Having enjoyed Community, June 4, 2007

I spent most of yesterday attempting to write a journal entry, only to scrap it at midnight for complete lack of profound thought and originality. I attempt, as much as possible, to keep from the livejournal dear-diary type posts, and I’ve verged dangerously close on several occasions. Angst and superficial emotion is never an asset to a writer–no matter what might be thought by pseudo-writers.

My reason (read: lame excuse) for not posting for the past two weeks has been mostly due to a sudden attack of sloth. On the few occasions I managed to pull myself away from a video game of movie, when I might normally have been writing, I was instead spending time with old friends or walking about Houghton.

I leave for Grand Rapids for an internship with Zondervan on Thursday. I think the thought that I’m not going to be around my haunting ground for almost every summer of my life, is beginning to sink in.

I’m going to miss this place. I spent the past two weeks having spent time either outside or with old friends every day. Just two nights ago, four of the five horsemen were congregated on my front porch, sharing old times. The five horsemen refers to a group of friends I was with in high school, and before. The first of us, me and Seth, met in fourth grade, and became fast friends because we both liked Lego’s (and we both still do, I believe). Then came Ed, who joined in fifth, Cameron, in sixth, and Ryan, whom I only truly remember becoming part of the group in seventh. The name ‘five horsemen’ comes from the Terry Pratchett book, the Thief of Time, in which when the world ends the four horsemen of the apocalypse ride forth with their long lost compatriot and fifth horseman, Chaos. We modeled ourselves after this group. Seth was aptly named Chaos and Ed was War. Ryan was Death, and though he didn’t live up to Pratchett’s rendition of the Grim Reaper, none of us did, and he wanted it the most, so we let him have it. We never decided whether I was pestilence or famine, and the same for Cameron. I believe the two of us decided to share.

All of us were together on Saturday, except Seth, who is working on an intensive degree in computer animation in Florida. We all miss him. He really is my oldest, and in many ways still my closest friend, even though we haven’t spoken to each other in over six months. It’s sad, but we’re slowly growing apart, but that’s the way of the world.

As for the rest of us, Ed has a girlfriend (my ex-girlfriend, in fact, but I don’t mind. They’re good for each other, and honestly: the curves of language do more for me than the curves of a hip, so I’m fine without companionship at the moment), and Ryan is engaged. Even Cam has a woman now, and I’m unsure as to Seth’s status.

We sat around a fire that had been slowly extinguishing even since it’s first conception, not caring that our marshmallows weren’t roasting properly, as Cameron (ever the intellectual among us) lectured on deconstructionism and reconstructionism, and other social and ideological movements, and the two couples (Ryan and his girl, Ed and his) cuddled, and I listened intently, because I’m thinking of writing an essay on the subject. I’m actually quite interested.

We retreated to the porch when the fire became to small, and sat chatting for a while longer, pressing on to less lofty topics.

Cameron commented, after Ryan told us of his day working for a fencing company and then repairing his car, that he wondered if this is what things would be like again in twenty years: us on a porch somewhere, talking about whatever happened to float by. We agreed that Seth would need to be there, of course, and that someone would have to be grilling steaks. Ryan pointed out that, instead of water from my kitchen, we’d need to have a few chilled beers instead.

“We’re becoming the people we’re going to be for the rest of our lives,” Cameron said.

He’s right, of course. I’m going to be renting my first room on my own and in a strange city by the end of this week, going into the professional world. Two years till I graduate, that’s not far off. And I’ll say goodbye to friends, with well-meaning promises to write that will only hold strong for a year or two, if we’re lucky or writing letters gets more convenient.

Then it’s not that long till I’m thirty. Maybe married if I can find a girl that A) doesn’t annoy me and B) can stand my horrible guts, and those two together are an impressive combination. And then forty is just a decent skipping stone’s throw from there. I might have kids. They might be in high school, if I start early enough, and then the twenty years are up.

Would that I could be so blessed, that on the evening of June 2, 2007 the five horsemen (and however-many horse-ladies) meet together, and ride again to a porch, where we’ll eat grilled steak, and let Cameron lecture on the social trends of the past twenty years, and sip the chilled beers Ryan promised.

But then, that probably won’t happen. No matter: Lord willing, I will be alive, and that’ll be enough for me.

Even now, I wouldn’t dare to complain. That I have such precious people in my life that I’ve known for so long, I feel there is a love at work in my life deeper than I can know.

To Seth: I miss you. I’m not even sure if you’ll read this, but I do. The almost-ten years we spent as friends were some of the best of my life.

To Cam: I have a feeling I’m not going to be able to get rid of you, friend. May we always be close. May we always be colleagues. May we always love language. And both last and most important: may we always beat J.K. Rolling in terms of book sales.

To Ed: Someday, years down the road, I’m going to look at Final Fantasy Twenty One in a store, and I’m going to know whether or not I should buy it because you told me. I have a feeling I’m not going to be able to get rid of you so easy either, but I can live with that. Take care of my girl for me.

To Ryan: For the record, if we do meet twenty years from now, and sit on a porch waiting for steak to finish grilling, you’re buying the beer.

To everyone who I’ve been blessed to know: Thanks, and I’ll miss you this summer, and this life.

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