The first story I ever wrote for The Hatchet was a profile of Josh Hochberg. In those days, The Hatchet did profiles of interesting GW students, and Josh was interesting because he flew airplanes. When I went to interview him, he insisted not only that we conduct the interview in an airplane, but that I fly it as well. It was a Friday morning, and I was hungover if not still drunk, so I did it.
It was great. He called me a natural and said I should give up this journalism nonsense and become a pilot. I was a freshman, so I considered it. A month into school and I was flying .
Stories like that make me want to wretch. It’s a shame because everyone seems to trot them out this time of year. The idea is something like, We’re graduating. College was the best time of our lives, so let’s romanticize it out of all proportion then cry because we’ll never have experiences like those experiences we never had.
College has been the best time of my life, but I’m not sure being here did it. I’ve never had a good time at GW, itself. Every time I try to picture it, all I see is masses of people who are more or less the same pushing and shoving each other out of the way because they’re all somehow special and have something important to do or say. As Mike Peterson put it, These last three weeks can’t go fast enough.
Now there’s something I’ll miss: my bitter, bitter circle of friends. We’re all so different in the ways that are supposed to matter – class, race, region, choice of major, height – that we could only have come together at an institution like GW. We are disbanding soon, but you can’t get a group of cynics to get sentimental. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Do you remember that time we threw peanuts at random strangers?
Do you remember that time you blacked out and . well, never mind.
It’s a good thing we didn’t get yearbooks. My high school senior yearbook is a mess. I can’t believe I used to know (and love, apparently) girls who dotted their i’s with hearts. The best message was from my friend Chungda Woo. Look, he wrote, I don’t like you, but you’ve been hanging around me for four years, so I guess I hope you have a good life or something.
I got an e-mail from him a couple of months ago. It was brief. Well, I’m finally nearing my lifelong goal of becoming an accountant. Hooray. I hope you find a job doing something.
I think that might be enough. Getting an occasional e-mail from your friends and thinking Oh you, still as frustrated and sarcastic as ever.
E-mail will have to be enough with Mike Peterson since he’s going back to Pennsylvania, and I can’t imagine either of us paying long distance to tell I was so drunk that . stories.
Anyway, this is my preemptive strike: Dry up. All you’re losing after graduation are buildings (and a tempietto, that fountain and those wacky decorative telephone booths). The important things are the relationships, no matter how dysfunctional, and you can keep those going indefinitely. Look at Ike and Tina Turner.
Ah, but enough cynicism. The other departing Hatcheteers are waxing philosophical – if not poetic – in this issue, and you’d think I would have something equally moving or important to add. I’ll try to pull it up. If I’ve learned one thing at GW, I’d be surprised.
Or maybe I should use these last few column inches to actually say goodbye. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of everyone whose name I remember at the moment. Try to guess the ones I’ve slept with! Heather, Marc, Marc, Mark, Frank, Mike, Mike, Mike, Tara, Tara, Ki-Young, Mary Ann, Anne Marie, Nate, Matt, Matt, Matt, Angela, Rich, Brian, Dave, David, Sarrine, Jackie, Jeremy, Frankie, Suzie, Stacy, Namari, Shari, Shwatti, Josh, Jessica, Doug, Amy, Javier, Alexander, Walter Lou, Chris, Chris, Christa, Eva, Sarah, Russel, Russ.