Politics has dominated my blog of late, personal vignettes have been largely absent. It was not supposed to be this way. While, this is partially because of the magnitude of contemporary political events (2008 presidential campaign, the economic crisis, the Sarah Palin crisis) it is also because personal vignettes have been largely absent from my life.
This summer felt like a real summer, friends were home from across the country, the day of the week ceased to matter. It was like being back in college for the last time. It stands in stark contrast to Summer 2007, which I spent in a 8 X 12 shared cubicle 16 floors above Rockefeller Center.
Now that I have left both of these lives behind, I find myself in a post-college, post-professional social malaise. Gone are the bottle popping Fridays at Tenjune in the Meatpacking District, gone are the least dollars to drunk Tuesdays at Renee’s in Santa Monica, gone are the 14 hour hangovers under florescent lights.
Currently, I go out one night a week, twice if I find inspiration. I continually wonder without college, without work, where the hell do I find friends, women, a life?
Which brings me to this past Sunday and my buddy Stephen. Stephen and I have been friends since we were 15. We were introduced by a program called Circle of Friends. The mission of CoF is to pair students with and without intellectual disabilities in friendships. Stephen and I forged a strong bond and have stuck to a routine of going to the movies once a week (when we are both in Los Angeles) for nearly a decade.
This year Stephen was admitted to a program at UCLA called Pathways. Pathways immerses students with intellectual disabilities into a college campus, teaching them essential life skills needed to live independently in the world. Naturally, this has taken up a lot of Stephen’s time. So our weekly movie going routine was put on hiatus until this past weekend.
When I picked up Stephen on Sunday I was surprised to find he was bringing along a young, blond peer – his new girlfriend. The second in less than a month apparently. I happily chaperoned them to the movies and sat in a separate row, allowing the new couple to explore the freedoms of college life. On the way back Stephen’s new girlfriend informed me that as part of the pathways program all students live together in beautiful Westwood village apartments and have freedom to come and go as they please. Then she said, “also we take a class called sexuality…I’m not allowed to go into Stephen’s room until after we finish that class.”
My name is Bryce Maddock, I live at home with my parents, and my social life is on its last legs. Perhaps there is a Pathways program out there for me…