There is nothing like a mass media course to bring out all your demons. Rage, anger, deception – they swirl around you in a tidal wave of insanity, inevitably becoming an inherent part of who you are. I speak from experience. The only reason my demons aren’t coming out to play as frequently, is because they are so blessedly tired. They are reclining in a corner of me, sighing and panting, occasionally taking a sip of lemonade. They stretch their long legs out, promising themselves a vacation this last year of my college life. They take consolation in the knowledge that their vacation is well-earned, considering they have made themselves known to almost everyone in BMM. But there is one person that the demons have not been able to frighten into submission or tears or anger. There is one person who could look my demons in the eye and say “You guys REALLY need to chill out. Ever heard of maybe having a cup of chai?”
I fell in love with her at first sight. I know the day by heart. It was the third day of First Year and I was introduced to her by a girl who we would love and hate by turn in our three years together. For the first week, we seemed to slip away from the noisy excited rubble that was our class. While the class hugged and kissed each other and swore lifelong friendship, marking it by dancing under strobe lights and coming to class groggy, we were drawn to each other like we were meant to be, marking this knowledge with walks, chai and the naming and cuddling of a puppy who I would grow to love with an intensity my demons could do nothing about. We watched, she and I, as the “lifelong friendships” crumbled and new ones were formed. We laughed at these, ignoring them in our preference of the marvelously safe bubble we had managed to form.
The rest of the class looked at us and whispered. Wondering when this bubble would burst. It wasn’t normal, its almost like they’re snobs, that’s what they said. They whispered through First Year, through Second Year, through long and tiring Industrial Visits, through long and equally memorable vacations, the only times of the year we were ever apart. They’ve given up the whispers now. Our bubble isn’t going anywhere, it is intact. It has remained intact while the friends we chose to make swore “lifelong friendship” to us and left, for love, for politics, for reasons only my demons will understand. It has remained intact during her phobia of growing older. It has remained intact during my many failed romantic ventures. It remained intact through exams, and conjunctivitis, and empty wallets and birthdays and festivals and break-up’s and fights and everything in between.
I am in my Third Year now. In less than a year, I will be a graduate and we will leave for lives that are destined to be separate only by geography. I look at her sitting next to me in my class, doodling stick figures, rolling her eyes at me and miming “chai” with her artist’s fingers and I know that I am home. For three years my demons have looked at her in awe, wondering how they could never alienate her from me. Wondering how, no matter how much of my ugliness they showed her , she always stayed and kicked their butt until they retreated in staggering respect. The bigger and uglier demons of the class, looked at us both in awe. Wondering how we are the only friendship that ever lasted, wondering when we stopped becoming separate people and became an It. Like she has said before in her beautiful attic, the only thing worth anything BMM has given us, is each other. And I’d believe her if I were you. She’s the best demon slayer you’d ever meet and you wouldn’t want her starting on you.