Saturday, December 24, 2011

And Suddenly It's Christmas Eve

I should apologize for my absence, though I hardly think it unreasonable. December was a busy time for me; after all, I graduated college this month.

The actual event took place on the 20th but the extended weekend before was, by design, epic in nature. I was spending my last days as a campus resident. I figured I'd better do so in style.

It's worth noting that my very presence at Major University during this time period was technically illegal and thus by definition endowed with a certain foundational element of coolness. University stipulations state that all residents are to be gone within a day of their last exam, which for me meant being out by Thursday, December 15th. I decided I didn't much like that, though, and so instead of departing I spent Thursday evening hosting a "get-together" that morphed into a party as least as large as the one that landed me in jail for a night on my birthday in April.

I took great pride in doing all the things that our university's police force had once, without evidence, accused me of doing: I flagrantly violated the occupancy rules for my residence area; I condoned, permitted, and facilitated underage drinking; I played loud music in brazen disregard of noise restrictions; and I not only allowed several of my guests to urinate in public, but, once I'd gotten enough in me, happily joined them.

It was all rather enjoyable.

Friday was spent in the company of a wonderfully cute but hopelessly closeted boy with whom I watched two movies, shopped at a thrift store, and got coffee; and then Saturday it was back to partying.

I went with my friend, Undercover Douchebag, to a gathering in a neighboring town, and it was at this event that he earned his new pseudonym. You see, Undercover Douchebag doesn't immediately show his true nature. In fact, I had a casual friendship with him for five years before I was able to see him for the ruthless alcoholic ideologue he is. It was when he started pounding liquor after promising to be our designated driver, then informed me he was "great at driving drunk" after I suggested he slow down, that I began to catch his stench. The odor grew stronger when he revealed mile-wide streak of social Darwinism that led him to express his belief in, among other things, leaving the disabled to die. By the end of the night his douchebag status was confirmed, and I drove home with someone else. Another one bites the dust.

I spent a quiet Sunday singing with Young Musician, a 19-year-old Sophomore who is among my newer friend group, before jettisoning Monday to yet another party, this one within sight of campus.

Weekends like this one make me wish I had been bolder earlier in my life. My entire university experience could have been like this, having great times and being comfortable in my skin as I did it. I suppose some of us need more time to learn than others.

I attended this last party, which among the three I went to over the course of the weekend was not only the largest but also the most fun, with Hungarian Guy, a young man I've grown inexplicably closer with following his breakup with my best friend Laquesha. His friend circle, like mine, is wide and eclectic, so any bash was bound to be a blast.

I saw some faces I recognized and some I didn't.

At one point a drunken Dutchman accidentally pushed me into a door, and when I told him he had to be careful because I was so much smaller than him, he reacted by seizing my hair, holding it out to its full length, and exclaiming, "Your hair is this long! It makes up for it!"

Hungarian Guy slept in Patrick's vacant bed, and the next morning I woke up to face one of the most important moments of my life: graduation.

My parents, as cold and warped and petty as usual, said scarcely a word to me during the brief ceremony, but my grandmother was there, waiting for me with her crinkled blue eyes and wide arms.

"I'm so proud of you," she said as she drew me into a hug. "I knew you could do it."

I couldn't have, not without her. But she'd never admit that.

Afterwards Laquesha joined Rowdy Cousin, my grandmother, and me for dinner in a restaurant near campus. We three family members joked about each other and Aunt Crazy while Laquesha laughed with appropriate zest, and Rowdy Cousin expressed his excitement for mine and Thomas's visit to my grandmother's house over the holiday.

I packed my room on Tuesday night. When I was done, I popped in a movie that I'd rented from the university library and ordered a pizza that I ate alone.

On Wednesday I drove away from Major University. I'd somewhat dreaded my departure from the school I called home for more than five years, but when the moment came all I felt was relief.

It's over. It's over and I can go out and build my life.

I've taken steps in that direction, but that's another post for another day. Tomorrow I'll celebrate Christmas with my family and assorted company, after which Thomas and I will depart on December 26th for four days at my grandmother's house. I have tentative New Year's Eve plans with Black Dress Girl and some friends, but beyond that I'm not really sure what's happening. It's a bit strange, this structurelessnes. With no classes left to return to, no exams left to take, I have no expectations or responsibilities save those I set for myself. I can't tell you how happy that makes me.


naturgesetz said...

Congratulations on graduating from college, and good luck in what comes next.

Merry Christmas!

Arizaphale said...

A fitting way to see out your college years! The world is your oyster. Enjoy that pearl!!

tracynicholrose said...

Congratulations. A momentous occasion indeed. I can't wait to hear about the adventures to follow. It is a difficult and exciting time.

Merry Christmas!

Woozie said...

Sounds like you enjoyed your final days. I can only hope mine are filled similarly with the things and people I love.

fairbetty said...

Congratulations on graduating. And I'm glad you got a send-off that pleases you. If that had been me, I'd be so hung-over after the first party I wouldn't be functioning! (Don't have a very good tolerance).

I hope what comes next for you is all you have been dreaming it would be!

Anonymously Me said...

Congratulations! I will face graduation and structurelessness in 5 months. Scary.

jo(e) said...

Congratulations! Graduating is a real milestone.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on graduation. I'm quite envious of your partying these last few weeks of school, you truly graduated with style. Enjoy your visit with your grandmother.

laura b. said...

Let me join the others in congratulating you! I can't wait to see what comes next for you...anything can happen!!!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Congratulations! I remember that feeling of freedom. Of course I did my college years a few decades apart, so when I graduated I already had 2 kids and a job. I just remember going to Barnes and Noble and buying a stack of books that I could read because I wanted to read them...not because someone was forcing me to!