August 8, 2014

Hellos and Goodbyes: Stephon Gets a Job and Loses a Friend

By Stephon Boatwright In On the Road

A few rules of thumb regarding me: I can’t spell and my grammar sucks, which I’m sure you’ve been whiteness to if you’ve been following me for a bit; I have an obsession with books, politics, and the mountains (clearly); but what you might not know about me is that I’m not a sentimental person.  Not a lot chokes me up and nostalgia isn’t really an emotion I visit too often.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep that up when one of my best friends, greatest pillars of support, drinking buddy, Brown Bear and often featured hiking mate told me she was going to move 6 hours away to Portland ME.  I knew it was coming, it wasn’t surprising when she announced it, and I couldn’t place one ounce of blame at her feet when she said she was taking off.  I would have to.  None of that mattered the day she left.  It was every bit as terrible as if she told me that morning.  I can only remember crying three times in my adult life.  Once when my mom passed, again when I was dealing with the fallout of leaving New York City, and the third time came about a week ago after I watched Allie get into Veronica (that’s her car you perverts) and drive away.  I felt ridiculous, but there have been few kindred spirits like Allie and I.

Often envied.  I’ve never had a spontaneous adventure buddy quite like this.
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Rarely understood.  I suppose society hasn’t moved far enough along to understand that guys and girls can be just friends; we can have a Black president, gay marriages, but mixed gender friendships…what next?! Platonic hugging?!  It’s felt like high school, the 40’s, or Bible camp.  Luckily we’ve had plenty of practice circumventing questioning eyes in actual Bible camp, where we met 12 years ago, so Facebook has nothing on us 😉

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Always drunk.  Can you imagine a time before I liked Guinness?  Because of Guinness’s effect on my long-term memory, neither can I.  My first car bombs, shots of Jameson, and pints of brown glory were all shared with my Brown Bear.  She’s been a great influence.

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Terribly missed…Words can’t begin to express how much I’ll miss that girl.

The timing of Allie’s departure coincided with another major happening in my life; I got a job!  After six years at the blue box known as Lowe’s, all those degrees have finally paid off.  I’m the proud new representative of W.W. Norton publishing.  My job is to travel through Central New York and Northern Pennsylvania advising professors on the appropriate texts to be used in their classes and helping to integrate Norton’s digital systems.  For this I get a brand new company car, phone, and shiny new Macbook Pro that I’m using to write this post.  Life is awesome.  Breathtakingly awesome.  Norton is also a 100% worker owned publishing house; no capitalists.  My Marxist heart could burst.

Training was in New York City for a week and then in arid Arizona for another week (stay tuned for my epic Grand Canyon post).  The stay in Arizona was at a 5 star resort nestled at the bottom of a mountain…one month ago I was installing refrigerators.  I have never been so humbled.

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Lastly, my job requires me to relocate.  I will no longer be  resident of the snowbank known as Syracuse, but the People’s Republic of Ithaca.  Ithaca is an eclectic and beautiful hippie town surrounded by stunning waterfalls (Ithaca is gorges!).  It’s also home to Cornell University, where I’ll be spending most of my time. I’m still in Arizona so Eva has had to do some of the legwork to set up our new place.  I could feel her excitement through her text message when she signed the lease on our new apartment, in an old converted church, at the bottom of a gorge, 800 feet from a waterfall.  Life is good.

It’s been a wacky month balancing a torrent of conflicting emotions, all of which have been brutally intense. ..”but somehow I can’t shake, this feeling I might make, a difference to the human race!!!”

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