It's 2:20 in the morning. I should go to sleep.
It's hard to have perspective when perspective slams you in the face -- I don't know if that makes sense, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that sure, I have four years of "perspective," history, whatever you wanna call it, but I can't get beyond that tonight, even though I've started to simply by walking out of John Belk Arena for the last time this season.
Does THAT make sense? Lord I'm babbling.
It hit me a lot tonight, that this was the last one. Every pep band break, every cute little contest, "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Sweet Caroline" and even the Star-Spangled Banner. (so many times before but now... not) When my classmates took their turns walking out from that tunnel to cheers, my mouth hurt from smiling. And sometimes my breath just... caught.
I stayed after because no way in HELL was I going to race outta there. So Morgan, Jeff, Zach, Bivi, and I hung around the front of the endzone and cheered for Coach as he came back out and for the seniors as they were enveloped by D-Block. Slowly it emptied and slowly I was the last person left standing in Section 1, the student section.
And then -- call me corny, hokey, overly-nostalgic, sentimental, whatever, they probably all apply in some sense -- I said a little prayer. For me, this place deserves a prayer, needs a prayer, is a prayer in itself... so I prayed, softly, standing in the middle of empty red seats that have been a part of me for 3 1/2 years, since I was barely 19 years old. Names and moments crowded my heart. Spoken, announced into the air.
None of it was ever expected. All of it has made a difference.
I trailed through the rows, and lingered as I hopped the last step up out of the section. I stood behind the railing and looked out. I paced. I felt the metal on my palm and tapped it lightly, home (see you...?). And then I turned around and pushed open the squeaky door and walked out.
My place here isn't going away but it's going to change.
Long story short -- it still hasn't hit me yet. I wrote that and I know it but I don't understand what it means. Maybe I'll know a little more tomorrow (er, today), maybe not. I'll get back to you. For now -- I'm so exhausted.
On another note, I want the pep band to make a cd so I can take the music with me wherever I go.