Shift 44: Flea Market

fleamarket01

During winter break, Britney took me to look at flats in San Myshuno. It felt like spring, and we didn’t even need jackets.

Through the yoga community that runs YOTO, some people open up their homes to YOTO grads when they go to college. That’s how we came to find out about the flats.

I liked the apartments. They all sort of looked the same after a while. Couples lived in some, and young families lived in others. The one I liked best had a musician living in it. It was a big loft in the art district, which is a short walk to the university. The woman living there is a violinist with the San Myshuno Symphony Orchestra. She’s only about four years older than me, actually, which is kind of neat.

“Wasn’t that place beautiful?” Britney said. “Much better than staying in the dorms, right?”

fleamarket02

I don’t know. I was kind of thinking that the dorms might be easier. But Aadhya feels like it works out better for YOTO kids to live in homes after we graduate. She says, for the most part, we already develop all the communal-living skills that dorms require while we’re living at YOTO. What we really need is to develop home-living skills, so that when we graduate college, we’ll be better prepared to live on our own. We can stay in the dorm, for sure, if we want. And some YOTO kids do for the first few years, and then move into house-shares. But Aadhya thinks for some kids, like me, it’s better to start by sharing a flat.

I’m thinking about it.

fleamarket03

I’ve got a few months before I need to make up my mind.

After we looked at the flats, Britney and I hung out in the park. They were holding a flea market there. I couldn’t believe the junk for sale.

fleamarket04

Adriene showed up.

“Are you following me or something?” I joked. “Or maybe you live here!” It seems like every time I’m at this park, I run into her.

fleamarket05

“Same wave length!” she said. “It’s like we’re surfing the same universal waves, right? Hang ten!”

Sofia showed up, too.

“My mom told me you got into USM,” she said. “I’m going there, too! Maybe we’ll have some classes together.”

“That would be cool,” I told her. “What are you majoring in?”

“Music. And you?”

“Botany.”

“Botany!” yelled Adriene. “Go trees!” She really is funny.

fleamarket06

“Hey, squirt. I see you still got the same taste in friends.” It was Donnie.

“What are you doing here?” I asked him.

“Same as you. Scoping out flats. Emiliano took me.”

“You see any you like?” I asked him.

“I don’t know,” Donnie said. “I might start out in the dorms.”

fleamarket07

Britney gave Donnie and me a ride home. We sat together in the back seat.

“I’m not read to live with a family,” he said. “Or even have a room-mate. It’s just weird. Too much baggage.”

He said he liked the way we lived at YOTO, sharing a dorm-like room for sleeping, taking turns cooking and cleaning. He liked that there’s always someone around, and it’s easy to avoid one-to-one conversations or being alone.

“When you live with somebody, you’re either just with them, or alone. It’s weird. I don’t think I can cope. I’d make a good frat boy.”

He said it, not me. But I had to admit he seemed to have good self-knowledge.

I like being alone, and I’d rather be with one person than a group. I think sharing a flat would work out well for me.

Life’s weird. Move on, move through it, and things happen. Sometimes, the things that happen are the things you need. And even when they’re not, if you just keep moving on, moving through it, you might get to the things you need.

fleamarket08

<< Previous | Next >>

Aimless: AAW – Honey

It’s Asexual Awareness Week, and I’m featuring four asexual Sims from stories on this blog. Today, I talk with Honey Walker, recent graduate from Skill U. Honey is an aromantic asexual.

If you’d like to learn more about asexuality, please visit the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, AVEN.

six-seven01

CT: Honey, first, congratulations on graduating summa cum laude. What’s next for you?

Honey: I’ve just accepted a position as a violinist with the San Myshuno Symphony orchestra, so in a few weeks, I’ll be moving there. I’m excited, nervous, and more than a little scared.

I do think it will be neat to live someplace with lots of diversity! I’m hoping that it gives me more room to be me!

CT: When did you first identify yourself as an asexual?

