10 years is a long time

This morning as I was shaving, I realised that it’s been a little over 10 years to the day I first started what would be the best 6 years of my life so far. 10 years ago in March, I was dressed in a navy blue blazer and grey trousers and assembled on the Quadrangle of the Primary Wing of a famous school. My parents were so proud. I remember making some friends and meeting a teacher (a bearded man) who is, till today, one of the very few men I actually respect and look up to. He was my guardian and guide throughout my stay at school, and I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness that I can’t meet him.

10 years to the day when I was a 9 year old boy, fat and smiling. 10 years to the day I began an education that would teach me so many things, and 10 years to the day I joined a school where I would make myself for the man I am today. 10 long years.

Where am I now, I ask myself as I sit in the Anatomy Museum hoping Adara enters like a springtime breeze. I am in the first year of medical school, top of the class, and yet, I struggle with two demons: a cynicism with the world that I cannot let go of, and an indulgence in alcohol that seems to spiral out of control. I wonder if I can fight them both while retaining who I am, because my cynicism seems to define me, but my alcohol, fortunately doesn’t. I am not an alcoholic, thank the stars and my near empty wallet, but I am a cynical bastard and my friends will agree.

Almost all of the men I call friends are from my own school. We met in school, grew up together, suffered the physical abuse of punishment drills together and we broke rules together. One is a photographer, another a psychologist, another a philosopher and the last one is  a musician, although he and I met later, after I left school. A lot of praise deserves to be said of my school, it was beautiful, nestled in the mountains, with clean air and a sense of freedom in the confines of the estate that never ceased to amaze me. I remember standing at a balcony of sorts and gazing down to the hill town to realize that the sense of imprisonment gives more value to the freedom in my mind. As I sit near a hall of cadavers, I feel that if there is a place that I could choose to have my remains buried or my ashes scattered, I would want them to be scattered near the school. I want to be laid to rest at the place where I was happiest. It is sentimental and fatalistic to think of death and obsess over it, but this close proximity to learning through the generosity of the deceased lends a certain gravitas to the matter.

It is bright and sunny outside. The sky is blue and reminds me of the clear blue skies of my school days. Of all the things that I miss, it is the sight of the clear blue skies and the sparkling snow-capped mountains in the far horizon. I wish for so many things, but I would make a deal with the devil to see the familiar sights of my childhood just once more.



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