as many of you know, 10 of my closest college friends (including "the deuce"--my 3 senior year roommates and i) and i spent last weekend in the charlotte/davidson area, both to see each other (my main objective) and to go to oktoberfest (aka beer orgy). reflecting back on it, very little excitement happened, there are no good (crazy) stories to tell (and yes, mom and dad, i'm old enough to tell them if there were), and yet it was the best thing that's happened to me in a very long time.
and the worst. no, i'm not talking about the extra $300 i had to spend to get there, nor the 1.5 hr airport delay because the pilot needed more sleep, nor the fact that i spent 2 nights on a floor with a couch pillow under my head; rather, i speak of the realization that it gave my bretherin and i on our return to our own cities: the realization that our time together will be relegated to these occasional weekends (at best) together, an alottment time that will likely dwindle as the years progress. that, to each of us, is painful.
i say that with a degree of certainty because by the time my afternoon bathroom break at work rolled around, i had already talked to both spencer and jared about it.
my parents, relatives, and friends who know the deuce and have seen us together have all told me that i must do everything in my power to stay in touch with these boys. i must admit, my first reaction was "duh." after the four of us spent a year sleeping within 50 feet of each other (on the rare occasion that we'd go to bed if someone else was still up and hanging out), i couldn't fathom a world without these boys. even the tragic passing of our good friend jay chitty on new years' eve couldn't force my mind to function in a world apart from my best roommates and best friends.
graduation happened (producing what i believe the longest-held smile of my lifetime--from the moment i finished my final exam to the minute i boarded a plane, nobody could burn that smile off my face with acid), then i went abroad (scags and jared went on cruisies--not horrifically different from any other vacation), then i saw jared in chicago and milwaukee for a few weeks at least once a week, and two days after i last saw him, i saw spencer for a night and a morning in birmingham. then a week or two later spencer visited me (bringing the remainder of my belongings) in dallas. so what was so different about this trip? did a solid month away from all deuce members really make the difference to us all?
no, i don't think that was it. though i suppose it probably contributed. instead, i think that when we were in davidson, we acted exactly like we did when we were in school. and it was awesome. well worth every penny of the plane ticket. but then when we recovered from our oktoberfest hangovers (which aren't that bad--when the fest ends at 7pm, you generally sleep enough to be okay), there was nobody around to play with. everyone just kinda disappeared. right when we had everything as it had always been and we were supremely happy again, it was all taken away.
as i spoke with jared and spencer earlier, we all agreed on one thing: being apart from each other sucks. sure, we're all pretty happy with our lives (they both have awesome significant others from davidson, and spencer is near many others of our friends), but there's a huge void when any one of us is missing (yes, spencer makes the same sized void as scags).
that being said, we're pretty smart dudes and will learn to adapt, i'm sure. we are already pretty outstanding (by every accord i know) at keeping in touch--there are husbands who don't talk to their wives for longer than we go without a conversation. i'd die without having jared's e-mail, spencer's google chat, and scags' aim addresses all available at work (no it doesn't distract from our productivity; we don't use it that often--it's just a lifeline). i think any of us would pick up the phone for one another at any hour in any situation. i send out cds monthly so we all live to a similar soundtrack (as we did at school), and we keep a private blog to have another mode of contact. i'll even admit that i'm glad i played fantasy football with them--i don't even care who wins or loses, i just don't want to miss any opportunity to talk (shit) with my boys.
but despite all the talk, nothing can replace being together. i hope against hope that there comes a time in our lives when we can all take a week vacation together (at least every other year). whether we be in our home states of wisconsin, west virginia, new york, and alabama, or the furthest reaches of the world, i sincerely dream that we can find a way to get together as often as humanly possible. i want to do better than all those roommates who think they're close because they post on each others' facebook walls once a month, or drunk dial each other every few weeks. i know we can, because i know we all want to.
we may never be home in davidson or ryburn002 again, but i'll be damned if i ever let anything come between us.
oh, and if you want one more example of how close we've become? i told jared this morning that i had randomly picked up a copy of jack kerouac's on the road in the airport last night and was on page 100. his response? "i'm on page 175."