Honey: I was really lucky. One of my roommates during freshman year, Emma Bennet–she’s a wonder child, actually!–identified herself as an asexual. So when talking with her, I realized that there were others like me, and that I wasn’t as weird as all my friends and my parents thought. Then, in the human sexuality course I took sophomore year, it was actually presented as the fourth sexual orientation–like it was official. And so then,  I just sort of relaxed into it. I was really glad not to have my identity as an issue or source of confusion during my college years. There was so much else to do!

CT: It sounds like your friends and other students were really accepting. Has everyone been?

Honey: Oh, no! I haven’t even come out to my parents. I’m afraid to, really. My mom–well, I’m not sure how to come out to her. You see, my parents are both very romantic and highly sexual. My home growing up–it was electric! Anyway, my mom’s always asking me about every single guy I know. She says things like, “Wouldn’t you like to try a little make-up?” or “You know, with your figure, every eye’s on you when you walk into the room. You should work it, Honey! Go ahead and put a little swing into your walk!”

I mean, I love her, but she’s been pushing me to get a boyfriend since I was twelve. Lately, she’s been hinting that maybe I want a girlfriend, instead. And I really haven’t yet figured out a way to tell her that she just doesn’t get it.

My dad’s a different story: he’s pretty accepting of me. He wants me to have intensity in life: to live fully and to feel things strongly. But he seems to settle for musical and even transcendental intensity. Like, aesthetic intensity. You know, maybe I’ll come out to him first, and then let him explain it to Mom.

CT: That sounds like a plan.

Honey: My mom just doesn’t want me to miss out. She knows how happy being with my dad makes her, and, of course, she thinks that since I’m her daughter, I’m exactly like her. But I’m really not. I’m me.

CT: Yeah. For me, that’s the beauty of finding labels that fit us. When I think of all the labels that help me feel comfortable with who I am (the Myers-Briggs INFP, the sociological term “cultural creative,” and asexual), they all help to create space so I can be who I am in the ways that don’t fit with the mainstream–and to help me realize I don’t need to try to fit in.

Honey: That’s a great way to put it!

CT: What message would you like to share with others during Asexual Awareness Week?

Honey: Oh, I’m so not good at summing up things in a pithy statement! I always think in terms of music. You know how some people describe Bach’s music as being dry, as if it’s all logic and no feeling? But for those of us who play it and love it and live it, we find it so rich, so full, as if it contains all of life and all that the universe has to share. I guess that’s what I’d want to get at. My life, as an aromantic asexual, isn’t dry or boring or missing something. For me, it’s full of passion and feeling and the energy of life! I wouldn’t want to be any other way. And I really hope that everyone, in every orientation, can feel that way about who they are.

eight-one04

<< Previous | Next >>

Skill U: 8.7

Honey Walker | Van Windenburg Estate

Week Eight, Day Seven – Senior Year

Editor’s Note: Honey’s journal entries are numbered according to week and day of the week. As she does not keep daily entries, gaps appear in the numbering. Please see the Table of Contents for the full listing of entries.

skillu8716

It’s graduation day. Mom and Dad have arrived to hear me deliver the valedictorian address. Before the ceremony, they took me out to lunch at the restaurant on the island.

“I always wanted to ride a ferry,” Mom said. But the way she was looking at me, I knew that the words she spoke didn’t come close to expressing the thoughts she was thinking or the emotions she was feeling.

skillu8715

I felt all sorts of things, too. This day was such a culmination! I felt very nervous–that, most of all. In a few short hours, I’d have to deliver the speech!

I felt sad, too. I’d be leaving soon, saying goodbye to the Villareals, this island, and to Windenburg. I’d received an offer to play for the San Myshuno Symphony Orchestra, and I didn’t feel I could pass it up. Positions for violinists with a major symphony are so rare.

I felt excited, too, about the new life that was waiting for me. A violinist with an orchestra! And living in the city! I was just finishing college, but I still had so much to learn, so many experiences waiting for me.

