Every now and then when I’m, I don’t know what you call what I do now.., “existing” I think of what I believe is a pretty decent idea to force people to read my shit. I have zero problems selling my soul for a few page views, so imagine what I would do if I ever could make writing a profitable enterprise?
Nonetheless, I like drinking a lot. Honestly its one of my favorite things to do even though I will never drink coffee because too many friends that I genuinely love enjoy talking about it and I don’t want them to be happy.
I also like nostalgic mental flashbacks that make me depressed about getting older. I’ve been single for a year.
But I’m only 24, still young, even though if I were to say die in a newsworthy incident I would be referred to as “South Jersey MAN” which kind of irks me. I thought I’d at least have a few years to be you know “a guy” but nope I just jumped right into manhood.
However, I do have a reason to prognosticate this time. It’s now been a full calendar year since I moved back home from my college town and I have a vague grip on what I’m doing (which is good) in life though of course questions will always remain.
It all started with a Keystone Light. Keystone Light is not a good beer. Its main purpose is to be bought by someone over 21 years of age, so underage people can drink and the buyer can lie about its price and skim a couple bucks. But its also probably the first beer you ever drank with a good chunk of your, at the time, closest friends in the basement. So it always has a small, special place in your heart.
Keystone was not the first beer I had but it was old reliable during my pre-21 year old days. My friends have always loved the slight step-up that is Miller High Life (which will be discussed in a later post), but every time you were at a party with a keg in a eastern PA state school; you can guarantee it was filled with the smooth Keystone Light.
For some reason, drinking it I started thinking of friendship and the first time I had Keystone. I remember we were low on cash (cliché) so all we could realistically afford was a 30 of that to get us through the weekend. I think I had six or seven so 18-year old me thought I was the biggest, baddest drinker in the entire college world.
But where is the nostalgia in that? Think of your first Keystone and the people around you. Think of what your dreams were and the people you didn’t meet yet. For me, I was a college freshman who was a cross country runner and since we had a small squad; I was with four of my best friends at the time.
When you are in college, you get wrapped up in the day-to-day life and forget how fleeting of an experience it truly is. Since you live on campus and you have daily access to your friends, you take everything for granted. Being an out-of-stater, you always know summer is coming but a new school year starts right afterwards and new people will be introduced.
Unfortunately it does end though. People graduate. Some transfer or drop out entirely. The people who you spent almost every hour of the day in (sans sleep) become nothing but a “dude, remember them?”. The people moving in next year will never know about the fights, the hookups, the transfer threats, the breakups or anything that took place when you were young.
But you get older. You might laugh at the same things and recount the same stories, but you are always changing. You find out that you don’t lose most of your friends to fights or arguments but you just….lose them to life. They get jobs, they grow, and so do you.
I thought my tight-knit group of five friends were going to be the ones for life. I only talk to one regularly, another sparingly and haven’t heard from the other three in at least a year plus. We just….have nothing to talk about unless memories count and its neither of our faults.
But you always add new friends and shit, I fucking did. I found probably hundreds of friends, had romance, had memories, and did a bunch of cool and stupid shit.
However, you realize how quick it can go. You mourn the fact that you lose contact with so many people and you have to realize, some of it is your fault. You burnt bridges. You torched an image of yourself and they all saw right through it. Others hang around but they go on to do different things as the pendulum of life isn’t always guaranteed to swing back to the other side with you on it.
Being back home for a year, I realized how much I have lost while also seeing how much I gained. But being so far, geographically, removed from everyone makes you realize how you are just a piece of a puzzle; not the damn image. You regret those fights. You regret what you shared.
But most importantly you regret time passing. You see those couples breakup, you see those friends post photos of their work friends and you see how things will be. How many of your parents college friends do you know?
Keystone Light is not a good beer, yes. It’s not a bad one either, it’s just a bland Aquafina with a hint of carbonation and corn. I’ve moved on from enjoying that swill to other things, even though I rarely come back to it.
But it was important. It represents what you were. That house you had, by the graveyard, might be occupied by someone else but you know what happened inside. That girlfriend is gone but you remember those jokes about the tennis team. They still live on even if they are horrendously outdated and inactive.
But you remain there.