The Most Important Thing
To be quite honest, this was originally a piece for a general level writing class.. “Write about an obsession” was the assignment. Great. I’ve never had a true passion, still don’t. Love sports, love them. Read about them and watch them morning, noon, and night. Too generic, too boring , I can’t write two pages about sports. Women? Okay, cool story bro, next. What’s something interesting and entertaining that the people in this class will actually listen to? Something so people like me don’t drift in and out of cognition. So it hit me. Something we can all relate to. Something specific that while we might not all be obsessed with it, we definitely all look forward to it. I decided to write about the weekend, or more specifically, going to a party on the weekend with some of your best friends. I knew what everyone in the class thought of me, I could hear them under their agitated breath,. “This guy fucking kidding me? Writing about drinking. I knew this kid was a douche.” Trust me I hear you cause, well, I’d be thinking the same thing. But just listen. I love it. I live for the weekends. Constantly rationalizing and formulating ways to extend my weekend to seven days. First and foremost, scheduling a Friday class is the eighth deadly sin. Right there, I sacrifice an entire day of classes for the sake of going out with my friends. Foolish? Maybe. Near-sighted? Definitely. But crazy? Hear me out. I’ve given myself a corny little motto that I’ll use every now and again as some inevitable form of rationalization for my actions, but Im always telling people that “my currency is not money but memories”. I could lock myself in a room and study biology or law or business. I could graduate magna cum laude and get an office in the sky on wall street and wipe my shit with money. But I don’t want to. It’s not for me. What I want to do, right now, is enjoy whatever waning life I have left. Now I don’t want to sound like some preaching burnt out AA attending loser. I’m not. I do just fine in school and walk the line and all that good shit. But the fact remains I’m “obsessed” with partying with my friends. For the sake of my argument, and dignity, let me modify your definition “obsession”. Just the other day I wandering on Facebook, as we tend to do, and I noticed a lot of RIP statuses flooding my news feed. As it turns out, this kid from my hometown died a few days earlier. I didn’t know him, never met him. We weren’t the same age and didn’t go to the same high school. But he was a kid. Kids I knew, knew him. 21 years old, and he was gone. There were no details about his death, no information on the cause. As I sat frozen in the library cubicle slightly paralyzed by the shock that takes over you when life reminds you that we kids are in fact mortal, I couldn’t help but ask myself, what would I want to do on my last day? And I could only think of one thing. I love my mother and my father and my family and my girlfriend and my dog but if I had 24 hours to go, I’d want to spend it having a blast with the best of my friends. So let me ask you something, all of you right now reading this: how would you spend your last day? Would you consider that some form of an obsession? Cause I do. So why is mine a party? Yes, the dancing and the girls and the drinking and smoking and stupid decisions and great stories and all the shit you forget and the drunken fights and late night texts and the hangovers and the cigarettes are all plenty of fun, but it’s more than that. I can’t begin to tell you the type of friendships I have formed at parties. Strangers to to friends to brothers, you get it all. Most of my social circle, I met at a party. Last year, this dude moved into the dorm next door. Never met him before, he was from Virginia, and I from Jersey, but he offered me a beer anyway. A 12 pack and a J later, me and this dude are talking about our families and relationships and goals and life, and I hadn’t even gotten his name yet. Today, he is my roommate and my best friend. My girlfriend…same shit…met her at a party. I believe we are nothing without our memories. I believe that memories make us who we are and guide us to who we might become. I have learned things about life out drinking with my friends, both menial and groundbreaking. For example, I can tell you to never, ever, drink tiki-torch fluid(different story, different day). I have made mistakes but dammit if a mistake isn’t just one hell of a memory. I have gotten to know who people really are during drunken walks home. You learn about your friends right around 3:30 in the morning. All I want in life, all we all want in life, is to enjoy it. And to me, enjoyment is having a good time with my friends. Not money or fame or cars or vacations or degrees or a job, but being with my friends. If I had one day left, I’d want to at the frat castle, as the house seemingly simultaneously awakes from its drunken slumber after a Thirday night paint party. I’d want to roll a blunt in the living room before me and a couple pledge brothers sit down to watch the Avengers. I’d want to be winning a pong game with my roommate. I live for the memories. I live for the excitement and uncertainty and overwhelming sense of freedom that college provides us. I live for my friends. I live for it all.. Five years from now, maybe I’ll be singing a different tune. Mayve ill be focused and cynical and goal oriented and jaded and rich and a shadow of the devil I am today. But right now, i am that devil. I know this is what I love to do. It is truly an amazing thing to watch acquaintances grow into friends and friends become best friends and best friends cement into memories. I swear sometimes I’ll be at a party and have to take a step back, just to soak it all in. The keg overflowing with foam, the drunken embrace turning strangers to buddies, the fight breaking out in the driveway, the beautiful girls around me and the red stain on my shirt from that shity jungle juice. “This is it Eric. This is your life. This right here is the shit you’ll carry with you. Take a good look because one day it’ll be gone, and you’ll never be able to get it back.” It’s a funny thing, really, because at times I myself am not even sure if I’ m just being immature, or in fact, in some bizarre twisted way, wise beyond my years. When I’m older, these moments that I am depositing into the bank that is my mind will collect interest with every day that goes by one day becoming memories that cannot be defined by a number. There will always be time to learn and go to college and make money. Always. But I have one chance to be young and stupid and recklessly (and sometimes, regrettably) enjoy the fuck out of every single day, and I’m going to take it. One day well all be older and sober and boring and hardworking and motivated and complacent and boring and a shell of the tornado of youth we are today. One day I’ll forget this creative writing class and what I got on that planet earth exam and even what my GPA was. But I will never forget that one time on that one Friday night where me and my friends found our way home by the streetlights in a stumble, discussing aliens and women and sports and drugs and god and music and technology and love and life. I will never forget that.