15 March 1999

(Dark Green Journal Excerpt - "David")

It was the same house, but it seemed there were many more photos of him, trophies he had won, and pictures he had drawn, even though there weren't. We sat in a circle around a table in his living room which held a box of tissue, some cookies, and some empty glasses. Conversation centered around what each of us were doing. His parents seemed excited and hurt to hear how we were doing different things and that their son couldn't do anything anymore. There questioning brought them vicarious satisfaction: they could find solace in the fact that time had continued for each of us while- in terms of him- it had stood still.

There was some laughter, but mostly a quietness and heaviness in the room. The silence was so thick it was hard to breathe at points. Then, at other times, it lifted in a smile, a comment, or a nod. We went to his room and remembered. We descended the stairs into the basement, heard the cue ball crack against the others, and wished it was him behind the stick. We were just flooded with him; I knew he was there.

Jacob played the song he had written for David, and we all sat crying. The conversation finally broke through barriers of small talk, and hidden feelings began to surface. His sister Sarah told us how he had spoken so much about us, how he had stories for each of us, and she went around the room and reminisced. And we reminisced.

We went to Jason's and smoked a bit. In that room, I swear to God he was there. I know he is always there, but I truly felt him, and that doesn't happen often. In the car ride to the bar, I realized the dream I had the other night had told me what was to come on this night. In my dream, I had been in a car and looked out the window at the sky. The moon was traveling incredibly fast, circling the sky a few times every couple of seconds. Likewise, the clouds were shape-changing so rapidly, looking like dissipating smoke exhaled by stars. There was a spaceship watching us. I was with friends from Evanston, and it was late. I was to work in the morning, and I had called home to say I'd be home late. We were all together, and it was a very happy time. We were all eating cake. I realized this dream was exactly what happened last night.

I sat in the car, and this smile formed on my face just like the smile that came to me a year ago when I realized that death was one of David's lessons for us- death and the importance of friends and family. It was when Jason and I walked stoned over the sidewalk near Ryan's old house on Maple, the day of David's funeral. Last night, I realized the spaceship was David- or, at least it held him- and the sky was changing so fast because everything is changing so fast. And, just as it was normal in my dream to me, I can understand it in waking life.

I felt so much love last night in that bar with my friends, talking about the past, present, and very importantly, the future. I want my future to contain all of those people. All the people I love. David taught me the importance of that, and I'll never stop thanking him.

09 March 1999

(Light Green Journal Excerpt 5 - "The Best Three Months of My Life?"))

So, I just lay down and looked at Semester at Sea's yearbook, allowing myself to transport into a time distanced so greatly from now in my mind, yet literally so close I can still smell the ocean and the cigarette smoke lacing the absence of horizon. And all those faces peeking in the dim light of the astroturf deck, the white paint, red letters, glass doors, black sky. I can sit and look and honestly say, "yes, that was the best three months of my life." Really, as it all passed underneath time's clever illusion of stillness, I thought I would. I couldn't have imagined what I'd come home to and the home I'd leave, the family I'd come home to and the one I'd leave; honestly, it's all so fucking bizarre! Cause, I'd do it all over again and wouldn't change a damn thing. There is nothing I'd change in my life looking back, but in those three months, there is almost nothing I could change. It was so carefree yet so intense, so easy and so hard, so amazing.

And I think an upsetting thing to realize is that there won't ever be a place where we'll all be together again. Even if there was, it wouldn't be the same. But, time moves on. We move with it, and it's strange to think of where it has taken me and where it will take me next.
My job: what a dreadfully boring piece of shit. But, you know I am so grateful for the money it is giving me, and the opportunities I will have with that money. It's all sacrifice, and the acknowledgment of those sacrifices makes it bearable, but I hate how I'll speed it all away.

Tonight, as I drove the cracked streets home from the El, I got upset that I would think of speeding any time away and not realize the gifts inherent in each space and time. The fact I am graced with my family's presence and the love they have, and the comfortability of my home- my physical house extending outside the walls of 2144 Lincolnwood Drive. My friends, my bank account getting bigger, and hopefully big enough to handle what I want. The fact I have almost nothing to worry about except for getting enough rest, because when I leave... When I leave, it'll be the beginning of the end of school. It'll be the beginning of a new time and space, one that will lead me in new directions and towards new people and perhaps some familiar faces; but it'll be away from this, and I'll become nostalgic about this just as I am about S.A.S.

It's ultimately all the same. It's all strands of a web, pieces of a puzzle, or whatever quantity of whichever tired-ass metaphor everyone uses to understand the enigmatic yet so clear nature of life, and changes. And what is so amazing about change is that no change- nor the result of one- is separate from the one before or after it, because change is simultaneously cause and effect: time extends in all directions, but only one we can follow in the present. We can travel backwards through reminiscences, but that really pushes you forwards since you notice how you've changed since then- how everything has changed. We move forwards regardless of whether or eyes are open or closed.