Time for mama to brag. My son, an emerging writer, has graciously offered to spend time working on his craft in my spot; Mama couldn’t be prouder. I’m pleased to offer this first essay, a narrative on discovery.
certain things occurred within me
In all honesty, this is really just a narrative about my weekend, but there are certain things that occurred within me that were powerful enough to make me write this little thing, so here we go.
This weekend I went to visit a friend of mine at his college. We’re gonna call him G. G, and I have always been close, but the summer before we went away to college was a big one for us. We ended up hanging out all day every day and tended to end summer nights with a fire pit. These were some of the best days of my life, and the time I spent with G is absolutely unforgettable. G and I continued the summer like that until it ended and it was time for everybody to move on to the next step.
My best friend, We can call her A, stayed a little closer to home than the rest of us so we will mostly see each other on breaks, but G and I are a single state away from each other. Knowing this, we immediately began making plans to visit one another periodically throughout the year because despite the inevitability of making new friends he and I were determined to strengthen our relationship.
On a mere whim,
I decided to ask my mother if I could go down and see him. Not expecting the answer yes, I didn’t inform G of the pending scheme I had devised. One phone call and downloaded app later I had booked a trip to Atlanta and was on my way to Morehouse. I called G to fill him in and see if this trip was even feasible and the immediate response was “yes.” Filled with excitement and curiosity about the college area down there, I feverishly began packing. I told my grandmother who I am living with at college and informed her of my trip details, and she was just as excited for me as I was to go.
The night, or rather morning I left,
was a bit hectic. My bus was advertised to depart at 4:30 am so my logic path was to pull an All-Nighter and then sleep on the ride up. I made the wrong decision. I stuck to the advice on my ticket and got there 20 mins before departure only to find out we would be delayed an hour due to maintenance. An hour and thirty-five minutes later we finally boarded the bus and began to head to our destination, this was only my first hurdle for the trip.
Forty-five minutes into the bus ride it began to slow down. Sensing a lack of a moving sensation I woke up and checked my surroundings, finally noticing we had come to a complete standstill. There was a 3 car accident ahead of us, and it was unpassable. We were on the same mile stretch for about an hour and twenty minutes. We get to the front of the standstill, and it’s no longer possible to move forward without them clearing wreckage, and people were outside their parked cars waiting for this to happen. We take our detour and continue along our journey now 3 hours behind schedule. I ended up being on that bus for 13 hours, a far cry from the 7 hr 25 min trip that was advertised.
I finally arrived
…at the bus station at around 3 o’clock and began my 30-minute walk to campus. Any sane person would’ve called an Uber, but I’m crazy and need to hit my step goal every day or something is genuinely wrong with me. I arrive on campus but of course, I have no idea where I’m going so I call G. He picks up the facetime and immediately notices my surroundings, and before I can even say a word he yells in my ear “I’M COMING TO GET YOU RIGHT NOW” in an obviously excited tone. I patiently wait in the spot G saw me in waiting for him to find me.
30 seconds later I hear running footsteps and turn around to a hug from one of my best friends. The initial hype ensues and all the “OMG you actually came!” and whatnot was exchanged. We go to his dorm so I can drop my things off and the first person I meet is his roommate. Absolutely great person. He was on his way to some late classes, so our first interaction was brief, but I was to be living with them for a couple days so I would see more of him I was sure.
Enter N. N was a friend of G’s who I had talked to briefly before I came to visit. And unknown to me N would become a cornerstone of my weekend. He was described to me as the culmination of mine and G’s personality, so I was bound to like him. The description was an understatement. It was almost a new three musketeers the way we all clicked. Any slack G and I presented N would seamlessly work some magic and vice versa.
I was really anxious about the environment…
We walked around campus for a while and there was one thing I noticed, I was apprehensive. I was really anxious about the environment around me, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I realized that it was the lack of white people. I come from a very diverse town, it’s like a jumbled Rubix cube, and you can’t go 100 feet without seeing someone who looks different or the same. I realized this fact, and then I vocalized it to G and N. “Bruh, There are no white people! Why is this weird for me?”
Saying those words made me realize how fundamentally flawed I was. I was so taken aback by simply being in an area dense with black people, that I, a BLACK person had to vocalize it. They then reassured me that I wasn’t the only one who took a little time to get used to it and that this was normal. I felt much better hearing that and immediately following that statement I relaxed a significant amount. After this little stint of turmoil, G and I were supposed to go to bed bath and beyond to pick up an air mattress so I could sleep that night, but our ride (his cousin) had to take care of some things and that we would go tomorrow. The following verdict was that we wouldn’t be sleeping that night anyway so we went to go look for fun things to do.
The fun found us
…and we immediately ran into some girls from our town who went to Spelman, the sister school of Morehouse. We had an absolute ball, having fun until about five in the morning and we finally realized what time it was. Having bled the first day into the second one, we went our separate ways. G, N, and I all went back to the dorm rooms to change, bathe, and get ready for breakfast. When I left the dorm room that time it was different. I no longer felt like a visitor to the university. It was scary, exciting, and completely weird all at the same time. Everyone we passed thought I went there. They looked at my South Alabama lanyard hanging out of my pocket, and their first question was “Yo, you have family at South? That’s cool!”. Not how long are you visiting or anything, the assumption was that I was a student just like them. Even further, that I was a member of their community and I had been accepted seamlessly. It felt completely right to be there, and I even felt like I had started the school year there and I was just hanging around classmates I’ve known all along. But that wasn’t the case I’d been there for less than 24 hours, and it felt like a lifetime.
It felt completely right to be there.
This was an amazing experience, and I’ve already been invited back already. I may even consider my education there. Because if that little bit of time can move me so much,
…imagine what I could accomplish enrolled there.
Simply things to think about.