Tell me what you remember.Posted: June 12, 2010
It’s hard to believe I’m going to get on a plane in 10 hours and leave Evanston for an entire summer. It seems trivial when I say it, but 3 months is a pretty long time. The beginning of last summer feels so long ago, even though FUP could have been a week ago for all it seems to me. It’s been good, guys. I’m going to miss this shit. I couldn’t even imagine how things would turn out, that first day when Sara Fletcher drove me and Brian Chen and Taiyo and maybe even Tyr into downtown Chicago and piled us into that hostel before forcing us into weird get-to-know you games and a week of peanut butter sandwiches.
Do you remember that time we went around in a circle introducing ourselves? Name, hometown, major. I barely knew what journalism meant, and home was an easy answer, then. I never called anyone by name, afraid I would get it wrong.
The first time, it seemed so far from Norris to CRC, and so complex. My first few hours, I remember talking to Nathalie and Lindsey in 2-green, before that meant anything. I didn’t want to be as awkward as I was. I remember seeing Ariana and Carrie sitting on their bunk bed, looking too cool for me to talk to. Alison was trying to complete her Wildcat Welcome quiz so she would be allowed to move in as I was getting my keys. I wanted to be friends but I hadn’t slept in days and I also wanted to fall into my bed. Remember going to Six Flags, getting more soaked than I ever had in my life, and having that weird ice cream funnel cake? Remember how stressed those little booklets of orientation schedules made us? I felt like I had to be 20 places at once. Back then, I thought that feeling would go away.
Remember that time we walked back down Sheridan from Astronomy, after our Sargent lunches and 2 p.m. lecture naps, and it rained and my shoes soaked straight through, but I couldn’t find an umbrella anywhere? Remember how that happened almost every day of Fall? Remember how afraid I was of snow, terrified that it would always get colder? That day it dropped below zero and I could barely walk in all my layers, and the snot inside my nose froze into ice, the Frost Bite Express left me behind to walk to a final I would never be ready to take.
Do you remember the party at Halloween, when we were the only sober people at the dance party, but we had the most fun because we were the ones that got to dance with Pikachu?
Do you remember charades played at Gabi’s house, when I tried to explain what paisley meant, and we went to Wisconsin? Sonic was more exciting, and there were shifty people on that border, but we played pdiddle all the way there. I still think it every time I see a broken headlight.
Remember when I thought I could do sports? Twice a week during Fall I would trek up to the turf fields through that shady forest by the lake, convinced I would have to beat off an attacker with my metal waterbottle, and come back so soaked to the bone that the security guard would laugh at me as I dripped upstairs. It was worth it for a while, until it became apparent that unlike the rest of the team, almost everything else came first for me.
Do you remember the time you broke that door in a stranger’s basement, when we were those girls at the party, the ones that drank too much and giggled too hard, and you told me I wasn’t drunk enough so you poured more and more till my tongue didn’t move well enough to correctly form words and I puked in the sink in my bathroom and told my roommate I wanted a single?
Remember when dinner always lasted an hour? Most nights I laughed so hard I thought I would puke, back when dorm food wasn’t boring yet and Allison seemed like a magical place. Winter Quarter Willard lunches lasted 2 hours, and I was always sleepy by the time I left for class.
Remember windy days on the lakefill, when we came pretending we would do work but never got around to it? Remember every time Alexis farted? Remember when the dingle was a marvel? Remember Surfer Blood, and St. Vincent, and Portugal the Man, and Tegan and Sara, and Los Campesinos, and even Graham Colton? Remember when it rained on the train coming back from Los Campesinos, and you guys came on the train from Owl City and got on my car? Remember Dillo Day, during Guster when everyone who wasn’t back getting drunk was dancing on the field like the essence of happiness?
Remember the first day Zach saw snow, and stared at it all throughout lunch with the happiest smile on his face? And when we went to Threadless, and found that snowman? Remember the aquarium, and trying to find Mr. Beef, and the chocolate tour? Remember Chinatown, and buying nunchucks, and our makeshift picnic on the river?
Remember the first time the sun came out at the end of Winter Quarter? It was the most carefree day I’ve ever spent, no responsibilities, no worries, just a sweater and some sunshine and all day to spend enjoying them. It was still kind of cold, and the grass left mudstains on my pants, but we sat outside CRC for hours sporting our sunglasses and pretending we were reading. Remember when the guitars came out? Josh sang to us in Spanish, and Olivia looked as cool as ever. I wanted to stay there forever. I never cared about the sunshine before then. I hadn’t realized that I missed it. I can barely remember winter now. How it cut into my face, how I was afraid to walk down Chicago because of the wind tunnel, how many pockets my jacket had, how I barely had to choose clothes in the morning because I could just grab my coat and go. How much I loved scarves, and hats. Tony always made fun of my hats.
Remember how at the end of every break, I was always the last one to leave, because I didn’t want to go back?
Yeah, it’s still like that.