Monday, April 30, 2007

My Night With Guster

As my final days of being able to check that little box that says "student" on every random form that I fill out are drawing to a close, I can't help but shun every form of scholastic responsibility in exchange for days and nights on end of pure, debaucherous, alcohol-soaked fun.

This past weekend in its entirety was perhaps one of my all-time favorite Loyola memories. Friday kick started the weekend with brownies, my last Field's cheeseburger, Chordbusters, and a blow-out Chimes after party at our house that happily trailed on until the wee hours of the morning. We spent our Saturday afternoon and evening drinking Milwaukee's Best from WonTon soup containers in a beer/pee puddled York Road parking lot at Craig's Fest followed by a reluctant second night of hosting the Chimes party which winded down after 6 kegs were emptied, 4 taps were broken, and one toothbrush was missing.

My Loyola career reached its pinnacle Sunday afternoon with Loyolapalooza. Mimosas in the McAuley courtyard, water balloon launching, and lots of laughter among the Very Good Friends. We spent our time in the quad squealing on the giant pirate ship and ruthlessly throwing our bodies through the colossal moon bounce obstacle course before Guster took the stage. Amazing. It was the perfect spring day for an outdoor concert and as the band played on, a swirl of cherry blossom flowers swirled above our heads in the breeze. We danced as the music permeated our skin and mixed with the alcohol in our veins.

Following the show, we waited around the stage as the techies broke down and I managed to score a drumstick from Andrew, our soon-to-be new best friend, that I later got signed by the bongo-pounding, cymbal-slapping, drummer extraordinaire, Brian. Giddy with excitement, I gave Andrew my number and prayed to God that he would call me to hang out later, which we were very insistent upon.

And, after a few hours of stomach churning waiting, he did.

And then they came, quite excited at the prospect of college drinking games.

Andrew and Brian arrived, trailed by a drunken entourage of Loyola ultimate Frisbee players, and they were ready to play. Their comfort in the situation was impressive, as was their stunning capability of blending right in. Andrew sported jeans, a casual stripped t-shirt that you could tell was comfortable just by looking at it, and a very lived in hooded zip-up. Brian was wearing a flannel shirt and a sweater that looks like it had gone through more washes than there were beer cans littering our back deck. Wasting no time, Andrew and I partnered up for what I was sure would be an amusing night. After a crushing game of beer ball, Andrew and I took to the beer pong table for an unbelievable run of skill and drinking.

We talked about life on the road with the as if we were discussing a history class. We talked about his nickname, Scooter, that had been given to him by the band a few years ago and he had been unable to shake.
"We were talking about stupid nicknames and I said one of the worst was Scooter Libby. So then at that night's show Adam introduced me to the crowd as Scooter and they just started chanting it so it stuck."
Oh, right the crowd was chanting his name because he plays drums for Guster. We spoke with such ease that it was easy to forget exactly who I was talking to. And because (at least I like to think) we were becoming actual friends. The mystique of the musician was quickly passed over for the pure fun of the person.

For one night, I lived my dream. Have you ever sat around with your friends and discussed who you would hang out with if you could choose one famous person in the world? Well I chose Guster, and it actually happened. We drank, we smoked, and I loved every second of it. We were all truly happy, especially Moira. All of the sadness that had latched on to our lives for the past few weeks had completely dissolved for a few short hours.

The boys headed out around 12:30, on their way to catch the tour bus to Cleveland. The reality of the evening set in as they said their goodbyes and were whisked away to bigger and better things. Left with nothing more than hundreds of empty beer cans (Andrew and I had shamelessly been drinking from floaters prior to their departure) the friends and I found little else to do except head out to Swallows.

In total, the evening was unbelievable. The nearly overwhelming thought of meeting members of Guster quickly dissipated when I actually did meet them and they turned out to be some pretty great people. I had a blast and I'm fairly certain they did too.

I spent the hours after Andrew and Brian left replaying the night in my head over and over again. The conversations, the possibilities. I was ready to go home and pack my bags, call up one of the guys and offer my services on the road. Visions of strumming guitars and games of solitaire on the surely cramped tour bus as it rolled across the country danced in my head as I fell to sleep at night. Of course, I have no skills and little to offer but they already liked me, how hard could it be?

But I realize that right now, Loyola is my bigger and better thing. I stumbled upon an amazing life here filled with amazing people and we do a lot of amazing things, like party with Guster. As close to graduation as we are, my life has an alarming amount of questions and uncertainties. The one thing I do know though, is that these are the memories that I will never forget, and these are the friends who will be there until the end.

And hey, should the band ever call and offer a spot on the bus, it's not like I'd say no. Oh, Life.

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