But at this juncture in our lives the originally binding struggle has become a reason to unite. Without the looming nature of deadlines, angry audiences, low sales and any of the other enumerable catastrophes, we were free to enjoy each other's personalities, and revel in the memory of student newspaper employment.
A delicate distressing masterpiece, that made us better.
We gathered in a room. Long table surrounded by chairs adjacent to a few booths. The products and personalities of at least 6 years of our publication's history. It's been around for almost 100. But the 6 was ours.
Many were faces that I hadn't seen in years. One was a face that I didn't know at all. Members from the 2006 era like Sil Vous Plait, Advertising Manager, and Rudy Roulett, Business Manager, had no idea who the newbies were.
"I only came for you two," said Vous Plait in reference to myself and Hilary Clinton, who was the heart of the paper during her tenure.
But era caused no error.
The editors of the day absorbed the wisdom of their predecessors, who not only survived the occasional hellish harem of student news, but have gone on the achieve higher career greatness. Meanwhile a predecessor's predecessor, Mrs. Carrie Underwood Lee sat holding hands with hubby, Bruce. Who never worked at the newspaper, but hung out a lot.
I remember she didn't have that glistening ring on her finger.
And as personality would have it, the boisterous collision of testosterone was inevitable.
"I promise I was acting maturely before I got here," said I Shamelessly. Which was true. But in the presence of rich minds, comes a wealth of memory. Brian Honeybutt Opinions Editor, still tried to prove he's not a racist, even though we all know he's misunderstood by society. K-Money sits snuggly with her beau. Hailey Joel Osment, Sports Reporter, marvels at the drink missing from his bill and makes no complaint for paying less, while Dexter Obama, Entertainment Editor, defends the double standard for black quarterbacks in the NFL. JD, Opinions Editor, blazons class rings and wits with me, as I notice his girlfriend, Senorita New Zealanda, Editor-in-Chief, has had one too many.
"I'm not drunk," says she Shamelessly.
I sip my water and smile.
We block the entrance to the restaurant as we say our goodbyes, and like any good reunion, we pose for a group photo. Tall in the back. Short in the front. Wolfman, Graphic Artist, decides to lay on the floor. Someone grabbed my butt. I think it was Robokitty, Photographer, but it probably was Daphne Du Maurier, News Editor.
I hope it was Daphene and not Robokitty.
Daphene, Hailey, Senorita, Hilary, Honeybutt, JD and I don't want the night to end. We head down by the river of Lake Woodlands. We all knew that responsibly and sunrise wouldn't wait for our reunion. But even as it lingered, like the drops of drizzle that pelted us, we indulged every moment. Every resurgence of memory, that caused a commotion, that in turn created a new moment. Which is now another memory.
We walked to the parking garage. Hugs and respect full circle. I get into the car with Hailey.
"This was the best night," said he.
"Yes....Yes Hailey it was."