December 24, 2009

Lincoln, NE

Since graduation I've been pummeled with parties. My parents' annual Christmas party brought its usual fervor to our house the day after I moved in. Ninety-six (count 'em!) adults came to our home seeking the German-inspired cuisine, delicate desserts, and poly-alcoholic drinks served from our bar. Cambodia served me well as a conversation piece, but talking about the bold uncertainty of the next months grew tiresome as the will's, might's, and maybe's began to sound more removed from my real life.

I'm tired of living in the future. I can't help but think of that oft-quoted John Lennon quip, "Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans." Or was it the other Lenin, "one man with a gun can control 100 without"? Either way, I guess we end up dead at the end of it all, and it would be a big mistake to rush through this holiday. In just 12 days, I'll be leaving Lincoln to live in the most present of all present tenses, and besides the scenery change, the change in verb tense will be welcomed.

I like Lincoln. It's a city of refugees. They've come to escape genocide and war in former Yugoslavia and Vietnam, they've come from Mexico and latin America in hopes of a better existance for their family, they've come from out-state Nebraska with dreams of big-city living. It's the generous Bosnians from the tall man's tailor shop (thanks for the socks!), It's the heavily side-burned, slightly broken out banker who greets me with "hey, what's up?", It's the yet-to-come winter storm frenzy in the supermarket. As my hometown, I wouldn't trade Lincoln for anywhere. This city is big enough for traffic, but small enough for friendly service.

We may not have a smooth Jay-Z/Alicia Keys anthem about our town, but New York (or Phnom Penh) has got nothing on good ol' Lincoln.

Merry Christmas, ya'll.