Paul (pauliver) wrote,
Paul
pauliver

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Parking Lot Crossroads

Just a quick note to the cave dwellers: Cara and I broke up. I'm aware the particular phrasing of that last sentence implies some great cosmic force pushed us apart mutually. And while that may not be true, it does take all the responsibility off my shoulders. Plus it sounds nicer. I wouldn't have even thought to bring this up over a month after the fact, until I found out Winston Welch had no idea despite our sitting at the same lunch table every day for four weeks. So I'm sure among all the people who never want to hear another mention of this event for the rest of their lives, there's a few still completely clueless who might care. It happened. It was not fun for anyone. Things are now much brighter.

The morning after the breakup I woke up to Colin yelling on the phone that we were cast as the bad guys in Jesuit's adaptation of The Princess Bride. Life shifted focus overnight. Instantly I went from playing the part of the boyfriend to playing the part of a tactless egotistical jackass. It's a real acting stretch.

The cast is amazing. Everyone's said it about our group and I'm sure it gets said every year, but there's just something distinctly special here. For group focused on theatrics, we are fantastically and amazingly undramatic, laidback, and down-to-earth. And we're a shitload of fun, too. We get so much done and yet it just doesn't feel like work.

I can do a paper for English and feel good about the finished product, but the process is torture. Just about everybody I know in a sport hates practice, whether or not they think it's worth it. I've seen people spend years dreading every single hour they spend in whatever they're doing. Hell, I hate the goddamn newspaper right now. Sure, I've improved things from tragic to mediocre. I like the idea that if that happened every year someday it might be worthwhile enough for someone besides my parents to read. But it's just a hassle. Drama is a blast. It's causing my grades to slip, my college stuff to get pushed to the deadline, and my free time to disappear. But I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else. Most nights some of us don't even leave the parking lot until they drag us to our cars.

The play is one of the few certain things in life right now. I find myself standing at many different crossroads at the same time. The daunting task of narrowing down endless factors to choose a college combines with the crapshoot of colleges narrowing down endless factors to choose me (or not). Both tests rest on who I am and what I've done. I'm used to being fairly grounded in who I am, and while I'm sure some of that has to do with a healthy sense of identity, a lot of it is probably that my foundation is never really shaken and structure rarely questioned. I suppose looking across the country to see hundreds of different colleges, each with their own potential set of friends and experiences, looking across at hundreds of different lives and picking the best fit raises the stakes a bit.

Who I am and where I'm going mesh into one massive uncertainty. I don't know what friends I'll be ending up on Saturday nights when Hal and Colin are off with their girlfriends making out and out of the picture. I don't know what the hell I'll do with myself once the play is over or if I'll try my talentless ass out for the musical. I see a killjoy growing in my former guiltless slacking self saying, "Hey, this shit won't be tolerated forever," and I don't know if he'll be heard. In so many ways I am completely disoriented with no direction. And I kind of like it. Maybe that's because it's Friday night and I'm completely free of the rest of the world and can guiltlessly ignore its responsibilities, go to bed whenever I want to and stretch lazily in bed for a good hour after I wake up before facing reality tomorrow. But I guess reality is coming sooner or later.
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