It had been a few years since I’d seen Mom and Dad, so on top of all the other feelings, I felt that crazy mix of comfort and unease that I always feel with my parents, increased ten-fold after such a long time away from them.

I can always read my parents, no matter how long it’s been since I’ve seen them–so in addition to my own feelings, I felt theirs, too.

Dad looked so proud. My graduation had been his dream, too.

skillu8714

“So,” I teased him over lunch, “daughter graduating from college. One more thing you can cross off your bucket list!”

skillu8713

“That’s your Dad,” Mom joked back, “the family dreamer!”

skillu8712

“I take my work as the family dreamer seriously,” Dad said. “It’s a big responsibility.”

He talked about all the dreams he’d had: a house for Mom, a garden for himself, a dog for me, and always time for us to spend together. Then, he said something that made me blush.

“You can dream. Well, I can. I can dream. But you know what? I can only dream so far. I can only dream what I can imagine. And so what happens when a guy like me has a daughter that’s more wonderful, talented, beautiful, and amazing than I can dream? That’s when I give over the dreaming duties to the whole universe. That’s why, Honey, you’re not my dream. You’re the universe’s.”

skillu8711

When Mom left to powder her nose, Dad asked to hear some of my speech.

“What for?” I asked him. “You’ll be there to listen.”

“I won’t be able to hear right. All the people and noise. Plus, I can’t concentrate when I’m bawling my eyes out.”

I shared the opening with him:

“College begins with a dream. Maybe it’s your dream. Maybe it’s the dream of those who love you. Maybe it’s society’s dream. But along the way, the dream begins to morph. It becomes reality. And that’s when you’re put to the test.”

skillu8710

He was quiet.

I couldn’t tell if he was thinking, if he was bothered, or if he was just feeling a lot.

“What do you think, Dad? Is it OK?”

skillu8709

He told me a story about when he’d been in the Marines. It was a story I’d heard many times before, and it usually ended up with him getting back to base safely, after completing some kind of crazy mission, and writing a letter to me and Mom.

“Do you know what?” he told me. “I never told you the real ending of that story. I did write you and Mom, whenever I made it back safe, but never first. I wrote you later. After I wrote that other girl.”

I knew which other girl he meant.

“Why are you telling me this, Dad?”

“I never sent the letter, of course. I just wrote it and stuck it in a box. It’s just that she was a dream I never gave up on. Reality, that I’ve got. And it’s cool. It’s got your Mom in it. And sometimes it’s really hard, and sometimes it’s a piece of cake. But for me, whenever I had trials, I always went inside to where that first dream of mine was. That smart, beautiful girl. It’s like I tucked her away inside of me. Listening to you talk, the smart things you say, I feel like what I tucked away has somehow become real right here for me.”

skillu8707

“Dad, that’s really weird.”

He laughed. “I know it! You don’t need to tell me! But I kinda believe in miracles. Like the stuff of our feelings–somehow that can come out and make something real.”

skillu8708

Mom joined us.

“So do you think I should take out the part about the dream morphing, becoming real, and putting us to the test?” I asked Dad.

“Hell, no! That’s the good part!”

skillu8706

The speech went well.

I got a big applause at the ending, after I said this:

“During the first year, you feel that college is a pole with you at one end, and success at the other. But by the time you stand here at the end of the pole, you see that it’s become a plane, and it’s possible that the whole journey is no longer about success. Maybe, the whole journey is simply about this: discovering that you stand here in an open meadow, able to see all the way around you. And now is when you can venture out, in any direction, even without a path, into the surrounding field of possibility.”

skillu8705

<< Previous

Skill U: 8.1

Honey Walker | Van Windenburg Estate

Week Eight, Day One – Senior Year

Editor’s Note: Honey’s journal entries are numbered according to week and day of the week. As she does not keep daily entries, gaps appear in the numbering. Please see the Table of Contents for the full listing of entries.

eight-one01

One semester left. I’m ready.

