It looks like a thousand dirty ravens all got shot at the exact same time, their limp bodies swaying and falling in the windy blue sky until they crash onto the grass.
Our last vision of high school. That’s what it looks like. How bloody anticlimactic.
The next few moments are a blur. Shoes stomping on fallen caps. Navy blue gowns colliding as everyone searched for familiar faces. A dozen arms encircling my shoulders. Hair tickling my neck, lips brushing my cheeks, screams piercing my ear drums. And tears. God, so many fucking tears I could almost taste the salt.
Graduation is a bit like a pompous eulogy celebrating the death of a monumental experience that you know was nothing monumental what so fucking ever. If you hadn’t just heard those phony, tear-jerking speeches that sound at once mopey and sanguine, you wouldn’t have felt half as devastated thinking that you can no longer call yourself a senior or that you will never see your best friends every week day or that maybe, just maybe, the best days of your life have ended as soon as you threw your cap into the sky.
I throw my cap into the trash can and look around for my friends. The only four, five people in a school of three thousand who tolerated my pessimism and nastiness for four years. They’re lost in a storm of blue, taking selfies or crying or laughing. I can’t see them, and I can’t see us walking out of this experience together.
I want to imagine us getting lost in the Louvre, touching the Berlin Wall, looking at up the pyramids – doing all the cliched shit tourists are supposed to do. I want to imagine us being together at Christmas sometime in the 2050s, surrounded by annoying toddlers and angsty teens.
Sometimes I just want to imagine us grabbing coffee together every five years and gossiping about all the obnoxious new people who have just stepped into our lives. But even that’s a bit too ambitious. We can say we’d keep in touch and be around but most likely we’d just move on, because that’s what we do when things get inconvenient. It’s easier to buy a new dog than train one that can’t hold its shit.
Maybe it’s more important to treasure what’s passed than worry about what’s ahead. Whatever happens over the next four or forty years, at least we’ve had the last four.