Last summer, you see, I swore I wasn't going back for at least another five years. So I'm almost certainly not going to go this year.
And I find myself wanting to add caveats to that like "Well, if enough people I know go, I might" or "If I can get a ride, I might." If you notice, I can't even say it straight: "I'm not going to go this year." I have to add on modifiers and subtext. It's hard to let this ritual fall aside.
But I need to stop going for a while, 'cause so few people I know still come that it's ultimately getting too painful and embarrassing for me to go back right now.
Why painful? Well, I think it could be a grand adventure again if I had a few good friends to go with—but it seems so unlikely that that's going to happen. It's painful waiting for old friends to show up. And it feels embarrassing just imagining sitting there on the hill, watching these kids who are six years younger than me dance and revel. I don't get anything out of it anymore besides suspicious and [what feel like] pitying looks from the RAs.
Why keep putting myself in a situation I know will make me doubt myself?
It was okay last year, 'cause I met my younger brother's friends and felt like I had at least a tenuous place. But this year? I'd rather sit back that evening and dim my memories with drinks, rather than with new disappointment.
I continue pressing the MSA lever for far too little reinforcement, y'know? It was great once, but it just doesn't bring the crack anymore. ;)
"Started lookin' out for myself today..."
"I came down here to tell you...it rains in heaven all day long."