So I guess that I am emotionally compromised for a bit. There are days when I just feel numb and apathetic, then there are days when I just feel as if there are too many emotions to handle. The evening before I had spent performing with my a cappella group, Allegrettos, for the last time ever. It was a small gig at Winchester High School where we have always performed year after year for a few hundred dollars. It was my first ever performance with the Grettos as a freshman in the fall and now it has been my last ever performance with them.
After that I headed to the CAD (computer aided design) lab in order to run some simulations on my Final Senior Design project concerning the test response accelerations of a raised floor system in areas of heightened seismic activity. I setup the simulations on four computers and wrote notes on the screens so that no one would touch them while they were running. I biked back to my apartment and invited one of my friends, Max, over to hang out and chill with me until one of the freshman in my a cappella group came over for a midnight bike riding adventure. We listened to some good music (Dr. Dog and Wilco) and then headed over to one of my other friend’s apartment houses at 87 Linden Street in the Allston neighborhood. His house apartment was pretty cool, and the way you entered into the apartment was through the back door after going on a wooden deck that connected to the second floor.
We entered through the back door, which led to a hallway that housed his bikes, and then entered into the living quarters. Ah it was a very alternative college living area, as one of my friends put it. There was the kitchen with the liquor bottles lining the tops of the cabinets, and multi-colored Christmas lights weaving their way around the bottles, which gave off a very soft glow of dulled colors. The middle of the room had a metal table that was so low that one had to sit down with ones feet underneath it in order to sit at it. Around this table was a very soft L-shaped couch that was awesome to sleep upon, but not that great to lean back with.
Our host, Thierry, at 87 Linden gifted us with delicious micro-brewed beer and some Gin & Tonic with fresh limes. We chilled, and I remarked that his apartment reminded me of a hostel. It had the feeling that it held many stories over a long period of time with a wide variety of people coming in and out of that place. We listened to a very indie/alternative playlist that seemed to fit in perfectly with the chill hostel mood. I eventually left, danced a bit at the White Horse Bar and then headed back to my house where my neighbors were throwing an after-party for one of the all-girl a cappella groups at BU.
I awoke with a hangover the next day, and instantaneously went on Facebook. I scrolled through the notifications, and read that there was a fatal housefire in Allston. I shook my head and thought, “Ah well, not another one.” I then took a closer look at the picture and realized that that was the exact same house I visited last night; 87 Linden. I quickly called my friend, Thierry, who lived at that house and he texted me back that he was alright; however, one of his roommates, Binland, who also lived in the attic with him may not have gotten out. One Binland’s friends, Amanda, called me and asked if I had any information about Thierry and Binland. I explained to her that our mutual host friend was alright, but that Binland was probably the one who died in the fire. I then got confirmation from Amanda around 3pm just as I took a picture of the pink flowers of a tree just outside of the Mechanical Engineering. I promised her on her Facebook wall that I would post the picture of the flowers.
It felt weird knowing yet another person who had died, especially since I was in such close proximity to where the fire happened, and she was probably sleeping already and just didn’t wake up before dying. I remembered the last time we had seen each other, which was at 87 Linden when I was working on an Engineering Economy assignment. Then the time before that was during a Halloween Party in Junior Year when I met her and found out that she was slated to go study abroad in Belize since she was a Marine Science Major. And it was so close to the end of Senior Year too.
I was at a loss during that day, and I biked passed Linden Street, and saw the aftermath of the blaze: the charred remains of a house with police cutting off entry to the street with police tape. I biked to campus, and attempted to continue my simulations for my Senior Design Project of a Raised Floor System. Needless to say, I couldn’t focus. But then my friend from Dresden Study Abroad, Sean Manton, called me and asked if I wanted to go spend a 30 minute break seeing his friend’s art exhibit by the Boston Commons. I naturally assumed that this meant seeing murals, paintings, or floral arrangements. We biked down Commonwealth Avenue northwards to the Commons, and the day was just so beautiful. Dads were playing catch with their sons, girls were frolicking on the grass, couples were going on strolls, and the world seemed normal again. We made it to the Commons and stopped in front of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, located on 138 Tremont Street. It is an Episcopalian Church that had scaffolding that led to the top of the roof in front of the facade. Sean and I pulled one of the fences in order to create an opening, and then climbed up the scaffolding to see Sean’s friend from Colorado who was in charge of a project to put an aluminum Nautilus on the front top of the church. I couldn’t believe that right now I was overlooking all of the Commons on the top of a very tall scaffolding structure.