This morning, I was looking back through my journals of this adventure I’ve had. I can’t believe how young I was just four years ago! I was skinny, too–I didn’t yet know that musicians needed to be strong!

one-one17

I couldn’t really play the violin–my bow angles were all wrong, and I didn’t know how to relax when I held the instrument. If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be, “Relax, Honey.”

Honey Walker

That goes for working out, too. Back then, I thought that the harder I strained, the stronger I’d get. I’ve learned now that the key to strength is relaxation.

Honey Walker

I was so awkward socially, too, and I didn’t know that relaxation is also a key ingredient of charisma! I remember that whenever I was with my dorm-mates, I was always thinking about what I would say next. I was afraid to let there be any pauses in our conversations because I didn’t want them to think I was boring. Somehow, I thought that it was up to me to keep everyone entertained.

Honey Walker

I didn’t know, either, that I’d become myself through this journey.

When I read that email from my dad, confessing that the real reason that he wanted me to go to college was to honor of his first love, his high school sweetheart, whom he let go so she could enroll in the university, I had this fear–or maybe a false premonition–that by following her destiny, I was somehow losing my own to become a clone of her.

But that didn’t happen. My dad didn’t let that happen. When he wrote to me a few semesters later to advise me that, when the time came, I needed to follow my own heart, even if meant choosing something different than what he would choose, that was his way of setting me free. It was so hard for me to read that and really understand what he meant because it required that I choose independence. I somehow always had this idea that I’d be Dad’s girl, living the life he wanted me to live.

The funny thing is that, in a way, I am living the life he wants me to live, because I’m living the life that’s right for me and that is of my own choosing. So in a way, I guess I’m still Dad’s girl, even though I am living my life now.

Coming to Windenburg was the choice that set me onto my own freedom.

eight-one02

I knew the moment I landed here that I’d come to a place where I could find my true self. I knew this was home.

I’m so grateful that I have one more semester with the Villareals before my career takes me away. I’ve grown so much through caring for and knowing this family. How is it that in caring for others we find ourselves?

I’ve discovered what I want to do with my life: I want to play music.

eight-one05

I’ve experienced the healing of music, and I’ve been able to share that with others. That, for me, is the essence of what I am here to do.

Jacques told me the other day, “Ma petite, your music touches the very soul!”

I feel he may be right–I mean, not about my music, in particular, but about all of music! It connects us–it brings our souls into harmony with the rest of the universe.

eight-one03

I was talking to a cellist the other day who told me that he wanted to play that instrument because he wanted to feel those vibrations through his body.

“When I play Bach’s cello suites–any of them, but Suite Number 1, in particular–you know how Bach was when he wrote in G major–then I feel that all the cells of my body are brought to resonate with the celestial music that is always around us, that comes to this earth from the heavens itself.”

I have to agree! I feel that way when I play the partitas for solo violin.

In my Medieval Cosmology class we learned that the ancient astronomers believed that it was the planets’ love of God that moved them in their spheres. I think there is more to that than mythology: I feel that it is a description that gets at the truth of the matter. When we play music, especially sacred music, like what Bach wrote, then the love for God fills us–it fills every space within our body, and we are brought into harmony with all that is.

What better way to live than this? What better purpose than to bring this wholeness to others?

eight-one04

I am full of gratitude! Thank you, Dad, for insisting I come to college. Thank you for allowing me to find my reason for being here on this beautiful planet.

What a long journey I’ve taken from that little girl who felt she always needed to work so hard to prove herself every step the way! Now I know that we all walk in grace…

<< Previous | Next >>

Skill U: 7.6

Honey Walker | Van Windenburg Estate

Week Seven, Day Six – Senior Year

Editor’s Note: Honey’s journal entries are numbered according to week and day of the week. As she does not keep daily entries, gaps appear in the numbering. Please see the Table of Contents for the full listing of entries.

seven-five17

Kaylee and I have been hanging out a lot during my free time–and, surprisingly, even though I’ve got this professional internship, I seem to have a lot of free time!

seven-five16

I’m still upset about what happened the last time we went out. It started out as such a great day! We were going to the ruins, and Kaylee asked if I wanted to have anybody join us, so of course I thought maybe my best friend, Darin, would want to come with.

