Nick's Journal
2008-06-14 06:37:31 (UTC)

No Matter How Much Things Change, They Still Stay The Same

most people take the title of this journal to be
pessimistic. the creator of my favorite show of all time
"The Wire" held it for the most abominable aspect of city
politics and law enforcement. but sometimes, the fact that,
no matter how much things change, they always stay the same
is the most comforting fact in the world.

this past weekend i had the joy of attending another
wedding. this wedding in particular was right by virginia
tech. ah, good ole blacksburg. from the moment i hit 460
traveling towards campus i felt something inside of me
swell. my past was rising up again, from the grave of my
not too oftenly used memory, it was making itself heard.
all of the good times came rushing back. all of the fun,
the friendships, and even the times fraught with
tribulation. all came back to me.
and that evening, as i was anxiously awaiting the end of a
rehearsal dinner so that i could hang out with ryan i got
the great news that dave was going to spend the night as well.
and then incredibly. that evening. me, ryan, dave, luke,
and juliann were all sitting together having a great time in
blacksburg. at virginia tech.
there we sat all together again, in the backyard of my
brother's townhouse.
reminiscing, reliving, and looking forward. and at some
point during that time i just had to comment how crazy it
was that we were all together. i mean, we had left four
years ago.
i have to stop for a second. i LEFT UNDERGRAD FOUR YEARS
AGO!!! i am so fucking old. i am almost 27. at some point
this online journal is no longer socially acceptable. only
fat geeks have online journals in their 30s.
but there we were. we hadn't chilled together in well over
four years, but now we were all once again together. in the
same area that we grew up together.

then that night we went to a bar and then finally we walked
through campus.
it was beautiful.
we went back to sit out in front of barringer as we used to
in the good ole days. we tried (unsuccesfully) to break
back into the dorm.
and then we did what we knew we had to do. what we had to

so we walked the length of the drill field towards the
memorial. even though we were in great spirits, riding on
the high of being together with each other in a place that
has always and will always maintain such a hallowed part in
our hearts, we felt that sense of foreboding.
that feeling that we had to incorporate something into our
lives whether we wanted to or not.
and there it was in front of us. beautifully lit up in the
darkness that had descended on the drill field. it was
about 2 am. and as we walked up towards the memorial the
silence between teh five us was what struck me the most.
there just wasn't anything to be said and really, there
wasn't anything that needed to be said.
everyone had their own feelings, their own thoughts, and
just for those few final footsteps we were transfixed by
what was rising before us.

the memorial was beautiful. truthfully its hard to describe
a memorial. even calling it beautiful seems wrong. i mean
it is what it is. a reminder of the tragedy that occurred.
but to call it tasteful seems too PC. it was beautiful and
paid tribute to what had happened. each person had their
own bush in front of which stood a stone plaque with their
name engraved. and behind these bushes stood a large plaque
bringing notice to all that passed by of what transpired.
and at that moment it hit me. the virginia tech my brother
will remember will be so different from the one that the
five us hold dear in our hearts.
i don't know if its better, worse, or what, but it will be
and as each of us solemnly stood in front of each of the 32
bushes slowly soaking in the names of those departed i
couldn't help but feel that this whole thing bound us closer.

some people actually think, "why virginia tech?" i don't
anymore. i wish it had never happened. for some selfish
reasons i wished it hadn't happened to MY school MY
memories. but as i stood there with my long time friends
and my beautiful wife who i had met in this very place, i
couldn't help but feel that it was a part of me and for the
better. i felt i could shoulder whatever it brought and i
was happy to. i will always be happy to field whatever
people may lob about virginia tech.
it is a part of living. life is not perfect. it will
derail you every here and there. but in the end you just
have to realize what is most important to you.

this past weekend i realized what was to me. my friends.
my wife. my past memories. and as i sat there with them,
watching dave trying to determine the distance he had to
walk from the memorial in order to not offend anyone by
urinating in public, i felt so glad that some things never
and as dave zipped up, and me, him, and juli went to meet up
with ryan and luke i just took such solace that, no matter
how much my life would change, some things would always stay
the same.