided to try to sleep, but of course he had to do it on mattresses with just a mattress cover, no sheets or pillows. Needless to say, this did not work out for him.

After a while (4:30 I guess) the RAs said they could temporarily let people back into their rooms to get a few necessities. One of the guys had gothis Xbox 360. We played Call of Duty III until about 7:30 and then everyone had to go take their first final or just went to breakfast.

I won 3 out of the five matches with my friend as the allies. Which made me feel good because I’ve never played the 360 before.

By nine am the first and third floors were allowed back in.

Good times, good times.

False alarm

School set off the fire alarms in the dorms around 11 pm. Insomniac by choice though I may be, tonight I chose to get some sleep early. Unfortunately, after being forced to get up and rush out into the cold night, I was no longer in a sleeping mood.

Apparently I would have been fined for staying inside and treating it like the test it was, but luckily I was smart enough to get properly dressed and grab my wallet, cell phone, etc, before I left, figuring that’s what it was.

I walked over to McDonalds instead of waiting to be let back in, walked through the drive through since that was all that was open. Food was all right.

Walked back to the dorms, everyone was already inside so I went in, too. Couldn’t go back to sleep.

Next time there’ll be a real fire and I’ll sleep through it, I bet.

Arriving

To be perfectly honest, in the weeks leading up to it, I didn’t think about moving out of my parents’ house. I forgot it immediately if I did at all. I could say my mother thought about it enough for both of us, but it’s not like I was oblivious to what was going on, or its significance. It’s probably the most jarring change of my life so far, but it meant something completely different for me than it did for her and everyone else I knew at home.

So as I got in my car and drove out of the driveway, I wasn’t crying, but my sister was. She wasn’t there to actually see me, but I’d talked to her on the phone just before and told her I was going. She had to hang up and call back several times to get through it, but that was okay. My mother was standing there on the lawn, bawling her eyes out, and my dad was hugging her with one arm while he teared up himself, but stayed composed, probably for my sake as much as my mother’s. They were happy for me, but obviously that wasn’t why they were crying.

I waved and they waved and as they got just out of sight, I became sad as well, but not because I was leaving them. Like I said, I hardly thought about that at all. I was sad for them, sad they were sad, but not really sad myself. I was leaving to them, but in my mind I was going to college. I had spent the past weeks, and really my entire life, preparing for that day. Getting an education, getting the social skills to interact with people, learning and maturing enough to be able to survive independently. My life had prepared me for the time when I would go, and that meant that what I had lost mattered very little to me right then. All they could do was look back at what had been, but I was looking forward.

I was departing in their eyes, but from my perspective, I was finally arriving.

Cruel or morbid as this may sound, in a way, I was actually happy watching my parents cry there on the lawn. I said to myself, “God, I wish this is what my funeral is like.”

I mean that with the best intentions, really I do. Without applying the metaphor too broadly, I think moving away from the people you care about is a slice of your death that you actually get to witness and in a way where you can reciprocate their good-byes.

But just as the other, you’re gone and they’re left with everything in their lives the same, except that you’re gone. You get everything new and different and in many ways better, but they have the grief of a hole around them you used to fill. They’ve lost a loved one, and I think in a selfish way we all hope and pray that our actual deaths are the same way, but to a greater degree. We hope that we lived in such a way that people mourn our passing. We hope we had enough of an impact on the lives of the people around us that our passing is noticed. And we pray that when we leave this world, we arrive somewhere new and different and better. We pray that we’re only sad for other people, excited, though, for what’s to come, what we spent our whole lives preparing for.

As I drove away, I said to myself, “God, I wish this is what my funeral is like.” That’s my hope and prayer.

Comfortable

I got a new car yesterday, though when I say “I got” I mean my “parents bought me”, and when I say “new” I mean “used, 2005 model”.

It’s still a new car. For the past three years, I’ve been driving a purple 1994 Chevy Cavalier jokingly and sincerely called “the Purple Stallion”. Two doors, manual windows (which didn’t always roll down the right way), electric locks that didn’t fully lock or unlock, and most notably, a passenger side that filled up the floor board with water whenever it rained. But it was a great car because it was mine. I don’t know anything about cars, but I knew that car. I knew that when you put it in drive, you have to push the stick up until it clicks or else it would slide into second. I knew how long it took to accelerate, how much the car would turn when I turned the wheel, how quick it would stop (unless it was wet, then I knew how the brakes would pop if I tried to slow down). It was a great car and when I found out I was getting a new one, I was sad.

The new one is a 2005 Chevy Cavalier, so it’s not that different and in absolutely every way, it is superior to my old car. Everything works, everything works better. It feels like a perfect car. I understand that it’s not, but to me, it is. It’s like amazing in every aspect. Driving it home for the first time, I noticed how quiet it was, how easy it accelerated (it’s just a four cylinder, but it’s smooth). I played with a few things, but the blinker, lights, window wipers and such are all in the same places. It wasn’t until I actually got home and sat in the driveway listening to the stereo in the car (all four speakers work, whereas in my other one, only the back did) looking around at everything did it really hit me what I had. And I cried. I did, like I little girl, I started crying. I was that happy.

But the truth is, I’m still sad about my old car. I’m not sad because I’d rather drive it, but I’m sad because I can’t drive it and drive my new one. Maybe you can call that greed, but I don’t think it is. I’m sad about what I’m losing, even though I’m replacing it with something that exceeds it in every way. It’s the loss of the good that bothers me, exclusive, positive alternatives. Driving my new car is great, but what about the old one?

I guess every aspect of life is like that, even getting older. You’re always upgrading into a newer model and with any luck, it’s better than what came before it. But you miss the things you have to leave behind, not because they’re necessarily any better than what you have now, but just because they were good while you had them. Being in elementary wasn’t better than being in high school, high school hasn’t been better than college. But I still miss them both because at the age I experienced them, they were everything that I knew and they were supremely familiar and comfortable.

I wouldn’t go back to them now, I won’t go back to my old car, either, but I still reserve the right to miss it.

RIP Purple Stallion, or at least drive well for your new master.