Our lives are stories. Stories connect people in ways that are too powerful to comprehend. Every conversation is a story. We must learn to harness the power of stories, become thoughtful of their presence, and learn to connect people through them. I need to practice stories.

It was slightly overcast when my eyes greeted the morning. There was a warm breeze that passed through the curtains. I overslept a full two hours. Still early enough for breakfast. The memories of the night prior were difficult to piece together. My partner stirred next to me. I sat up and rubbed the sleepies from my eyes. My hair was matted and knotted. My face was moist from sweat.

I jumped on the computer and checked the mail and looked at the forecast for the day. 70 deg. Not bad for Vermont. I jumped in the shower before I headed off the breakfast. I looked at the buffet of steaming food. The last few weeks of school are quite disappointing. The cafeteria slowly stops stocking up on food, and guarantees leftovers from the day prior. The variety thins out. The taste muddles into a bland medley. Oh well. This is when I begin trying the fresher foods that had a questionable integrity to their taste. You learn to enjoy the odd mixture of flavors. The cold salads, the casseroles, the vegan dishes.

I arrived in Amherst three hours late. My cousin greeted me with joy and open arms. With his hugs came a saturated stench of beer. Bavaria. Good times at the fraternal celebration. Pledging was done for him, and although he no longer needed to stomach unhealthy portions of beer, he continued the habit and drank on. Two hundred people gathered in the yard. Huddled masses congregated near the kegs in the corner. A constant supply of beer ran continuously. Ten beer pong tables. A pig corpse roasted above a pit of charcoal and wood. We grabbed cups and joined in. It was awkward at first. The football crew, obvious with their shirtless parades, were rambunctious and loud. The girls, as few as there were, found each other out and chit chatted about their summer plans.

It was spring. Everyone touted their jcrew shorts and spring smear colored polos. It didn’t take long for the alcohol to work its way in me. I was drunk and happy. I managed to find those who were visitors to the Amherst bonanza like myself. It was good.

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