There’s dead in the middle. Life on the outside, but slowly turning to dead on the middle.

Every node I read seems to shout “LIVE!!” at the top of its digital lungs. The ideas whirl by me, the stories and the tales of wondrous adventure. The momentum builds to the point I can no longer contain it, and I burst forth from my dorm room like a wildcat, scurrying to other rooms and places, looking for prey. But the stagnant force that is seemingly infecting everyone I know stops me cold. I whisper “Live!” in the corner of the room, and I am silenced by their silence. Wounded, I crawl back to my flickering screen.

When my new college friends become to much, I retreat to my room. There is something to be said for being alone. When you are alone no one can judge you but yourself. The sound of my computer is reassuring, and I put on some quiet music and immediately I am awash with emotions. Music is emotion; they are one in the same. I sweep my head side to side, my mind traveling millions of miles into the expanse of imagination. But the imagination is dragged back to reality by the reality of my roommate.

My roommate has the incessant need to be in the presence of horrible sounds. He doesn’t have a bad taste in music, but he needs more. I have learned more about the WWF than I would have wished upon a death sentence victim. The hockey, football, wrestling, baseball, and Olympic spew that invade my life on a daily basis are enough to make me question the value of sanity. But my sanity keeps me from being the center of attention in the crowd of people I live with.

I am surrounded by people who seem bored. They were bored in high school because they were brighter or richer than everyone. But they are bored now because they never had to live before, they had always followed someone’s lead. A select few realize this, and have started the process of breaking their mold. Our beaks are fully formed, and we are ready to break out of our shells. One friend and I joined a fraternity to serve just that purpose. While it has opened up many new things, the specter of alcohol looms on the horizon, beckoning all who would listen to its call.

I told someone once that I was very saddened by the fact that I couldn’t remember much of what went on when I lived in Anchorage. I had lived in the basement apartment of Russian landlords, and my mother home schooled us. I can count on one hand the number of buildings I went to other than that apartment in all the 5 months I lived there. I grew inwardly, but I did not grow outwardly. I told this friend that I considered the winter a waste, that I had missed out on so much. He looked at me blankly and told me that he couldn’t remember a single thing from that winter either, and he went to the same public school his entire life. It was shocking that he didn’t really care, and that it was one of my greatest regrets about moving.

This feeling, this desperate longing for something else, is just a feeling. I know it will go away tomorrow. I won’t care that my friends like video football more than they’ll admit. I won’t care that I’m not living as I define it. I won’t care. I’m dying inside, and my worries about it are dying too.

A toast, to tomorrow, when I won’t care . . .