Phew. What a couple of months it's been. Senior spring is here/has been here/is almost gone, and it's done its damage by filling the air with contrariant sweet nothings like, "Woo, senior year! Get fucked up! But also get a job, man." Because they—yes, "they"—had always said that senior spring is this great time of abandon and last hurrahs.
But I knew it wasn't, or rather, that it was more complicated than that. I spent much of my spring semester last year with seniors, and when there wasn't a sense of dread in the air, there was a sense of "no one is talking about the dread that is like totally in the air, like, right fucking there." But this foreknowledge didn't stop me from letting "them" (you know who you are) tell me that my senior spring would too be a time worth celebrating with fountains of liquor and non-stop, desperate sex.
And it is! Now that I am here, I can tell you for sure that senior spring really is a hedonic cyclone consisting of an "Indeed.com" search bar followed by perennial (but slim) "entry-level" search results. That is, if you want it to be. There's a tethering here that is complicating this whole thing. It's sweet, it's necessary, but it is tethering.
I look around this campus and I see a small world I constructed. I see brothers and sisters and lovers and friends. We rotate through buildings and dining halls and sidewalks and the lower-level of the Duane Reade at 111th, the latter of which is no longer that awkward. It's all, "I can still be by your side at 3 AM if you need me, man." That's still a world I live in.
But it's fading. The bars feel like a chore. After I go to Butler, I have to go to 1020, and then I have to go to Hamdel. Then home. Joy isn't routine. Sure, comfort can be routine, but nothing about this is comfortable. It's a drag, man—it brings me down.
What is happening? I am working harder than ever, but not in classes I've never cared less about. I've never cared less about class. I have to get a job. Where are you going? We've been friends for three years, my god, you're letting me go, too? We'll always have _________ .
How have you and I never met? Oh, sorry. I'm just—right.
Tomorrow? Okay. Um, yeah. No, yeah, sounds good.
Just that kind of guy.
I left campus today; I took two people I loved. It was better than anything. And I no longer miss us, thank GOD.
Hey, you. Your smile is infectious. I feel a warm pink bubbly feeling—so glad we finally made this work. You're wonderful. Don't stop talking to me, please, I want this night to be formative.
We've never fought before, I can't believe we're fighting.
She's so beautiful. We'll never talk, will we? Ugh. Can I try this tonight? Are we sure? Well, okay.
I don't care about Blanchot, or Kenji, or Gawain, or floor hockey. Come over and watch this with me. I want to tell you why I love.
I can't believe we're fighting.
What is this? What's happening
That is so...! She's the best/the worst/I can't believe she/he/we/I/did this to you but it's all about, like—what I saw in this thing I read, and heard, on NPR.
I'm so beyond this. I can't believe I'm so beyond this. Ugh. I don't careeeeeeeee. I'm so beyond this.
I want fries. JJ's? Swipes. Thanks, man.
No Tell! way. Oh
God way! Tell me. YES!
Is this the last time I'll be in this elevator? What does he have to do even?
I just have to just check out this party? Who are these people? Oh my god you're here! Wait. No I have to go. Why?
I don't have to do anything. (Someone told me that freshman year, but now I get it.)
I have to stay alive, I have to fill my life with love and hope and possibility, but I don't have to do anything. So I'll make a choice.
I know I want to be a writer now. I know that I want to make that choice. I was so tired. I am still tired, but I was really tired before. I was tired of wanting it with all its weight to click in for me. I am so lucky because I get to be tired and then I get to make a choice. So I'm going to write. I want to write for television. I want to make the next Deadwood, but better. I want to create a new medium of expression. Like have you ever read on a scroll? Those things are fantastic! And it's not like reading some op-ed on an iPad—it's the physicality of the thing! We can play with art more/probably we have/well, I want in. I want to be Carl Dreyer, David Wain, and O. Henry. And Harvey Pekar. And Hideo Kojima. And I want to be a dad! I want to love the shit out of a kid. But, you know.
Senior spring excites me because I finally realized it has nothing to do with college. "Our last semester here was in the fall," my friend said. He's right—we're already gone. Don't hold on, don't feel pressure to hold on, because what floats to the top will be yours. How exciting. I get to be excited! How exciting.
As it turns out, Patrick Aloia is just a pseudonym for Aidan Quinn, the Irish-American actor best known for playing neither Benny nor Joon in Benny & Joon, and for marrying Lorraine Bracco's younger sister. EP available at firstname.lastname@example.org.