O Captain, My Captain

I awoke from a restless dream in which I was back at Bryan College. I have this dream from time to time. The circumstances and the faces change, but it’s always the same thing. I’m late for something, and I just can’t seem to get there. In this case, I was late because the only transportation I had was John Stonestreet’s dump truck. I don’t recall what it was that I was late for. If I had written this earlier, I would have been able to tell you. But the details fade as the morning rolls on.

It was this dream that compelled me to revisit my time on The Hill via the pages of my yearbooks. As I thumbed through the pictures, I could almost hear the sucking sound of memory’s vortex as it pulled me where I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. It wasn’t the images found on the pages that captured my attention. I found myself lost in the memories that could never be captured by the snapping of a camera shutter.

In what seemed like a sprint down memory lane, my mind raced over visions of prank wars, Argo’s banquets, hours spend in the gym washing uniform, and picking daffodils out of the flower beds, feeling guilty about it, but not guilty enough to stop. I saw faces and heard names that I hadn’t thought about since I left Dayton. I could hear their voices. They weren’t saying anything profound. I was just remembering the laughs of people I just knew I would be friends with forever, but as life happened, realized I hadn’t spoken to in years. Funny how that happens.

Ignored by the pages of soccer games, and student coucil meetings, were conversations that defined me. I hate that they defined me. They shouldn’t have, but they did. The sound of those words swirled through my head and down to my heart. As the words resonated through my core, once again, I thought, “Well, I haven’t felt THAT emotion in a while.”

Yes, these are the things that people remember, not the dunking booth in which the college president allowed himself to be doused, thus hilarity ensued. The yearbooks failed to capture the true moments that forever will be a part of my landscape.

I felt guilty for endulging in the past while wasting time that could have been better spent reminding myself of how far I’ve come, and how those words no longer define me. But I did go there. And as I left the house to engage in what is now my life, I found myself wishing with all of my heart to be sitting in your office, listening to Miles Davis and discussing anything but horticulture. Mayeb sometime soon…

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