Waltham Weekly 4
Happy Yom Kippur!
30 September 1998
Life imitates art.
Art imitates life.
Therefore, life imitates life.
Hello to Everyone I Know & Love (More or Less)-
Well, it's been one heck of a week up here in beautiful remote-as-all-get-out Waltham, Massachusetts. A week of discovery, of realization, & proof of the time-honored fact that "fasting is fun"! If this message is a new feauture in your life, feel free to request back issues (this, as you'll note, is the fourth edition of this crazy update on my life). If, on the other hand, you are disinterested in my existence, you may cancel at any time with no obligation nor guilt. After all, this is/was the day-o-atonement up here, so we're all free from past wrongs! Or something...
For those unfamiliar with the Jewish faith to which I still have not been converted (so there GM!), Yom Kippur is the highest of high holy days on the Jewish calendar. It is marked by a strict abstention from food & water from sunset yesterday till sunset today, when the faithful atone for their misdeeds in the past year. As a result, the campus of Brandeis University becomes swiftly split into 3 factions over these 24 hours. We have those faithful Jews who observe the fast & threaten to kill all those who mention or consume food in their presence, the "bad Jews" who don't keep the fast &/or attend services & are condemned by their more practicing counterparts, & the non-Jews, who just sit & watch the whole thing unfold. Usually it is only the "bad Jews" who taunt the "good Jews" with the constant discussion & consumption of edibles.... the rest of us are a little to respectful (or removed) from the custom to follow suit.
So, we've had a day free from classes to give us all time to reflect on the past within our lives. I, for the most part, will stick to the past week.
This past Friday marked the great move in which Chris & Andy beds in our two-room three-bed suite. Chris, the ultra-hyper & now evidently rather psychotic one, complained of detesting both Andy & I (but esp. me!), saying we were, among other things, "unclean". We had a funfunfun mediation session with Tom, our RA (Residential Advisor, for the un-collegified), in which Chris talked about me in the 3rd person despite standing a couple feet away, faulting me for climbing onto the top bunk (he didn't give a clear alternative means for getting there... I suppose he thinks I can levitate), not hanging up my Mariners jacket (those of you who've seen it know it has never had time to be hung up), & breathing in the general direction of his precious rug which occupied 85% of our common floorspace. He also authored the adorable comment "Well, I'm used to getting my way, so I'm going to get my way on this if you like it or you don't, you know, that's how it is." Basically, he wanted the "single" end of the triple, & bullied Andy (the Marpellian but friendly guy) into moving out, meanwhile alienating both of us. Everyone who hasn't lived with him thinks he's great. He's nice to everyone he hasn't lived with. Things are actually better now, to a degree, except we have to venture through "hostile territory" to leave the room & Chris still refuses to speak to either of us. But, like family & nation of birth, you can't choose your roommates as a college freshman.
On a better note, my computer is finally fixed! The fourth tech from Compaq to arrive in Scheffres 212 & work on it in a month, replacing the motherboard (for the 2nd time), was at last able to get the darn thing to work. So, I have access to the computer, kinda... I also discovered that the machine lacks an ethernet card, so I still have to borrow Andy's for net use & e-mail. But that might soon be resolved too, in which case I'll have my very own net-accessible 'puter & THEN I'll attempt to look into ICQ &/or InstantMessage stuff, so I can communicate with some of you folks directly.
The greatest event of this week, despite all the holidays & fasting & room changes, however, has been the sudden realization that I'm actually at college. Ha, you say? Everything, or most things, tend to have both an intellectual & emotional level. & while the intellectual realization that I'm in college would've been hard to miss (gee, these don't look like New Mexican buildings...why is there no green chile in the cafeteria?), the emotional realization has only begun to sink in in the past few days. This is a very odd thing to happen. Subtle realizations like the fact that one really DOESN'T get time to oneself in college, or that all one's friends really ARE miles & miles away in all directions, & new friends take a long time as well as effort & friendliness, are just starting to actually make an impact on my reality. In other words, the glitter is wearing off & I'm starting to remember that I'm in the midst of reality. This will probably seem very silly to those yet to arrive at a university, but I suspect I'll get some understanding nods from those at university campuses. I am making some friends... Zac from Philadelphia is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet; Ariel from NYC (originally from England) is one of the more interesting people on campus... she & I ran around Harvard Square for about 4 hours over the weekend, just talking, drinking coffee, etc.; Maureen & Frances from California are our own little odd couple... the former being about 4'11" (that's generous) & the latter being a solid 5'11"... both are rather amusing, sometimes when they aren't trying; Andy (my roomie) & Adam from Rhode Island are both rather nerdy & a bit plain old odd, but they can be very fun to hang out with when they're not being repetitively annoying. But friendship, it seems, takes so much time to develop. Though I've had few other distractions than trying to meet people & make friends... classes remind me of sophomore year in HS at their toughest... & I still have yet to crack a textbook. Hopefully the academics will become more difficult, or else I could be very bored by the end of the semester. That, or I could make these messages even longer!!!
Extracurriculars, though, might take care of my free time. The next debate tourney that Kraig (my cornfed Indiana boy debate partner) & I will be attending will be at Harvard over Columbus Day weekend. This should also be the weekend that Gris visits, as well as the Barenaked Ladies, who are playing in a FREE concert in Boston! It should be a packed but enjoyable weekend. As a sidenote... look, Fish, this is the Indiana link! Not quite my roomie, but close enough.... & yes, he does think I'm odd!
Ah well. What can you do? As I'm sure none of you could possibly have divined, I'm in a bit of an odd & rather mixed mood. So it goes. As always, I'll try to send as many personal ("real"?) e-mails as possible this week... midterms are coming soon, but not soon enough to worry about, except in the abstract.
Gris, Paige, & Jake... I look forward to seeing you all (at different times) up here in the month of October! Once again, I extend the invitation to everyone else as well. If there's anything else we need to clear up about times or dates, lemme know.
John, Friday works for me, if you know how to get tickets. Reply soon... how's the phone situation? Maybe I'll call ya.
Jake, I'm not holding out on ya, bud, trust me. If anything were up on that front, I'd letchya know. ;)
Kate, "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow; don't stop, it'll soon be here; it'll be here, better than before; yesterday's gone; yesterday's gone; all I want is to see you smile; if it takes just a little while; I know you don't believe that it's true; I never meant any harm to you." Fleetwood Mac covers it all. 'Nuff said.
Danny, I'll see you at Harvard, I guess... if you're still doing parli.
Shan, I hope Ashland's turning out better for you.
The nicest thing about college is the fact that you can head on down to the lounge & balcony on Scheffres 2nd at 3:30 in the morning & find a group of 4 or 5 people, some talking, others doing homework, & most doing both. Sometimes the conversation is unpleasant, often the homework is dull, but at least there's some camaradarie & the sense of human interaction which is unique to eighteen-year-olds at 3:30 in the morning. It's still lonely, but it's fun too.
"We sit outside and argue all night long
about a God we've never seen
but never fails to side with me"
-Primitive Radio Gods, "Standing Oustide a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand"
I hope everyone is doing well in their pursuits, at college or elsewhere. Please write if you find time & I'll reciprocate. I leave you with the hope that your life-changing realizations, however difficult, are met with understanding & that they are gentle, not harsh & stinging. My meanings may be unclear, but my feelings are sincere. Good God, that rhymed... it's time for Storey to remove himself from the computer. Regardless of my unquestioned weirdness, I love you all....
the Past has come and gone
the Future's far away
but Now only lasts for one second
[Quotes thanks to Hootie]