Home > College Years, Discover People, Personal and Thoughts > What Happened to the Moonlight?

What Happened to the Moonlight?

I wrote this a while back but would like to repost this today in memory of my bright college years.

I finally went back to Yale again last weekend for the 2009 commencement. It’s been exactly a year, everything’s still the same; everything’s so different. My fellow Piersonites reminded me of Toads, last change dance, Myrtle Beach, fencing club, Feb club, commencement ball, and etc. I was thrilled to discover K and S are coming to midtown NY to work too, and we were already discussing our lunch plans. Well, plan is always just a plan. I haven’t even officially scheduled one lunch with my former schoolmate in McKinsey right across the street yet. New York is so big; New York is so small.

“So today I will not insult you by calling you ‘the best and the brightest’ of your generation. Instead, I will call you ‘darned smart and really good-looking,'” class day keynote speech, Christopher Buckley, Yale class of ’75, writer. I was a little bit disappointed initially, think about Tony Blair from last year, but soon I got totally fascinated by his humor and attitude. “Say cool lines”, he reminded us, and “Perhaps most amazing, most cool of all, America finally elected its first African American president. A Harvard man,” Buckley said, with feigned disdain. “Okay. But remember — it might not have happened if it hadn’t been for a Yale man, George W. Bush.”

Of course most importantly, he challenged the fundamental way of supposed-to-be profound philosophical thinking. According to him, “whatever!” is the ultimate answer to life’s most existential problems, and “it’s just brilliant and philosophically air-tight.” To be or not to be – whatever! The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – whatever! But whatever life holds in store for you, remember the words of that most quotable of American philosophers, Yogi Berra: “When I come to a fork in the road, I take it.” And finally…he said “Whatever else life holds in store for you, and may it hold every blessing and every happiness, there’s one very cool line that you can already say: Yale, 2009 – whatever!”

I also went to the Whiffenpoofs concert that night, the same night they released their 100 anniversary CD “Century”. I ran into D in front of Woolsey Hall. I used to be amazed how he could be so popular back at school, now when he stepped up on the stage to join the current seniors with the Whiff’s alumni song New Hymn, I finally realized how incredibly confident he was. That air he wears, wins all. And I also got to listen to JP’s voice, for the very first time, so calm, deep, warm, and almost sacred. The moment when he first walked into my eyes back in my senior year flashed back again, I remembered how exactly he lifted one of his eyebrows, how he spoke with that perfect British accent, and how he smiled like a child.

Then I went up to the rooftop of that 14th floor dorm. It’s my first time ever to look down upon the Yale campus embraced in the charming darkness. Harkness tower was glowing with its usual green light as if it was floating in the mid-air; the clock on top of the Pierson College tower was still walking around with its usual steps; the energy plant next to the swing space was breathing hard into the midnight; and the cemetery around Law School was as quiet as usual with nothing to hide…E asked me, do you miss it here? I could barely look at him in the dark, and I replied, yes, yes I do.

How could anyone say a no?

A graduating senior once commented that “You come to Yale to be trapped here for four years with students who are as crazy as you are”. Right, maybe it was not so long ago that I was still uncomfortable with hugging someone when taking photos, I still remember how I danced almost one meter away from M at freshman screw, I had absolutely no idea that girls are supposed to wear bikini on the beach…but now, finally, I could look straight into your eyes, nod and smile. Being a human is as easy as that. I guess I finally realized how crazy I could be, or how stupid, or how weird, or how naïve, or how insanely normal or special. Maybe only then could we find comfort and peace within ourselves; then we may be honest with ourselves and the world.

When LL stood up, I said, your hair’s messed up, maybe you want to check it? He gently smiled and said quietly, who cares?
That was the one moment that I thought he was insanely beautiful.

“I am scared, but excited too.” I remember that line from Family Album USA. No matter how tired, how desperate, or how painful I was today, I will move on tomorrow. Isn’t it brilliant? We’re still young.

The moon was huge the other night, and a faraway friend suddenly called me up:
Hey, open the window now, and look up into the sky!

Oh my Lord, could it be more romantic?
What happened to the moonlight, and
Champagne, and roses, dear,
Is this any way to fall in love?

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