Sunday, September 29, 2002
I don’t know why I feel the need to comfort people at school.
Why have I taken on the responsibility of trying to make people feel more comfortable in these new surroundings? Why I have decided to help them adapt and evolve into their new roles as quasi-independent adults? Why I have decided to help them advance into themselves? And am I really helping the process? These are some of the questions I ask myself.
Maybe it is self-interest. Maybe somewhere deep down I think there will be a payoff in the end for me. Or maybe subconsciously or in the bottom of my heart it makes me feel good to see someone work through the youthful bullshit and apron strings to last year, a past life.
Tonight I sat with a girl who was feeling sick. The rest of the girl’s dorm was crying due to the unfortunate death of a girl who was involved in a car accident on I-35 on her way home from school on Friday night. I was somewhat cynical about the boarders’ reactions to that event (though, honestly, I do feel sorry for the parents’ loss and the 18-year old girl whose life was cut short). Okay. Maybe I was a lot cynical. “Too cynical too be loved,” to bastardize a not-nearly-that-mean phrase my mom once used on me. I just felt a lot of the crying was melodramatic. Showy. And, considering two hours later the same people who were bawling their eyes out were laughing and having a great time (worried more about having been called “ugly” than the lost life of a fellow student), I’ll say I was rather close to being right. Or maybe they just move through the stages of mourning very quickly.
But I sat on the steps of Doyle Hall, the girl’s dorm, with a girl who was nauseous. I tried to make someone feel a little bit better (or, at least not as alone) who I could still help. Crying over someone I didn’t know and, even if I had, wouldn’t have known well anyway, wasn’t going to help anything. I think the best thing for those as separate as most of the students at this school from the incident to do is at least ponder their own mortality and the mortality of those close to them a bit.
The girl I sat with went off on tangents about how the boys here are immature and treat her crappy, et cetera and et cetera. Those are things I’m unwilling to discuss. I know what the boys are like here. They’re young. They’re dumb. They’re full of cum. I told her that I treat the entire dorm life experience as a sociological experiment. I don’t expect much from the majority of the students. Not yet anyway. But those that I’ve picked out to comfort and attempt to help in whatever way I can . . . they draw me to them for some reason and make me expect more from them.
Ultimately, though, I just don’t know that I can “help” them at all.