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Off to a solid start

Three days of school have passed without incident. Despite the fact that, as of this writing, I have yet to crack open a textbook, everything is very much in order.

I was a little worried, at first. Walking towards campus on the first day, I was inexplicably terrified. There was no real reason for it, unless you count the fact that I hadn’t attended a UW class in over six months. I was on time for once, and my usual walking route, although littered with student housing, was absolutely deserted up to a block away from campus. The strange solitude, coupled with my rustiness at attending class and my headphones’ continuing malfunction, bred an ineffable anxiety in the pit of my stomach. The guileless candor with which I usually approach a day of school was gone, wiped as thoroughly from the banks of my experience as if it had never been there. In its place was only the blind fear associated with the unknown.

The good news is that, after attending a class and meeting with the usual masses I hadn’t seen in months, I recovered my stride. I just had to remember that I’d done the whole school thing more times that I could count, that I was in fact more experienced in doing the whole school thing than almost anyone else on campus. Now, of course, it’s business as usual.

Friday night Ben had his 21st birthday party, and we did all the things people normally do for that occasion. At the party, people seemed to be impressed, primarily, with two things: my toenails, which are a shade of deep blue at the moment; and the fact that I am a fifth-year senior. I hadn’t ever considered the latter something to be especially proud of, but it certainly seemed to instill some awe in junior girls. I just need to find some way to use this fact to my advantage.

Surprisingly, Ben’s parent’s were present for his celebration, and seemed unperturbed by the keg of Fat Tire and the obviously underage crowd pumping its contents into their cups. They even made him a cake and presented it to him, at which point the crowd demanded “Speech, speech!” Most people, when confronted with the challenge of making extemporaneous witty remarks at a celebration in their honor, either refuse outright or mumble something they regret later. Ben, however, rose to the occasion admirably, and I was impressed enough that I’ll reproduce his speech here as best I can remember it.

So you know how when everyone has something you really want for a long time, but then you get it and it’s not even that cool? Well, being twenty-one is the exact opposite! It’s even cooler than I thought it would be! So for all of you who aren’t 21 yet: hahahah!

Truly, the words of a great man.

I’m not a big supporter of the 21-run, because in all honesty we drink enough as it is. I tagged along on Ben’s, though, and didn’t regret a single minute of it until the next morning. At the College Inn, we ran into Casey and Julian, as well as Heather Cope, the new chief editor of the Daily, and a good time was had by all. We stopped next at the Big Time, where Jared was still working in the kitchen and was nice enough to provide a platter of nachos for the birthday boy free of charge. From there we went straight to the Gallway Arms, where we played the single least coherent game of darts in which I’ve ever participated. No one lost an eye, which has to count for something. At one point, just after last call, someone foolishly passed out books of paper matches, and the darts were abandoned in their favor.

Understand that, by this point, we were all completely fubar. Even Nathan, past whose lips the smallest drop of grog rarely passes, was stumbling when we left the Arms at closing time. When the matches started flying (or when I started throwing matches, to be more accurate), everyone’s intoxication became readily apparent. The fun thing about match fights is that it’s really hard to actually injure someone, as nine times out of ten the match is mostly out by the time it reaches its target, but it’s still really exciting. Watching Nathan dodge my flicked matches was the highlight of the night for me. I mostly just let them bounce off of me, which is actually a pretty good tactic. No one caught fire, and we made it home safe and sound.

Saturday morning, I woke to the worst hangover I’ve known since getting back from Europe; maybe even before then, but it’s hard to remember. It was bad, in any case. I spent about two hours after my initial wake-up fading in and out of shallow, unsatisfying sleep, my head pounding and my stomach doing back flips. At one point, I dreamt I was in Thailand and a street urchin broke my glasses. I’m absolutely positive that’s symbolic of something, but I’ll be damned if know what. The experience made me consider writing a Daily article along the lines of “An ode to hangovers”, but I ended up writing it this afternoon about how much Ticketmaster sucks. You can read it on Tuesday, as I’m waiting for my editor to work her magic on my lackluster title.

Saturday was also Bryan’s friend Gabe’s birthday, and his mother treated all of us to dessert at the B&O Cafe, one of the hippest in a series of very hip coffee joints on Capitol Hill. I got lemon pie, and it was divine.

So, all in all, the school year is off to a great start. I feel like I’ve done my fair share in kick-starting it into high gear. Really, throwing the matches was enough, but you know me. I’m an overachiever.

Posted in Musings.


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