Everything in life happens on a whim. Sometimes, that whim may very well be reasonable, logical; other times, it’s definitely not.
This was one of those other times. This was why I was, currently, sitting inside a dorm room of a friend at 12:00 AM at night. She was a friend, yes, but not that close of a friend that I could chat her up 15 minutes beforehand and be standing on her doorway in the middle of the night, two cups of coffee in my hand, waiting for her to let me in.
All on a whim.
It wasn’t particularly logical. I had a midterm the next day and was in very real danger of going in and leaving the entire answer sheet blank. I had an article to write, due in three days. Projects to finish. Clothes to launder.
Things to do, written out in neat little rows with corresponding neat little lines, and color-coded to match. A grocery list, spanning one-and-a-half pages.
But it’s curious, how things never work out as planned. And before I know it, we’ve progressed from writing in text talk on Facebook to sharing cups of coffee, me on the couch, her on the bed. And talking.
And it’s only then that I realize how long it’s been since I’ve actually talked. Face-to-face. For longer than five minutes at a time.
For the majority of my conscious life I’ve been derisive of people who talk too much. They’re annoying, I said. Chatty Kathy. Never a person who talked too much who had the brains to match, I scoffed, quite loudly. (Yes, I was an asshole.)
But now, maybe I’m beginning to understand why they do it. Maybe they talk because that’s how they find meaning. Maybe by saying things out loud, they’re able to make more sense of their lives. Maybe they’re just living things a little differently than I am.
By the end of the night – although I am still woefully inadequate on memorizing the Laws of Kepler (blasted Kepler!) and executing the Laws of Gravity – I feel that I’ve earned myself more knowledge than I could’ve ever amassed reading more of the same slate-grey PowerPoint slides over, and over, and over again. Because that’s the kind of knowledge you don’t get from a book. That’s the kind of knowledge you get from people. And the feeling you get when you leave a room, knowing that you’ve just become closer to a person you’ve come to understand. That’s the feeling you get when you find yourself humming a song at 1 in the morning, still remembering that eureka moment, that instant when I realized that I would’ve repeated those last two hours over again.
This was based on a true story. Hell, this is a true story. Maybe the person I visited will find herself the time to read this. Maybe she’ll be creeped out by it, maybe she’ll find it cute, maybe she’ll read it through once and dismiss it as late-night half-asleep ramblings and I really should be studying.
But whatever her reaction may be, one thing’s for certain: I came out of that room happier than I went in. And maybe that’s the most important thing, in a night that I had been dreading for a long time.
I think I’ll be dropping that class. Maybe it’s time to start looking in other directions. And maybe – perhaps – I’ll learn that there is more to learn than I ever knew existed. All in search of that insatiable wanderlust.