Kaylee and I were having so much fun, talking about music and working out and taking photos, and then, I noticed that Darin was just standing behind us, glaring at me.

seven-five15

Next thing I know, he’s screaming in my ear!

“Why did you even invite me if you don’t want to be with me?” he yells.

He’s saying all these horrible things about how I’m ignoring him, and I don’t care, and I’m a worthless friend. I just sort of shut down inside and closed off, so I don’t even remember everything that he said. But it was awful. I can’t believe the names he called me–I just can’t even write them. It was too horrid.

seven-five14

I’ve never been yelled at before in my life–not like that, at least, not such a personal and direct attack from someone I loved and trusted–so I didn’t really know how to handle it or how to process it.

I just pretended that it didn’t happen and went right back to my conversation with Kaylee. Dominic Fyres joined us, all friendly and happy.

seven-five13

And then Darin lets loose again, really cutting into me.

He starts accusing me of being heartless, and two-faced, and not having any morals, and not caring about the feelings of others, and throwing in every curse word you can think of. I was just floored. I’m still so shook up. I thought we were best friends!

seven-five11

“I’m sorry to have wandered in on this,” Dominic says, “but maybe there’s something I can do to help. Seems like the two of you could use a little intervention. Are you OK being talked to like this, Honey?”

seven-five12

And I realized, no! No, I was not OK with being talked to like that–not by my best friend and not by anybody. And what was worse was that Darin seemed to be feeling great, as if he were actually enjoying this! He was smiling!

seven-five10

It was as if he had enjoyed hurting me and was getting pleasure from my feeling upset, wounded, and angry.

I’m so glad that Dominic was there.

He said, “You know, Honey, you don’t have to just stand there and take it. Speak up, girl. Let him know how you feel.”

seven-five09

“How do I feel?” I said. “You want to know how I feel?”

I’m kind of embarrassed now about what I told him. I said I felt like a violin bow that had had all its strings broken when it had been played in a moment of passion–and for why? The music wasn’t even good.

Darin smiled the whole time.

seven-five07

“Look,” he said, “I’m sorry I yelled.”

He went on to say that Kaylee and I were so wrapped up in our conversation that he felt left out.

“We hadn’t meant to ignore you!” I said.

“I know,” he admitted. “I just want you all to myself sometimes.”

seven-five06

When I think about it, I realize that pretty much every time Darin and I are together, it’s just the two of us. We get into these deep conversations, and the world around us disappears, and it’s just him and me–alone in this bubble of idea and thought.

This was maybe the first time when he’d been with me when I was enjoying talking with someone else. Even the times when he was with my parents, he was usually just talking alone with my dad, or hanging out by himself in the garden.

We managed to patch things up OK that afternoon. I told a corny joke about violins and dark rosin that he found hilarious.

But I felt weird when I left.

seven-five08

The Villareals’ home, with Max and Hugo studying peacefully in the living room, felt like a sanctuary to return to.

Even though Max and his dad will sometimes yell or say hurtful things, we understand that Max is just letting off steam, and that Jacques has got some imbalances, so he doesn’t always mean what he says.

With Darin, he meant what he said. I’ve got a feeling that maybe he even means all those hurtful things he said–or at least, his intention to hurt me was real. He really doesn’t want to have to share me as a friend.

seven-five04

I’m not sure I can handle that. I like having him as a best friend–or I did, because of all the ideas that we share. But now, I’m not so sure.

If he makes some kind of ultimatum, or if he continues to hurt me, rather than to honestly express his feelings in a way that doesn’t inflict harm, I might need to let our friendship go.

