Catch-22

For two days, I have been 22. Funny how a person can celebrate a milestone as significant as a birthday, yet still be as depressed as hell. It takes a real sick fuck to pull that off. In my purest form, I am unstoppable. When heavily diluted with grief, a smile is impossible to conjure. I can’t say it hasn’t been a random ride. I could not have had a more maddening week. The day before my birthday, I’m ousted from the salsa club board. My birthday itself…

I wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy (what up Guy?)…no, that’s incorrect. I woke up feeling neutral. I barely stayed awake to see the clock strike midnight, and the day was to be occupied by work. I went there, had a pleasant time talking to my boss. I left work to receive word a teammate’s motorcycle died. That trip took me from Carson to Watts to Garden Grove. Yes, I spent my birthday being someone else’s driver. After driving to Long Beach to charge his battery, I dropped him off in Manhattan Beach while I returned home to Hawthorne. A couple hours or so with my family was good. Later, I picked up my teammate, drove back to Long Beach for a party I planned to avoid, but it killed time. Funny, when my appearance is the hottest thing at a party not involving salsa, something’s terribly wrong. Upon conclusion, I drove my friend back to Garden Grove…after he forgot his battery. I said “screw it”, we went back to Long Beach and attended an afterparty that was supposed to be for my enjoyment. I didn’t enjoy myself; I spent the whole time staring out the window looking at the view. I wanted so badly to be happy, but the only thing I could think of was how this year had crapped on me mercilessly. There was food. There was dancing. There was approximately 50-60 messages on my Facebook. I should have been happy; instead, I left for home at the first opportunity. I could have been heard murmuring “are you freaking kidding me…”

Yesterday was Victoria’s party. That presented me a conundrum: girl I like is throwing a ball, but I might depress everyone there again. While pondering my options, my coworkers had pizza and a cake for me. Not sure why, but that put a smile on my face. It’s the simple things, I suppose that make all the difference. After being bombarded with requests, I relented and went to the party. The theme was neon colors, which is all too easy to pull off with my closet. People were happy to see me, despite the fact I wasn’t 100%. The major premise was getting me out the house, minor premise was talking to Victoria, and actual premise was directing traffic. I get the idea that my knowledge of everything makes me a dangerous weapon, the sort of weapon that can’t leave the program. I know all, and knowing all might keep me from leaving. Needless to say, shit hit the fan, and there I was in lime green, slightly inebriated, doing damage control. In the hoopla, I barely spoke with Victoria. In fact, the most interaction we had was when I took her for a ride during the salsa version of “Stairway to Heaven”. After a few glances at dance footage, I bade my comrades farewell for perhaps my last evening as a salsa regent/active participant. That’s a Kodak moment waiting to be picture.

Graduation comes soon, and I’ve taken a look at my potential schedule for the fall. It takes my mind off things, for a few minutes anyway. By the time my birthday is firmly a memory, I would have celebrated four or five times. I vaguely planned on doing it once, but I’ve somehow broken my record. And the sad part is, I’m too consumed with how I wanted to spend my time that everything else is secondary. How did I want to celebrate? Spending time with a girl, alone, away from the hustle and bustle of my day-to-day life. I was reminded of what was lost when I looked out of my window. Yes, she was walking with a couple of guys from the dining hall. I’m quite sure she was within 25 yards, so I naturally freaked out and called my lawyer. Kidding, but I was moderately saddened. Someone once said the greatest loss is not death; it’s what dies inside you as you live. This semester needs to end so I can reinvent myself in my own image. With the money the department will be paying me, maybe that image will be of Floyd “Money” Mayweather. Skibbedebebop. Much later.

Current Track – Orquesta Orengo “Escalera al Cielo”

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