Apr 22, 2009

"it's a broken hallelujah"

(a letter, revised, that I wrote in the great summer of 2003)


I’ve been sitting outside for the last two hours, reading Jack Kerouac. It’s a beautiful, lazy day. the sun is bright but the air is cool and there’s a gentle breeze blowing the curls in my face. I was woken up by Julie Seals this morning. I’d crashed on the guys’ couch around 4am while someone, maybe Rick, was watching a black and white movie. Julie was my ride and she had gotten too drunk and ended up in Mac’s room. It’s a mad world, I keep saying. It’s Rick’s house that homes our reckless Saturday nights. We were having a good time at our ritual gathering until Dave, a good friend of Clay Smither, arrived and told a few stories about him and Clay getting drunk in the dorms. We felt the heaviness of people who we wished were there with us that night. Bob was entertaining some of his friends that we didn’t know for part of the night and he seemed to flit from one group to another without ever settling. He was asleep on the other couch when we left this morning. I don’t know why he wasn’t in his own bed. Mac had made his special punch that doesn’t taste like there’s much alcohol but there is a lot, trust me. I had a nice buzz for an hour or two. Nothing serious but I had to pee a lot. One of Natalie’s roommates got so drunk she threw up. Other than that, it was a happy night for the most part. Rick and we girls, told ORU stories because none of us will ever be able to escape that strange place. Mac read us his manifesto on ORU girls and dating. It was well-written and entertaining, but completely unrelated to the girls at the house. I just love sitting outside, surrounding by tiki torches and bullshitting for hours and hours. The girls, that is Natalie’s roommates and my girls, are all about the love, as I put it. We aren’t there to enrapture a boy’s attention; it’s the whole group that we’re in love with. There a feeling of camaraderie, like beaten, tired soldiers after a war. We all made it through ORU alive, somehow, and there’s something strange and beautiful about it. We’re all so considerate of each other, offering to get people stuff from inside and no one ever for real argues about anything. There’s a lot of silly banter and at times an interesting conversation about art or movies or music or even something personal as the relationship we have with our parents. It’s all good.


"In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets." C. S. Lewis, "The Four Loves"



(with loving memory of Rick)

2 comments:

Robert said...

I love it, Gwen. You see the order in the madness. I'm going to the back porch tonight to sit for a while. There are still a few tiki torches, but they're different. They are nice, married people tiki torches.

Okie said...

*Kyle sings and dances to These are the Days by 10,000 Maniacs*