It hasn’t quite been three weeks since I started summer break all the way across the country from my college and I already miss the friends I made there way too much, especially knowing I won’t see most of them for more than three whole months.
But I’ve also noticed that while I miss obvious things about them, like their senses of humor and our late-night adventures and significant traits that really truly define who they are, I also really miss tiny little habits and things, which I guess is pretty normal, although some of them may just be my imagination and some of them could be seen as irritating and not at all missable.
Anyway, I’ve decided to start posting some of these weird things I miss one at a time, one per person. I’m starting with college friends who are on Tumblr and will actually see these, but I may later also do non-college friends and non-Tumblr friends. I’m not going to tell you outright who I’m talking about, but I think these should be recognizable enough to their subject and the subject’s friends :)
#1 - Your laugh.Everyone wants to really get you laughing because who else laughs like that? I’ve heard people call it a car alarm, a hyperventilating hamster, god knows what else. But I don’t miss the laugh itself so much as the expressions and the obvious thought process that come with that laughter. You have to REALLY be laughing for it to come out, so your thoughts always seem to go something like this after someone says something super funny: “That was funny. That was really funny. That was REALLY funny. That was so funny I’m still laughing and—oh fuck. Oh fuck, that was TOO funny, stop. Oh shit, no, quit it, quit it, quit it. Gotta stop, gotta breathe—oh thank god, I stopped. Stupid funny thing—OH SHIT I thought about it and it’s back. Damn it. Shit. Damn it damn it damn it…oh good, I got in a big breath. That’s better. I’ve got this under control.” And then there’s the glare at all of us laughing at your laugh that says, “Stop laughing. You people are terrible. This is your fault and so is world hunger. Nothing you say will ever be funny again.” But that lasts for like two seconds and later the cycle begins again.
Maybe, he thought, there aren’t any such things as good friends or bad friends—maybe there are just friends, people who stand by you when you’re hurt and who help you feel not so lonely. Maybe they’re always worth being scared for, and hoping for, and living for. Maybe worth dying for, too, if that’s what has to be. No good friends. No bad friends. Only people you want, need to be with; people who build their houses in your heart.— Stephen King (It)
It seems to me that if you place music (and books, probably, and films, and plays, and anything that makes you feel) at the center of your being, then you can’t afford to sort out your love life, start to think of it as the finished product. You’ve got to pick at it, keep it alive and in turmoil, you’ve got to pick at it and unravel it until it all comes apart and you’re compelled to start all over again. Maybe we all live life at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as a consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship.— Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
I was just watching Hey Arnold with a couple of friends. We were laughing. We didn’t hear the explosions like some people apparently did from here. My suitemate just walked in and turned on the TV and that was part of my home on the news, underneath all that smoke and screaming and pain, underneath those bloodstains you could see in an aerial shot. I walk by Copley every few days.
It’s so, so scary to have to systematically search out “I’m okay” statuses on Facebook or Tweets from every friend in the area, and then to text everyone who was social-media-silent, and then to wait and wait for each and every one of them to text back.
It’s so, so scary to see those national guard school buses when I look out my common area’s window, to still hear sirens hours and hours after this all happened. We still aren’t allowed to leave the building.
All my friends are safe, but it’s so, so scary that they might not have been. Some of them were only a block or so away when this happened. When I was waiting for texts, willing them to respond, I was also wondering what the hell I was supposed to do if they didn’t respond. Because even if I knew for sure they weren’t okay, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything, would I? That helplessness terrifies me.
This day has been so, so scary, but I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad I chose to come to Boston, I’m glad I met all these beautiful, wonderful people, even though I could have lost them today. And I’m a little confused about that feeling, because another part of me wants to be far, far away from all this. But that part’s smaller than the part that’s thankful for my life here and loves this city and wants nothing more than to be with and comfort all these shellshocked friends, even though really I’ve had to draw quite a bit of comfort from them too.
Friends and family, I love you all so much. Everyone here for this, people who actually lost people, I’m so, so sorry. And I wish I had more to offer than those feeble little words.
