November 17, 2011

All That Binds

That last year, I drove to Nicole's on Thursday nights. The week in the rearview mirror, I finally learned how to drive away without looking back. (It helped that Friday mornings promised to be gentle.) Some Thursday nights it was us three; some Thursday nights it was just us two. I'll always remember it as three though, no matter how inaccurately that memory paints itself.

Curled up in a pile of pillows, we watched Grey's Anatomy each Thursday night. I through finger tips and squinted eyes - ears plugged on occasion. Graphic medical scenes too often end with someone standing over me and my uncertainty as to why the room stands at a different angle. (Ask any of my high school peers whose laps I have landed in during science class.) Yet, I watched Grey's each week though my fingers (it has been a while since medical graphics have cause me to pass out) because they watched and they and I were a we. We watched.

The same we that talked each other out of hyperventilating in the bathroom before oral arguments and spent Friday nights in Whole Foods trying to decipher the federal tax code. The same we that plastered index cards with UCC clauses scribbled across them to her blank apartment wall, typically reserved for movie projections. The we that rotated seats in during our study groups when the hours in one place grew too long. The we that delivered coffee and cookies, breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the carrels we shared and didn't share and weren't ours but we sat in anyway. The we that learned to give each other pep talks in our sleep.

We were the same we that bore witness to each other falling in love and out of love and out of fear. We were the same we that crawled into each other's arms in tears at the end of trying days and flew into each other's arms at the end of best days. We danced and sang - with a band in front of us or just us around the dining room table. We laughed until we had to make a run for the bathroom and held each other when the tears wouldn't stop. We held each other up. We helped each other fly.

And we were a part of a larger we. The we of heavy books, multi-colored highlighters, complicated codes, socratic method anxieties, bloodshot eyes, late nights, early mornings, pots of coffee, briefs too long and too short, homes made in the library - the we of dream chasers. The we of sordid secrets, inside jokes, times of sheer insanity, moments of brilliance. All that binds.

We watched Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights. We watched their we; the ties that bind - professional and personal, interwoven, desired or despised - they don't let go.

I only watched Grey's that season - that last year.

The we dissipated after that year. I dissipated the we after that year. Passive and active. A critical need to relocate the I, the first person singular. But those ties that bind don't let go.

Now, on occasion, a roommate will put on Grey's Anatomy. I watch with caution, but for reasons other than not wanting to witness the insides of a human being prodded with metal instruments. There is a pull and a dull ache and a reminder that even if I never tell another person that I went to law school, I will always be a part of that we, a part of all the we-s from those three years. There is a heart-cry for Nicole and those Thursday evenings when we lost our week in the cushions of the couch. Those Thursday nights when I felt a part of a larger whole. Like it or not, they had me and I had them.

I wonder these days, if I could make that identity all disappear entirely. I think I could. And then I wonder if I want to. Perhaps not.

But then what?

Related Post: Thursday Night Drives

1 comment:

  1. I don't watch it anymore either because I can't watch without you~