'Round about this time last year, I rented a room in a house in Springfield, VA after finding myself caught in something of a personal crisis. It amounted to moving into the movie, Old School. More or less. And it was, in part, the catalyst for launching this blog.
I'm still renting that room. I think the crisis has abated. And I'm somewhere in the middle of the second act of Old School.
(I'm also still keeping the blog--which has evolved into something other than what it was intended to be. Probably for the better.)
As I've progressed through the re-adolescence process, I've predictably become acquainted with a host of new drinking buddies.
One of these new comrades in inebriation--who is currently studying law at the University of Virginia--spent the summer at his folks' house in Georgetown. Some weeks ago, I accepted a beer from his father, took a seat in their living room for the very first time and swapped stories with my dude, his parents and my housemates from Old School.
Obviously, weeks passed since I parted company with the training wheel attorney following the end of that evening. The other day, he came by the house and said something to me that rosed up my cheeks and left me speechless.
"My Mom paid you one of the greatest compliments I've ever heard," the future magistrate reported. "She said, 'He was the coolest person who has walked through that door in the last five years.'"
*Goes back to pause*
Okay, I don't really know what to type next. I certainly didn't know how to respond after hearing that sentence.
I remembered bee-essing with his mother and finding out that our families had quite a few things in common. I remembered admiring the various artifacts that decorated their living room and asking questions about several of them. Then I resisted the urge to self-deprecate and tried to express my most Miles Davis-est of thanks.
I believe I went quiet for a little while after that.
I'm still not sure what to do with those words. Their speaker appears to be a person of some esteem. I think she's a historian and professor. Regardless, that's a fairly powerful assessment.
Maybe they're true. Maybe they ain't. Maybe it doesn't matter whether I'm able to digest them or not.
The thing is, I s'pose, that someone said them. And that someone said them about me.