Sam's Little Larks

by Sam Van Wetter | 5/3/16 5:03pm

PLAN SAM: What are you looking forward to doing in the next four weeks?

SPAN SAM: What am I looking forward to?

PLAN: Yeah, like what are you excited about before graduation?

SPAN: Excited about?

PLAN: Uh-huh.

SPAN: Before I graduate?

PLAN: Yeah, like what’s gonna be fun?

SPAN: Fun to wake up in sunshine to the smell of brewed coffee and a good book to read. Excited to breathe in bright skyful of friendship, of learning and conversation and the urge to be me. Looking forward to dancing and dreaming and doing and making and jumping and swimming and canoeing. Being with people, my people, my friends in this home we have built despite the imminent end. I can’t wait to see these tree buds open up, to turn sunshine into sprouts. I can’t wait for the river to warm, to turn lazy in the float. I can’t wait for warm shoeless nights and grass that cools to your touch. For spreading myself over a lawn, a rooftop, a hammock, a bed and having nothing but green growth in my head. For finding a someone, another, a you to hold and be held but temporarily and true that it will change and true that this must dwindle, too, but “looking forward” doesn’t cut it and “excited about” doesn’t contain it and “what’s gonna be fun” is fun already. It’s life. It must be.

PLAN: Oh. Ok. Well are there any fun parties coming up?

SPAN: Definitely. Gatsby. Derby. Dirtby. Pigstick. Cutter. Green Key. Graduravetion.

PLAN: Are those words?

SPAN: They’re concepts, really. They’re the entire haphazard mess of college socializing compressed into one word. They’re idols. Ideals.

PLAN: But they’re happening?

SPAN: Oh, yes, they’re very much happening.

PLAN: Can I get an invite?

SPAN: Probably.

PLAN: Like from you? Or...?

SPAN: If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years here it’s that if you want something it’s best to do it yourself. We can sit all day thinking of things that should be done, of the gardens we should plant and the rooms we should paint and the parties we should throw and the places we should go. But it’s dangerous, isn’t it, that concept of ‘should?’ Is it obligation or options? I argue to banish the word, to take that equivocation and throw it out. I argue to hire a cannon and an operator to blast the equivocacy out. Strike me in the stomach any time I use it, so help me. Replace it with ‘must’ or ‘will’ or ‘can,’ words with a stance and intention and facilitation and completion. Take all the ‘shoulds’ of your life and pin then down, examine them and make a decision. Abandon the lettuce and choose a cookie. Send your mom a selfie so she knows you’re still alive and thinking of her in the sunshine life she helped you to have. Fetter not the afternoons on questions of where it is you ought to dine and whose parties you could appear at. Waste brainspace not on the possibilities, for they are endless, unlike the finiteness of the now. The now is a moment like a baby just pushed from the womb — slippery. Don’t drop it. Fall into it. Fall upon it. Move forward not against the steady march of time. The river works not against you unless you’re facing the wrong direction. Learn to breathe underwater. Take the scenic route. Be better but not because you should. Be better because it is more true to yourself and a more precise way to be just what you are.

PLAN: Um...okay. I just heard WoodstocKDE was gonna have a pretty tight guest list, so...

SPAN: Walk with authority and you won’t be questioned. A flower headband would also help.

PLAN: I feel like that’s something you can say because of who you are as a person but the real world application might be tricky.

SPAN: Could be. But that sounds like a personal problem.

PLAN: Okay?

SPAN: I like that spring is both a noun and a verb.

PLAN: Like bowl?

SPAN: And aim and harness and kiss and knit and measure. There should be a word for that, something that is both a noun and verb.

There is a deafening cannon blast. SPAN is knocked in the stomach.

SPAN (Winded): Ouch.

PLAN: You kind of asked for that.

SPAN: I realize.

PLAN: So you meant to say...?

SPAN: There must be a word for that. There is a word for that.

PLAN: What is it?

SPAN: I don’t know.

PLAN: It’s an actonym.

SPAN: Really?

PLAN: I don’t know. I’m just breathing under water, like you asked.

SPAN: It’s splendid. Actonyms are the space between stillness and animation, the liminality in which object becomes activity and vice versa. Spring is an actonym, then, in every sense of the sense. We are floating between thinking and doing and coming and going and making and destroying in a great fit of capability.

PLAN: Graduate is an actonym.

SPAN: Indeed it is.

PLAN: So? Are you looking forward to it?

SPAN: If graduation is Baker belltower, and I am Gile firetower, I’m looking at it from a distance, an artificial elevation and the spanneous accomplishment of going from Here to There. I’m looking at it, looking forward, but I also have complete radial awareness. I can see the hospital and Killington and so many tips of many trees. I am looking at it, looking forward, with a semblance of objectivity, an impulse to be fair and to see it for what it is. But I’m not sure if what I’m looking at is exactly what it is or if distance disguises it, and I have to get there before I know what it really is. I can’t touch it until it meets my fingers. I can’t taste it if it’s not on my tongue. So in the meantime, let’s leave it as a view.