Sean’s friend, John, explained how this design was desired for over 200 years, but they didn’t have anyone to build it at the time. So then they recently had the ability to commission this design with a new artist using an aluminum shaping plant over in Colorado and then shipping it over to Boston. I explained to Sean that I never had a dull moment with him. I would say that it was the perfect way to take a break from the events of the blaze and my senior project.
We then biked back along the Esplanade, and I couldn’t help but smile at the feeling of sun across my back and people enjoying nature by the Charles. I then happened across Amanda with one of her friends on one of the short piers jutting out from the Esplanade path. She seemed pensive, looking out across the waters of the Charles as the afternoon sun started to set. She asked me how my day was, and I responded that it was good, but not perfect. She then inquires, “What would make it a perfect day?” I then respond with, “No senior design.” However, I knew that this was just a cover for my other emotions, but I knew that she was also dealing with many other emotions as well. I then hugged her and told her to take care as I continued biking back to the lab and to senior design work.
So I would say that this was my atypical Sunday. I did work, and my journey wove through the lives of so many others in many intense ways. Binland’s memorial was on Tuesday afternoon on Marsh Plaza and I honestly could not have felt so many weird emotions. There were engineering friends, two of her ex-boyfriends, old friends, and roommates. Then there was the realization that it wasn’t too long ago when we had all gathered at Marsh for solidarity, support, and mourning for the Boston Marathon Bombings. But together we could join as a community and share memories about those whom we had lost and loved.
Around this time last year the BU community lost Austin Brashears, Daniela Lekhno, and Roch Jauberty. And there have been so many lost since then, and this weekend was just the latest. But we will continue to strive forward, because that is all that we can do. There is life out here and it is good.
“We are the voices of the Ocean.”
One could get used to this type of lifestyle. As of this moment on Friday March 11 at 11:34pm, I am cleaning up my room and packing up for the weekend excursion to Berlin. I am quite excited for this excursion and the experiences that may happen. It’s been a nice and typical week, but I was a bit worried about it. For some reason everything seems so exciting and fresh when a new stage in life begins. Everyone appears to act like a close friend, everyone wants hugs, people are all friendly, and everything that you see is new. But then the days and weeks roll by and everything that used to sparkle and shine in a new way has now grown a bit dull and hackneyed. Those whom you used to deem possible friends either stay as friends, or become mere acquaintances. The sights, smells, and sounds get old. And you get comfortable staying in the same schedule every day. Montags, dienstags, und mittwochs, I wake up around 7:45am and perform my morning ablutions of brushing my teeth, peeing, and showering my bed hair. I then knock on mein nachbar’s door and make a quick breakfast. I walk about 12 minutes to the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) campus to get to the 2nd floor of the SLUB building for German class. It lasts for 3 hours, but we have a half hour break in-between. Then classes are over for the day and we return back to the Max Kade Haus to prepare lunch, and then either take a nap or play some American Football or Ultimate Frisbee outside in the field beside the dorm.
This is a schedule that I could get used to, but it is dangerous. I will get too comfortable, and lose sight of the important things in life. I start to only see the excursions or the nights out as the only important parts of the day when in reality every single moment of the day is equally as important and meaningful. The days are starting to whiz by me, and I have yet to discover more secrets about Dresden, nor befriend an actual German student or person here. And that has always been my biggest worry in life. I always worry and stress out about missing out on some secret or deeper meaning that I believe everyone else has discovered. How is it that some people can be so chill and not worry about plans or whether or not they are experiencing enough? But maybe I just need to reflect more and see deeper within myself. I cannot just live from one weekend to the next or from one excursion to the other. If I did, I would only just be living like I did during my Steam Carpet Cleaning days from the summer. I must learn to love the weeks for what they are worth, and not how they could have been.
I want to make every second of my life count, and in some cases I believe that I am succeeding. I have been pushing myself to various challenges, and I have always taken them with a genuine smile on my face. But then there are other times when I believe that I am just doing nothing with my life but eating, sleeping, and watching the same old tv shows and movies. If I try to live solely for the fresh moments of a new song, movie, or experience, then I will never be content with life. I will always be trying to search for something impossible to find. But maybe if I just take life moment by moment and try not to over-analyze everything, then maybe just maybe I might turn out alright in the end. Ah it’s already an hour after I started writing this post, and I am already packed. I’m gonna go to bed, and when I wake up I will greet the morning with joy. I don’t know what this coming day may bring, but I know who I am at this very moment, and I will see where this day will take me.