TIY Day Six— House of Spaghetti

I feel a little uninspired, which is to be expected.

We finished our course in C(I think?) and started Objective C close to the end of the day. The assignment tonight is easy, nothing that I don’t think I could reasonably manage if I was focused. The information we got today kind of looked a lot like gibberish(spaghetti) but I understood where the information was being called from and I understood what the goal was. I even have the information up on my dashboard for review if I have any questions.

So where is my mind?

Now I’m thinking about how uncomfortable the rest of this journal entree could be and I don’t want to write it. I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want to express it, I don’t want to acknowledge the reality of my life until school is over. It’s so stupid because I feel very responsible for how my mood and my attitude effect the atmosphere of those around me. A flood doesn’t hold itself back for long and the flood is coming.

Then I remember why I’m here and I hold on to that thought, I’m here to succeed. Get out of my way.

Friday was Iron Pints, drink/social event occasion. There was some forum and a lot of focus on external events. Really brought a whole new meaning, when watching the veterans of TIY, how you can spend so much time with people but never seem more far away from each other. Every one of them a fortress, protecting that mighty vulnerable heart. Maybe I don’t get it, every time I invested a lot of time in a project, end goal was celebration. Even if the work wasn’t done yet, have to remind yourself that without people the work means nothing. When did people become so intolerant, disconnected? I met a few, shared a few pints but never really getting an impression that there was ever any connection.

I say this as I have a whimsical mood. HA! I’m not being very fair.

The night was not over. Ben, from the Java class, has a fine stack of short sandy hair, projects a relaxed atmosphere with his tall average build and a bit of a baby face. He prefers t-shirts as his go to attire and loves the fine things in life. Presents the best way to drink coffee, tea, wouldn’t be surprised if he had a private set of cuban cigars stashed away somewhere. Ben knew something (among many things) most didn’t know, the things money can buy. A teacher, always smiling when giving information to anyone. Really admirable to find someone with passion about the things he cared about.

I was never really good at hearing my dad out about too many things. Really irked me many times in my life. One thing I could concur with him on was…

“You can’t take your money with you.”

Cliche, yeah sure, I’m not giving him credit on originality. I will give him credit for being the first person I heard that from. Reminds me of Ben when I think of the quote.

“Hey, come with me to the store.”

Ben said, waking me up from my nap after Iron Pints. Most everyone had gone home with the exception of another fellow down the hall. I put on my sunglasses, smiled a little, and nodded in my “lead the way” fashion. It was almost dusk when he had an even better idea… lets go to the hookah bar down the street.

AnatoliaCafe’ is a hookah bar not far from campus. When you first walk in it doesn’t really look like much. Maybe it isn’t supposed to be much, it is a place for conversation not glamor. People don’t smoke hookah (I don’t) because they like hookah, they smoke hookah to have a conversation.

Whoa, side note, that is how you connect with anyone. Its making a connection with someone by participating in an activity, even if interest isn’t completely mutual. This is true for vices, especially. No better way to make a bond than by doing something socially questionable, taboo. I heard somewhere, from the many whispers I hear adventuring, that taboo means…

“Too sacred to be talked about.”

How interesting that we vilify such behavior, when for an individual it is divine. Makes sense that camaraderie is solidified in iron when these activities are shared or a burning mess afterward.

The bar was plain, black tables and black chairs with a tasteless blue painted and bare wall around the circumference of the downstairs. I peeked up at the loft area and inquired about what was needed to get VIP. Turns out, just a few bowls of hookah would do the trick. The upstairs had a hanging canopy that was stitched up with different sections of dark, alluring, calm colors. A ledge held several short tables surrounded by pillows. Next to the railing was couches and taller tables for those who didn’t like sitting indian.

“We’ll take the couch on the right.”

I knew how to relax at a hookah bar, all thanks to my good friends Cherie, Michael, and Evan. We still laugh about the time we “hot boxed” a tent in the living room of Evan’s old apartment with a hookah.

Ben and I talked politics, some about people, some about ourselves. I understand that many people might miss something really important about a guy like Ben. He has a tendency to project information… but what you don’t see is his fire for aesthetics, beauty and brilliance. Some say “snob”, I think I would rather say “he has taste”. He has a background with music, choir and marching band. He is a veteran of the Airforce (chairforce *Ahem*:) but most interesting is his understanding the importance of creating an illusion.

“When you walk up to the gates of Disney World,” he would say, excited, using inflection that represented love(?)

“It’s the curtain of a movie, you can’t see the park at all! It’s the opening curtain to the movie Walt Disney wanted us all to see.”
“What movie?” I asked.
“The one you experience.” He grinned and continued.
“Walt Disney’s dream, his true vision, was a movie we could experience. Like we could live in it even if it was for only a moment. He wanted all of us to know exactly what it was like to be apart of the story.”

Ben was actually very inspirational.

“So it’s just like Cats?” I mused, remembering the not so distant past.

“There is this scene that always took me away, with feeling and emotion. Like a raw nerve exposed and vulnerable. I would forget that I was anything but Victor, my cat character. Right after McCavity popped the lights off and we’re left in darkness, all of us lost. We lost our leader, we were hurt from the fight and we were in darkness.” I took a puff off the hose, something minty and fruity was loaded into the bowl.

“The very next thing was the lamp, it shown like a light house. It attracted everyones attention, it was the light in the dark, hope. That is the moment of ecstasy for me. That’s when my emotional high was vivid and real. The faces of awe fixated on the audience. In that moment you knew the audience felt exactly what we felt. That’s what love is like.”

Shortly after two attractive blondes in black dresses took one of the low tables on the stoop. I turned to Ben, smiled and said I would give it a shot. They seemed pretty eager to come join our table and the night went on many hours longer than I thought it was going to. Best part was when Ben winked at me and said the tab was on him.

“If you say so…” I smiled, taking note of another personal debt I would pay when the time was right… but only if he brought it up again.