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Monselice, Italy | matteo mescalchin

July 17, 2014

Tell me your stories. They will turn us into gold; they will bring us together for collisions in time; they will take our minds to fantastical lands full of wicked laughter and gasps of disbelief.

With stories, I think you can find home anywhere.

Above all, I want to be timeless.

In habits, in character, in achievements, in love. I aspire to transcend.

This month I decided to be an English major.

It may not hold and I don’t mind if it doesn’t, but I think that what I skeptically, superficially put on my college application in that nervous October 2012 might actually be what my heart has come to seek.

At the very least, I haven’t felt this sure about any department until now.

"Faith is not the opposite of reason. Faith rests squarely upon reason, but with the added component of revelation."

Francis Collins

Surface

Too often I sense the unspoken expectation: Show me that you’re interesting!

"Do a flip! Do something crazy,” they might as well be hissing through bared teeth stretched like wastelands.

Prove that you’re passionate. Impress me. Come on now!

Who is more confused, I or they, when warm arms embrace those who best conform? Dull the blade against endless social media, dampen it in the swish of alcohol and drugs, render it utterly unrecognizable in the violence of backstabbing chaos.

Status speaks.

July 6, 2014

I don’t ever really feel lonely here…it’s more like I’m unable to take full advantage of my personality. I think, “Hey, it’d be nice if someone were around so I could make a joke or tell them about my day!” But I don’t experience much of an emotional reaction to this absence of close friends…

In general, I like to eat meals with people and chat with them spontaneously in the afternoon and evening. The odd thing about this summer is that I have to oscillate between 3+ hours of socializing and days that pass mostly in solitude.

Maybe I don’t seem to care as much as I would expect to because I know I’m with God, I know this is temporary, the weather is warm, and I can physically see people around me even if I don’t speak with them—an important circumstance for me, as I discovered during my first year of college.

Still, it’s weird to have my face parked in neutral for far more time than I’m used to, and to have all these fun tidbits bubbling inside me while rarely spilling into the outlet of a ready listener. Part of the issue is that I’m surrounded by more older people than not, and grad students and working adults experience a different world. Save for the rare beautiful conversation, I don’t have all that much to say to married people settled into a domestic routine that I can hardly imagine given its lack of children, either because no babies have been born or because the offspring have long aged and moved out. And while I love Southerners’ slower pace of life, I also miss the sharper, quicker verbal exchanges of home.

It’s funny how everything manifests itself in a somewhat bizarre physical desire: I’d just like to use my facial muscles a little bit more.

At a certain level, sunk deep inside yet bobbing on the surface this summer, I want to be a doctor. My views of physicians, teachers and writers all intertwine somehow—perhaps in that they diagnose what is wrong with people and help their patients, students and readers become whole.

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