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December 04, 2010



Written on three hours' sleep in the last forty. Bear with me.


I don't know what to write. Nothing fits. The rooms are too empty and the walls are bare. People are still here, but it feels vacant. Over the last 24 hours I have watched 21 of my 30 best friends leave. Some leave in large groups, some leave in pairs, but they are all leaving. We are all leaving. This is a scary thought.


I have said “Goodbye” many times before. I have never been good at it. There is some standard in the back of my mind that, try as I might, I cannot meet. The hugs are too weak. The words aren't powerful enough. The goodbye, which could be perfect, is instead boring, trite, and anticlimactic. It could be a moment that, years later, people will remember with a special fondness. It could bring closure. But it never does. No matter how hard I try or how much of myself I put into it, saying goodbye never leaves me feeling properly satisfied. The loose ends are still untied. And my goodbye should change that.


Going home is always hard. It will be harder today, because I am leaving and returning to my home at the same time. This place has become my home. It feels like a home. It feels like a place I belong to. The home I am returning to, in so many ways, is just another building. I am not attached to that place the way I am attached to this one. But this building and I share something very special—we both have our foundations here.


I think a part of me is deeply in denial that any of this is happening. So far, I have had a suspiciously easy time not crying. Maybe I am just not the kind of person to cry at everything. Maybe I am emotionally deformed. In any case, the calm that I have right now feels artificial and temporary. I have the nagging feeling down in my gut that in a week's time when I least expect it, I'll remember some inside joke or see some photo on facebook and everything will hit me like a truck. The sadness I should have had all week will come all at once. What will I do, I wonder? My guess is lock myself in my room and cry like a little girl.


I am a little afraid to go back home. I have changed more than I can say in the last three months. I came here a dull, bearded caterpillar and left a theological butterfly. Will that last? When I get home, will the world devour me? Will I be able to stay Me, or will I become one of Them? Will the world beat me?


It hasn't yet. I'm thinking about this backwards. It isn't my job to be worried about what the Big Bad World could do to me. That's a step in the wrong direction. What would Bauman do? How would he change things? Who would he target first? I think the trick is to make the first move and take everyone by surprise. Be yourself, wally m'boy. Be daring. Carpe diem. Why would God make me if not to unleash me on the world?


Walt Hackney

Ttwenty going on twenty-one. Currently a resident of Red Stick, Louisiana.


Blogger's Bio: “I enjoy writing and have a feeling I am supposed to write a book,” Walt says.  He is also looking at seminary so he can “study the Bible in depth and be more intimately introduced to all the theological debates and issues that have arisen amongst Christians.”  After hurricane Katrina, Walt was placed in a school where he was of “the only white kids to attend in a decade or so.”  This experience has shaped the way he looks at the world.  “I am now more comfortable with being real.”

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