This one time, at band camp…
Updated: Jun 7, 2021
Nostalgia is an odd thing. It distorts your hindsight and does funny things to your memory. So that no matter how heinous a time you’ve had back in the murky darkness of the past, all you remember is a warm glow of contentment, bathed in a soft goldeny-yellow twilight.
Look at the past through sepia-tinted glasses and you don’t see the jagged edges that ripped your emotions back then. You don’t hear the false notes that ran fingernails down the chalkboard of your soul. You start forgiving people for minor personality flaws like being complete arseholes.
All you remember is the good times, the cheer, the alcohol and the partying. You remember how this one time, so-and-so said this-and-that to whatshername and how you all laughed together.
You remember that prank you guys played on Professor A, how that one and this one were caught making out behind the computer lab and oh, the times you all passed out shit-faced after a night of binge drinking.
Good times, good times, you think.
The problem is that nostalgia is a lot like alcohol. It can only make the world a better place for a few hours tops. And when the effects wear off, it all comes screaming back to you. The bad times, the worse times, the times that make you glad that the past is buried back in the past. You remember what he said about you, what she did to you, what they all made you feel like and the really tacky clothes you wore through all of it. And then you feel a little ashamed of yourself. For thinking well of people you’ve studiously avoided these past years. Of actually missing that period in your life where alcohol was predominant, not as a lifestyle choice, but as a cushion against the hard bits of reality. You feel a little disgusted frankly, now that the sepia has faded from your vision. And you’re left muttering to yourself those oft-repeated words, usually uttered after realising the far-reaching consequences of alcohol-fuelled decisions: “What the fuck was I thinking?”
[To JVT, who uploaded all those college pictures on Facebook and to the other eager children of the batch of 2005: without you guys, it would’ve been one hell of a boring ride.]