On nostalgia, for nostalgia's sake.

This is going to sound more like a diary entry, I think, than a journal post.

Tonight I hung out with someone who I often refer to as my best friend but who I rarely see: Franz. About a year and a half ago, maybe two years, he moved away from Michigan to live and study film in Pennsylvania. There was a six month period where he and I didn't talk at all. Since we've reconnected and he's been back in Michigan, I've seen him about three times, where as exactly two years ago I saw him every few days. Literally, two years ago today (Good Friday), I spent almost an entire day on his floor watching movies and revelling in my beautiful friendship. It is probably the strongest memory I have of anyone, ever, in my entire life.

A lot changed when he moved away, I went back to college, he got a career, and we went through a time of relearning to how to even talk to one another.

Seeing him is always a pleasure, and even though it's rare, I'm happy for it. This entry really isn't about Franz or our interesting dynamics; I could write novels on that, and speaking creatively, I write far, far too much [bad] poetry about it. I love him dearly (decidedly, too much) and spend more time remembering him than I do knowing him well. That's really what this is about: remembering.

He drove me back to Plymouth tonight after we saw a movie with a friend of mine. Leaning back in his car (which smells exactly like it always has, a ridiculously comforting and sense-awakening fact), listening to his loud music, and driving through my hometown, something hit me really hard: a severe feeling of nostalgia. Almost regret. Almost sadness. We used to do that same simple, meaningless task - driving around in his car, listening to music, not needing to talk - on a regular basis. It's almost completely gone; that was the first time I've been in his car since far before he moved away, years ago. I wanted to cry. I had no idea how much I missed something so...unimportant.

But driving around in that car? It was a living, breathing memory. I was shellshocked upon leaving, and I have a strong feeling that if I were to talk about this subject with him, he would think I'm crazy - or just too nostalgic.

Too nostalgic. Yep. I think that's it.

It hit me a few days ago when I was walking on the grass between my apartment building in Holland and my car, which was parked in the next lot. It was one of the first warm days the year had seen, and as I was walking across thawing grass, all I could feel was GGYBS. I closed my eyes and I was there; all of my senses had been heightened to hear the wind, feel the sun, smell the grass. I felt Aaron walking next to me, the way he sounded and smelled when we were together at camp, when no one else mattered. I stopped in midstride. Where did that memory even come from...?

It happens when I drive with Tre in her light blue Oldsmobile. I feel so inclined to be back in high school that when I leave the car I feel like I've been robbed of something I deserve - something I might even need.

My time in college has gone so quickly, I barely even realized it happened. Yet, what do I spend my time reminescing about? Franz in the summers before he left. Aaron at GGYBS, all the other times I went to camp. Tre in the Oldsmobile and driving me home after school, before I had my license. Almost every memory that occupies my mind on a daily basis comes from before I came to Hope. Why do I care so much? Why the hell am I holding onto things that are seemingly dead and gone, lost, not important any longer? When the other people have moved on in my life, I'm looking at the handwriting on my bedroom walls and remembering them - the authors - as they stood close to me and wrote.

Is it possible to be too nostalgic? Do I spend too much time remembering an outdated close proximity to Franz to the point where it hinders our still-existing friendship? Should I be feeling and inhaling memories from summer camp when I walk to my car, or should I be focusing on the present? Will I ever be able to paint over the handwriting on my bedroom walls?

Is my head too far in the clouds of the past? Can nostalgia be damaging?

I talked in my last entry about how I think everyone needs a place to call home; I think, in relation to this, everyone needs some things to hold onto. I just seem to have a hard time letting go of certain people, places, ideas, memories.

You really have no idea how great you have it until everything changes. My walls remind me this everyday: appreciate everything, everyone. Every sense that comes through your consciousness. Don't forget people, places, times. Breathe it all in. Write it down.

Paint it on your wall.


-amk.