I wove my life around CTY so long. I suppose I don't, now. Darkside dominates my dreams. But the years of CTY, or dreamed CTY, were golden and disco-ball silver and slut-red lipstick...
For the first time, I had so many potential friends, so many people as smart as me, so many people interested in the same things, able to keep up with me as I plotted. For once I had people who weren't family where I wasn't always the smartest one.
I could pick and choose.
And we had all our jokes, all our traditions, all the things we came up with that no one else knew about, that no one else found funny or cool. pyrogenic
was our leader; boojum
was the absent queen (I stood in her stead for many important ceremonial functions). Ali Q was a jester, a philosopher; I was a secretary; the Lady E was a lover and a poet. Gella was philosophy too, and Gertrude, more humor. Jimmy was the kid. Alice and Dave and Kathy were the old crew.
And we were together.
Trust in Snapple.
Black nail polish.
Off meds for the weekend.
A buddy for the Hellth Center run.
Hall of Langvages.
The Red Pit.
The fishbowl classroom.
Crossdressing (it was the Lady E's psych class that started it, and then Our Pyro continued it, 1st and 2nd weekend, 95.2.CLN)
...When I got home from CTY, it was stepping into another world. From high-key academic fun with my best friends in the world, every instant scheduled, into the slow everyday life with no near or close friends? It broke my head, more than a little. I went into painful withdrawl, clung to my sentimental mementoes, and tried hard to realize that somewhere, somewhen, the music wasn't dead yet... even though I hadn't heard "American Pie" in months, and cried when I finally did hear it on the radio.
Shawn (that idiot) reminded me too strongly of pyrogenic
. I fell for him hard, and eventually was dragged away from my frenzied longing for CTY and into a world even more strange.
But CTY lives on.
I get glimpses of it, now and again, at DeVry. There are the teachers, there are the students, there are the hilarious jokes in groups... there's the love of learning, the unspoken "Must be smarter than this
to enter"... those who aren't, can't stand it, and leave.