November 01, 2009

Hinsdale 2009

I should preface this post with the warning that I am drunk. Or at the very least sloshed, which I suspect is the same things. Even as I type, the Hinsdale is still going on. It is the annual costume party held in the College of Architecture. It is named in honor of the largest urinals west of the Mississippi, the 'Hinsdale' in the men's bathroom on the first floor. I have never actually seen the Hinsdale, but every male visitor I bring to the college feels compelled to take a picture of it, so I am assured it is quite impressive.

I digress. Ashley came by. She was drunk too and we talked about the deaths of her parents. They died while she was working on the Shambhala project, which I brought into the college. Her father died while she was at Shambhala for the site visit. I knew about it, but Ashley and I had never talked. She came over to say she liked how that in my space, I have a chair that is always facing away, looking out the window, it's back turned to my desk, and work, and just looking out on the world. Then we talked about her parents. She said she was glad I understood, because I told her about my friend Marilyn, who had died so young of cancer, like her mom and dad. She cried, but was happy, and she was glad she had gone to Shambhala because she had found a measure of peace there. We talked about how other people didn't understand how we could be happy when our loved ones died, happy and sad at the same time.

Jay came over to ask what I was doing. They're all talking loud, about drinks, the party, professors, and projects. But I was sitting here quietly typing so Jay came over to see if I was working. No, I assured him, I am not working. I am not working. I am writing, but I am not working. He seems sure I am writing a column for the Daily Nebraskan. I guess that means they read my columns. I told him I was sloshed and writing about being sloshed, so he announced it to the room, high-fived me, then Fred Flintstone came over and high-fived me, then they went back to their loud talking and Ashley came over to talk and cry with me about the lost one.

The music has stopped pounding out in the link, but I still hear voices, and the group is still here in the attic, chattering away. Jay is throwing up in the sink. It is past time for me to be in my bed, but it is a long walk home. I could try to ride, but I think the liquid in my head isn't quite settled enough for that. So I'll walk the long walk in my high heeled boots, glare at anything that crosses my path, get blisters, and fetch my bicycle home tomorrow.

It's been a Hinsdale, my last, but a Hinsdale nonetheless, and if only we prisoners of Arch Hall really know what that means so much the better.

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