That would be sad, but I’ve got a lot of other friends, ones who are willing to share me with others and ones who can express their feelings without hurting or blaming me.

seven-five03

It’s strange–I feel like I’m learning some really basic social skills right now, things that a lot of teens learn in high school.

I realize that I’ve spent the last three years so focused on college, my education, and music that I really didn’t get a lot of other life experience.

I’m having to make up for that now.

<< Previous | Next >>

 

Skill U: 7.4

Honey Walker | Van Windenburg Estate

Week Seven, Day Four – Senior Year

Editor’s Note: Honey’s journal entries are numbered according to week and day of the week. As she does not keep daily entries, gaps appear in the numbering. Please see the Table of Contents for the full listing of entries.

seven-four01

I’ve started working! I thought that once my internship started, I’d be so busy that life would feel tough, like it did during freshman year, when I was always so stressed about everything.

But life now has a lightness to it, a breezy quality, just like the air here on the island.

Of course, there’s still things that need to get done: that crazy fridge still needs fixing often, and meals still need to be made, and dishes washed, and the kids need to be reminded to do homework and take showers. But even that feels easy.

seven-four02

I have so much free time that I’ve started reading for pleasure again.

seven-four04

I had almost forgotten the joys of losing myself in a book.

seven-four05

Of course, the more I lose myself in fiction, the more I find myself, for it feels like every story of a person is the story of me. Or maybe, it’s that when I read, I really do lose “myself,” and I find instead that part of me that I share with everyone–that universal that we always search for in music, art, and literature.

seven-four03

I guess that’s really what I wanted to find when I went to college: that universal shared experience that lies within all great art.

I got an email from my dad the other day that brought such a feeling of fulfillment.

seven-four09

Hey, babee!

You sound so happy in you’re messages. We–me and yer mom–we always new you’d get there. That’s what I was always tryin to tell u. Just keep following that pointer inside that shows you ur own tru north.

You did. Now u got yer guidence and its yours. Tru u!

I love you, Honey.

Your Dad–that’d be me.

I know it was my dad’s faith in me that helped me get to this point of happiness. His faith didn’t prepare for happiness actually being a thing: somehow, when I saw how hard my dad always worked, I thought that I would always be working hard. I never realized that finding my own true life would be accompanied by a feeling of ease.

I mean, it’s not like I’m lazy. I do a lot. It’s just that a feeling of “rightness” has entered into everything so that it makes it feel like there’s this ease–or maybe harmony–in everything.

It reminds me of music. When I get a challenging passage, I’ll practice it over and over until I can play it with ease. So maybe that’s what’s entered into life right now!

It seems like the kids have picked up that same feeling of rightness.

Max is happy and mostly staying out of trouble.

seven-four07

Hugo and Luna are among the top kids in school, and they’re starting to get offers from colleges for when they graduate.

seven-four06

Yesterday morning, I was cleaning house, and Luna kept following me.

seven-four10

Every room I was in, there she was.

seven-four11

Finally, she followed me outside, where I was going to empty the trash.

seven-four12

She wrapped me in a big hug.

seven-four13

“What’s this for?” I asked.

“I just want to thank you,” she said. “Remember what it was like when you first got here? How our dad was always wandering around like he was lost? How Max was always yelling at us? How me and Hugo were lost at school and couldn’t keep up with everything at home? Look at us now. That’s because of you, Honey.”

I feel blessed. Look at what my mom and dad gave me. Look how lucky it was that I found myself here in Windenburg. Look how amazing that I’ve been able to make a difference in the life of another family. I wonder if this is love.

seven-four08

<< Previous | Next >>

Skill U: 6.7

Honey W. | V.W. Estate

Week Six, Day Seven – Junior Year

Editor’s Note: Honey’s journal entries are numbered according to week and day of the week. As she does not keep daily entries, gaps appear in the numbering. Please see the Table of Contents for the full listing of entries.

six-seven01

One thing I’ve discovered during my “discovering me” project is that I like to face forward. Rather than looking back, I like to stand facing the horizon, looking into the oncoming current of time.

