We humans want things to stay the same. There might be some problems we want improved, but the average human does not actually desire or are even brave enough to weather complete change. History stands still until some unreasonable radicals shake it up. This is why phases or periods exist. But that’s just to the human eye. Under the surface everything is chaotic. And this chaos leads to the eventual radical change. And then after that, it all feels the same again.
If one of these radical moments came with my lust for smiles, then the next came in the winter of my junior year at college. When my friend, one who I remembered for his genuine smile, suddenly died.
It happened while I was in heads-down mode for finals week. I’m an easy person to reach, generally reply back to texts and emails really quickly and hardly let any fall through the cracks, but come finals week, it’s lights out. I am unreachable.
It happened at a time when I couldn’t get onto Facebook. I’d used some app on my computer to block it. And hardly anyone from my high school knew my email. If you asked me then, I would’ve plain said nobody from high school knew my email, because that’s what I sincerely believed. But then I would’ve been the fool, cause an email arrived into my inbox from Allison Mayberry.
I knew no Allison Mayberry’s at college, so I had to assume it was Allison from high school. How had she gotten my email? What was she reaching out for? The subject line of the email simply said “Hey.” And the body just “Are you busy? Can you call me?” And she left her phone number.
I went on a long walk after we talked. The email itself had roused interest and curiosity within me. But it hadn’t derailed my previous heads-down mindset. In fact, I replied back to that email saying I would call her along with my own phone number, and went straight to the paper I was writing. After a couple hours passed, I went to grab dinner at Chipotle with a friend, then went to a nearby cafe to talk. Neither of us wanted to get back to work just yet. We sat outside because my friend smoked cigarettes. In fact, it was this friend who had in the past bummed me enough cigarettes to fill a carton. I always joked that I’d pay them back with my cigarettes one day, but they never liked the kind I smoked. Menthols. But now that I’d quit, I was making it up to them through buying them overpriced drinks at the cafe. They didn’t even like regular coffee, so it was always the sugary milky kind.