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Cougars & Mustangs 

It was a dark, cold December in the sound stage of my mind, and the chilled air whispered to itself in that crackling sort of way an old fire does to try and keep his mind off of what is really the matter. In the physical existence we claim to be “real,” I sat in a darkened Theater in a warm, muggy part of California awaiting one of countless retellings of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but a pre-performance group of carolers bubbling with their chiming songs had drawn me in to the festive mise-en-scene.

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This was the first brush with the alluring “Carol of the Bells” my ears ever had the pleasure of hearing, and by God, I did not want the feeling to end. It was a dark, calculated, mystical chant, filling me with countless decidedly non-Christmas emotions, and that was new, it was exciting, it was more connected to a carol than I’d ever been. Such a seemingly insignificant moment, but sometimes, what matters the most may surprise us.

I learned the ukulele because I saw one with a Pikachu on it once so my young mind flipped when a toy one was nearly thrown away while cleaning a deceased relative’s home. I walked out of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special screening at Cal Poly thinking about someone far more important than the Doctor, as far-fetched as that may sound.

And I accepted the offer to work as an intern at New Times, a newspaper I was aware of, but not terribly familiar with, unaware that it would eventually lead not only to my own weekly creative writing opportunity, but to my acquiring many wonderful, eclectic friends. Many of them are gone now. Many will inevitably be, and as the reaper herself will sigh and admit, change never occurs on your schedule ... unless of course, you instigate that change yourself. At the time these words escape my fingertips, my personal spring break has only just begun, but by the time they go to print, they will already be smothering the bottom half of the hourglass.

Do you have that job yet? Did you ask that person out? Are you happy? “Countless questions in search of an answer … an answer that will give rise to a new question … and the next answer will give rise to the next question and so on.” There are too many significant memories to ever be remembered, I suppose, but their macroscopic impacts upon us will never be lost. Thanks for making it with me this far.

Contributer Chris White-Sanborn will return for next week’s thrilling installment. Send collegiate news to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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