I didn’t expect to fall so hard, so fast for Alice. In fact, after meeting her for the second time at UW’s commencement in June, I expected to never see her again. She piqued my interest when she agreed to sneak off with me to smoke a cigarette during the ceremony — despite the pouring rain and general pandemonium caused by the weather, smoking on the graduation floor was an activity strictly prohibited and enforced by roving officials who reminded me strongly of playground duties. We didn’t get caught, but an unlucky Asian guy standing a few feet away did. She and I had talked quite a bit during the boring bits, huddled kind of close under the one umbrella during the deluge, and even promised to get each other’s phone numbers when we parted ways, but I honestly never expected anything to come of the encounter. And it probably wouldn’t have, except that I met her again, randomly, wandering the streets of the U-District one night three weeks later, and actually managed a phone-number swap that time.
You have to understand: I knew she was leaving the country on August 15th. But I didn’t know that she was so brilliant or that we would have as much in common and get along as well as we did. It would sound trite to chronicle every little detail of things, and nothing about the time I spent with this girl was the least bit prosaic, so I won’t do that. Meeting for drinks with friends led to coffee and cigarettes, which led to movies, which led to spending all of our free time (and lots of non-free time) together. It happened very quickly. It’s the reason I haven’t updated once since this began until just now. Because — and this is bordering on an overshare — once I realized what was happening with this girl, I became keenly aware of her impending departure, and suddenly there wasn’t time for much of anything besides Alice.
And then she left the country, and I was sad, and that brings us up to today. I spent the weekend moping solidly through Monday morning, during which time I left apartment only to smoke cigarettes. It was good in the way that sadness can be good. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t bear questioning very well, because there aren’t always reasonable answers — too many people make the mistake of assuming they are fundamentally rational, never realizing that emotional reactions exist as a counterpoint to logic and are in no way bound by it. Bryan agrees with me on this point, and we are fond of saying, “You gotta do what you gotta do.” Kurt Vonnegut said something almost to the same effect, but pessimistically (and this one’s more up Nathan’s alley): “So it goes.”
She’ll be gone for a year.
I think I’ve hit that sweet spot of having said too much and yet far too little on the subject. So it goes.
The good news is that I’m actually intending to update this site regularly again, so you can tune in to hear much less saccharine / maudlin anecdotes about the strange new life I am living. I know I have a record of lying to the intarwebs about when I’ll post things to them, but this time it’s for real. Another problem with the intarwebs: you can never tell if someone is being sarcastic.