I was at Stanford this week, submitting paperwork for a friend who will come down this summer. It was old and new. In 2012, I’d walked there alone and had become familiar with the Dumbarton from Newark. The next year, I had ever so often been accosted by a cheery fellow who claimed he was interning seriously. In 2014, I didn’t venture that way. It is 2015 now, and I am doing paperwork for the cheery fellow who will return to intern seriously (such is the claim).
Adam Lambert is 33. I remember supporting him an age ago, with little knowledge of contemporary music, impressed by his talent on some show or the other.
I am surprised by time’s flow.
Men from my school cohort are getting married. My family grows wary. They attempt, with little success, to interest me in matrimonial profiles of men who seem to have done well for themselves on average.
Sometimes, the law of average doesn’t work. There are scars and there are scars, there are battles fought alone, there are stories wrapped in folds of old diaries and fading photographs, and put together, they set you across a divide from the average, on the lower end or the higher end, for better or worse. You find yourself set apart from your beloved old friends by experiences, finding it difficult to ‘connect’, to speak of newer matters in your life. Perhaps this is why confidences coalesce down to intimates, brought on by the common ground gained through touch. Yet even then, there are things that must die, to keep things level – you give up something precious for someone precious and that is never spoken of again, left to fester in your thoughts on darker days.
Many things change when you say ‘no’. I have said ‘no’ to many things. Why do I still find myself capable of expressing surprise at all that has changed?
It is difficult. I have changed my name so often. I have left behind so many places I’d have loved to call home. I miss old friends as our life-paths diverge and we have less in common. I have met kind men and women sometimes. Now I am so far from where I had been that no one asks me who I am or where I am going.
“Mais tu n’es pas peur.”
“Mais je n’ai pas peur.”
The trick, I have found, is to fake it until it is true.
I had written to myself, in the beginning of 2015: “”Think about it this way – you’ve been through worse than love. And all that turned out fine.”