it’s never too late to change everything
Went on a field trip to Berkeley yesterday. Was expecting it to be kind of grungy, due to population of anarchists, students, and aging hippies. This expectation was proved wrong. The campus is probably the most beautifully manicured university that I have seen, and I’ve been to a few. The “dorms” are reminiscent of huge Italian villas. It looks more like a resort than what is supposed to be a public university. I was later informed by Chloe that everyone knows that the UC schools shouldn’t really be considered “public” in the traditional sense. I nodded knowingly at this statement, although I’m not exactly sure what she meant. Besides the fact that I’ve seen my share of private schools, and none of them could touch Berkeley as far as loveliness is concerned. Although, I was suddenly insanely jealous of the students lounging in the exquisite stone squares, their shiny hair being lightly buffeted by soft fragrant breezes the sun illuminating their golden skin, I concluded that attendance here would no doubt make you soft, and teach you nothing about the horrors of the real world after college. Of which I, a four year Bellingham veteran, know all too well. Well at least I know something about rain, which is basically the same thing.
All the while I was talking to my friend Liz on the phone about numerous subjects of extreme importance including A. our mutual hatred for iPhones, more on that later, and B. our utter bewilderment about “the rest of our lives” a time-frame I am still thinking in even though my mom warned me not too. Liz told me that her mom had suggested that she move back to the family home on Whidbey Island and they would commute to Seattle together for work. Liz and I had a good chuckle at this, before Liz said somewhat wistfully that she had actually been considering it. She currently lives near LA so I could see how Whidbey Island would start to sound quite appealing.
This new idea of family being of the utmost importance in life seems to have suddenly overtaken us. Even Chloe one of the most independent people I know, with what seems to be an almost pathological fear of rain, has made a few comments about how she plans to move back to Seattle someday in order to be close to her family. After all she said those are really the most important people in your life. Indeed. I couldn’t argue after all. In high school I always looked confusedly at those girls who would declare their mothers to be their best friends, and suddenly I’m nodding right along with them.
I managed to be right on time for the “How Berkeley Can You Be!?” city parade. In many ways it was almost identical to the Maxwelton parade, a nice mix of extreme creativity—babies dressed as cupcakes, wild body paint, a John McCain impersonator and his nurse–and would-be politicians advertising their campaigns from convertibles.
I stopped by a bookstore and while perusing the psychology section found a book composed entirely of real suicide notes. It was both fascinating, as these things tend to be, and horrifyingly depressing. The notes were much longer and more rambling than I would have expected. They seemed hurried and confused, and likely to bring more pain than closure to the family members and friends who would be forced to read and reread them. After reading what was probably too many of these letters I felt sad, and no more enlightened about the nature of suicide than before.
I rode the BART home and arrived to find Chloe deep in a fit of cabin fever after spending the whole day lying in bed with a badly sprained foot, which can be absolutely blamed on the necessary ridiculousness of high heels on uneven pavement. We made chocolate chip cookies, which we haven’t done together since high school, and watched a movie. A nice evening indeed.