Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Beauty of These Summers
Fully three years into my university career, I only now fully appreciate the greatness of college summers.
The reason I’ve just come to it, as I realized this morning, is because this is the first summer I’ve had since graduating high school three years ago that I am not miserable and dangerously depressed.
The summer of 2007 was the summer after my Freshman Year, and in my recovery from that shattering experience I wasn’t even sure yet if I’d be going back to Major University.
This time last year, during the summer of 2008, I was struggling to find a job and already beginning the deep slide into desolation that would take me to the verge of suicide in June and July.
Perhaps because of my natural love for history, I have from the time I was thirteen years old divided my life into sections, usually clearly defined by major life events. My childhood was a long plain of silliness and innocence, a time before I really sensed the world around me.
It was only when my teen years began that the first stirrings of real consciousness whispered their way into my young brain, and I began to awake to the universe.
Counting my childhood and the cycle I'm currently in, there have been six personal eras of my life, the last of which was the worst.
When I look back upon the Black Times, as I christened the age, I see that it really was an enormous gulf of time; from August of 2006 and proceeding on for at least two full years, I had nothing but desolation. I’ve never known when to officially end the Black Times.
Other eras, taking place in happier times, were easier to delineate. Deliverance, for example, the blessed years of my own adolescent resurrection, began on December 27, 2001, the day we moved to Beautiful Town; and ended on May 27, 2004, the day I left. The Time of Tumult, an age of enormous upheaval, started the day Deliverance ended and concluded on March 10, 2005, when my family left Deep South State.
Within the Time of Tumult’s whirlwind ten months were contained my corrosive summer with Anne and my hurricane-ridden, death-plagued, glamorous days in Central City, days that still call to me.
The Interregnum, a pointless period between the Time of Tumult and the ashy death of the Black Times, commenced the day we left Central City and came to an abrupt halt on August 24, 2006, when I moved into my dorm at Major University.
The Black Times definitively began in late August of 2006, but when did it end? I declared its conclusion several times, only to keep moving the date further and further into the future. I attempted in November of 2007 and February of 2008 to bury it, but like a horrible reanimated corpse it rose to stalk me. I began a decided rebound last August, but depression lingered well into the school year.
A good demarcation point might be when I first came out on my blog, or perhaps the night last Fall I broke down and confessed everything to my mother. It was definitely over by Christmas Break. When I figure it out I’ll write it down.
And so the vast stretching arc that was the Black Times, that pitch sheath of indeterminate end, prevented me from enjoying the summers of 2007 and 2008. This time, though, its grip has ended, and I can truly see what a blessing we university students enjoy.
I was on summer vacation on the twelfth day of May, a full month before local schools were to let out, beginning a holiday that extends nearly to September. I still work at the theater, now approximately thirty hours a week, but my shifts there are stacked between Friday and Saturday. During the rest of the week, I’ve divided my time between hanging out with Sacagawea, driving around with Peruvian Girl, composing a song with my father’s friend Guitarist Man, reading, writing, singing, blogging, and doing whatever else I want. Along with several leisure trips interspersed, I get to live like this for four months, and I love it.
Monday morning at around eleven-thirty I went to Guitarist’s house with an original song I’d written called “So Long.” This is a pop number that I’ve thought has great radio potential since when I wrote it last June. Guitarist, a talented musician, brought my cathartic lyrics and anthemic melody to life with scorching guitar chords that make the song only more addictive.
Powell once called the notion that I could make a record label money one of the most ridiculous things he’d ever heard, but anyone else who’s listened to this piece is amazed by it.
We recorded the first preliminary version today. I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to.
I promise that as soon as I figure out how, I will share this track with you.
Monday afternoon was uncharacteristically cold, and I spent it and the entire evening in Sacagawea’s warm home. She made hot dogs with macaroni and cheese for her nineteen-year-old boyfriend Marine and sixteen-year-old sister Pocahontas, then stayed up late with me watching movies and listening to my complaints about boys, who seem averse to even looking at me.
An unexpected visit by Bisexual Boy, who came to excitedly announce his newest crush to Pocahontas, didn’t help with my mood on the subject.
Next Thursday, Peruvian Girl and I are meeting up with two new friends and going to a club in Marble City. Finnish Girl, a friend of mine from Major University, has promised to accompany us along with her boyfriend Lawyer Man. Having never been clubbing before I am nervous about this, but I am going anyway.
This time, I live.