Another thing I’ve discovered is that when it comes to men, I’m clueless.

My own feelings of attraction puzzle me. Well, it’s not so much the feelings–it’s who activates those feelings. Married men are off limits, right?

Yesterday during my workout, I noticed that Geoffrey Landgraab had come over to watch. I immediately started focusing on my form.

six-seven03

I was feeling pretty good.

six-seven02

I glanced over at him, and that’s when it struck me.

six-seven04

I was flirting. I was flirting with a married man. Not only that, he’s my dad’s age. Or older.

Crum. Am I attracted to older married men?

six-seven05

A little while later, when we’d moved over to the weight machine, Don waltzes by, wearing just a towel. Seriously?

six-seven06

And there was Geoffrey again, standing there with a smile, watching while I did leg curls. Fortunately, Kaylee had set the stack to a really heavy weight, so I had to concentrate to complete my reps, but I saw out of the corner of my eye that Kaylee was quietly chuckling to herself. Close the open book, I kept reminding myself.

six-seven07

Next thing I knew, Nancy Landgraab was there and Geoffrey had wandered off. Move along, nothing to see here, I felt like saying.

six-seven10

And then Don comes back down the stairs.

six-seven09

And he is wearing the cheesiest grin when he walks right between me and Kaylee.

six-seven08

I read in the paper this morning that he and the other fitness trainer were getting married, and I’d remembered seeing her upstairs in the gym that day, so I guess his cheesy grin and bath towel had nothing to do with me at all, which is a huge relief. If I’m clueless about men, I don’t want somebody who’s never been clueless to be the one to bring me into that whole world.

After the workout, Kaylee suggested that we head over to Lady’s Night at the Llama. It sounded like fun.

“You might meet somebody cool,” she said.

She left as soon as we got there. “Man, I’m really bushed,” she said. “Besides, look! There’s Jacques! See? Somebody you know!”

And there was Jacques, there for his club meeting, wearing his hearty boxers and bunny slippers. And he’d been so good about dressing appropriately, lately.

six-seven11

Of course, Nancy Landgraab was there for Lady’s Night.

“Haven’t you heard of ‘No shirt, no shoes, no service?'” she moaned. “And what about ‘no pants’?”

six-seven12

But no one else seemed to mind Jacques’ apparel. Everybody knows the Villareals, after all.

I had a pretty good time. No guys showed up, and I didn’t really talk with any of the women except for the bartender, but they’ve got this amazing jukebox there, so it was fun night, after all. I hardly ever go out. I can see why–it wasn’t all that fun–but still, it was fun enough for a now-and-then type of thing.

six-seven13

Saturday, we were all bushed. In the afternoon, all of us except Max took long naps. Hugo didn’t even change out of his work clothes–just crashed right there on the sofa.

I had a wish to talk with my friend Charles. I don’t know him that well, but I’d like to get to know him better. I invited him over.

After chatting a bit, he and Max danced. Max had these new moves he wanted to show him. And I worked out.

six-seven18

It’s the last day of my term of discovery. During senior year, I’ll have an internship as a music performer. I’m hoping to get to play with a quartet or maybe even a symphony, but Dr. Dean says a lot of the time, I’ll just be playing solo gigs at private parties.

That’s ok–at least I’ll be playing music and getting a head start on my career.

So, I’m not that sure what I’ve discovered about myself. I learned that I like to have a goal to work towards. I learned that I make friends easily, but I’m really not all that social. And I’ve learned that I am completely inexperienced and oblivious when it comes to romance.

I’ve also learned that I like to face forward. When I look back, I get a little nostalgic. But when I turn around and greet each day, I see life spreading out before me, inviting me with an inquisitive look. What does life want today?

six-seven19

<< Previous | Next >>