Mostly rambles, few brambles
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I’ll keep this short. Be safe and smart as you all make your way in college, and in life. And, please, be safe tonight, resist the urge throw your mortarboards at the end of graduation. Don’t let them rain down a hail of tassels and spinning corners that might obliterate something truly breathtaking.
Throwing you caps may look very cool, exhilarating even, in Hollywood’s playful, consequence-free fantasy. Please know, though, that they have sold us a bag of lies—no different than their breezy, non-exhausting portrayals road trips or adolescent love. You start trusting these realities, start believing in your own invincibility, and then, under your watch no less, a striking young lover with blue eyes and a soft smile is maimed in a grave frenzy of flying hats.
I handed Jeremiah his diploma on this very stage and he flashed me a glimpse into that pair of cerulean wells. He was 2009’s much-deserved “Best Eyes” and he was my world. I’d stuff that Senior Superlative ballot box a hundred times—a thousand times—just to see him light up all over again. As principal, what’s the point in having power if you never use it? Jeremiah shouldn’t be punished for his contemporaries being a bunch of brain-dead jocks who can’t appreciate true aesthetic transcendence when it’s starring them in the face, enveloping them like a wonderful sickness.
No offense to any of brain-dead jocks we’re graduating today.
Or, you know what, take offense. I don’t care. You’re not my problem anymore.
I never told Jeremiah I’d rigged the election. I’d stole it outright from some rich-kid goober named Brad Valencia. Wronging some gelled-up goon while performing something selfless for my sweet Jeremiah, I wanted to chase that feeling.
Jeremiah and I had made plans to travel that summer. We were going to go straight Wizard of Oz on this country and take a long, pointless journey meeting rambly weirdos while seeing if the whole thing synced up with “Dark Side of the Moon.”
Our trip never happened, though. After the accident, my now-cycloptic darling had no depth perception and his winking days were over before he’d ever reached his prime. We’d rehearsed a whole spiel and performance for if he was pulled over and questioned, and we laughed together, two stoners realizing that we were already those rambly weirdos. Reality, though, would catch up with us. One day, frustrated, I told him that I wasn’t his Mom, that I couldn’t keep driving him everywhere and flipping every pancake for him. I cried telling him we needed to end it, and he cried about half as much.
Jeremiah’s legacy was gone. Student Council awarded the honor to that garbage-child, Brad Valencia, citing that the category was “Best Eyes” and not “Eye.”
Congrats, Class of 2019, I guess. As you make your way in the world, ask yourselves, often, how many lives must be ruined until we standardize a graduation fez or a tasseled sombrero?