The momentum of this college town can be discouraging. Milestones of youth come at regular intervals -- move-in day, the first day of class, the homecoming game, spring break, finals. This past weekend was graduation, and I was relieved to have a full schedule -- to also be moving forward -- rather than simply buying groceries and mowing the lawn.
This weekend was the type I'd hoped for since deciding on this atmosphere.
Friday Night. Drinks at a lively but kitschy bar, followed by a bad but hilarious after-hours party.
Saturday. I'm getting my haircut when my heretofore quiet barber asks, "So when does this Transformers movie come out, anyway?" nailing his audience, sparking a prolonged and earnest conversation. (And the haircut was excellent, too.) I walk around the corner, finding one friend at work in the coffee shop, and another in line. We're encircled on the patio, enveloped by 70-degree weather. I sip an outstanding glass of iced tea; an ART PARADE marches by. There's another chance meeting and a brief chat when more friends walk by the patio.
The group disperses, and I return home for a sandwich and a DVD. Another friend stops by, with Harp.
I have a smooth drive to Kansas City, no air conditioning needed, and meet two more friends for dinner, which turns into two pints of Boddington's while watching the rest of Westport shuffle in and out of worse bars. The evening ends, but I'm back in Lawrence in time for more drinks and conversation downtown.
I'm not hungover, again, on Sunday morning, and despite the grocery-purchasing and the lawn-mowing, my mood is upbeat, because I will and do play A LOT of badminton that evening, at the same house as last year, but with different graduates.