Being a busy college student, I haven’t had a lot of time to just relax lately. If I’m not doing homework or heading to class, I’m chatting with some friends, venturing out to another part of town for an event or just to explore, eating, or doing something else along those active lines.
I’m not saying I don’t enjoy those activities. It’s just that I’ve been taking psychology notes all evening, but I decided to listen to music at the same time. And I realized how much I’ve missed listening to music for more than the five minutes or less it takes me to walk to and from class—I’m hearing songs that haven’t come up on shuffle in months, dancing a little in my seat while I flip textbook pages. Sure, it’s taken me longer to get through the chapter than normal, but I’ve really enjoyed the studying, and now I’m feeling more optimistic and confident and happier than I have in a while, although I didn’t even really notice I’d been a little short of those feelings lately.
I just wanted to share this because cliched as it might sound, here’s a reminder: don’t let your little hobbies or tiny pleasures slip away even if you’re crazy busy. They really do make all the difference in your mood.
Just so you know, I really appreciate it when you’re just in a room with me. “Just” as in you don’t have to be talking to me, you don’t have to be right next to me, you don’t have to be acknowledging my existence in any way.
(This is not to any single “you,” but to “you” as in all my friends, and maybe even some people I don’t know quite well enough to call friends.)
Living with so many people at college, living in a big city, I’ve really come to realize that though I like being alone with my thoughts, though I like to do alone-things like read and write and listen to music with headphones, I don’t like being physically alone, alone-alone.
I like being able to look up from my book and see you sitting on the couch, I like being able to hear you typing or clearing your throat or shifting in your seat. You don’t have to be saying something funny or impressive or actively being a friend, you don’t have to actively anything. That I could say something to you or could make a funny face at you or poke you with a pencil just for the affectionate hell of it—or that you could do any of the same—is enough. I just like that you’re there, being you, and that you seem comfortable being you with me there.
I know I can be pretty quiet sometimes, so I hope you think that way too when you spend time in the same room as me. I just wanted to let you know I love your company even when you’re not trying to keep me company.
I mean, why did sex have to be so important? Why couldn’t people live together, spend their whole lives together, just because they liked each other’s company? Just because they liked each other more than they liked anyone else in the whole world? If you found a person like that you wouldn’t have to have sex. You could just hold them, couldn’t you? You could sit close to them, nestle into them so you could hear the machine of them churning away. You could press your ear against that person’s back, listening to the rhythm of them, knowing that you were both made of the same exact stuff. You could do things like that. Sometimes, if you’re standing close enough to another person, you can’t even tell whose stomach is growling. You look at each other and then you both apologize and say, ‘That was me,’ and then you laugh. You don’t need sex for that kind of thing to happen. For your body to forget how to tell if it’s hungry or not. For you to mistake someone else’s hunger for your own.— Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I’m Home)
I really wondered why people were always doing what they didn’t like doing. It seemed like life was a sort of narrowing tunnel. Right when you were born, the tunnel was huge. You could be anything. Then, like, the absolute second after you were born, the tunnel narrowed down to about half that size. You were a boy, and already it was certain you wouldn’t be a mother and it was likely you wouldn’t become a manicurist or a kindergarten teacher. Then you started to grow up and everything you did closed the tunnel in some more. You broke your arm climbing a tree and you ruled out being a baseball pitcher. You failed every math test you ever took and you canceled any hope of being a scientist. Like that. On and on through the years until you were stuck. You’d become a banker or a librarian or a bartender. Or an accountant. And there you were. I figured that on the day you died, the tunnel would be so narrow, you’d have squeezed yourself in with so many choices, that you just got squashed.— Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I’m Home)
Most people think things are not real unless they are spoken, that it’s the uttering of something, not the thinking of it, that legitimizes it. I suppose this is why people always want other people to say ‘I love you.’ I think just the opposite—that thoughts are realest when thought, that expressing them distorts or dilutes them, that it is best for them to stay in the dark climate-controlled airport chapel of your mind, that if they’re released into the air and light they will be affected in a way that alters them, like film accidentally exposed.— Peter Cameron (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You)