The end-of-the-year quiet has descended upon the Marquette campus. This first night – or maybe first week or more – it feels entirely unnatural or lonely to me, after the ear so long being used to the noise of hundreds of freshmen across the street at McCormick Hall, or of the late night crowd around or closing down Caffrey's Pub. I just glanced out the window and saw only two cars left at the curb with people moving out of McCormick, and the sudden flash of a camera as one girl outsider her car took a shot of the scene, commemorating her own closing.
Then I caught up with my own personal sense of drama and realized that this was the last time I would be experiencing all this at Marquette, too. It's been a good run. The "old times" mood is enhanced by my iTunes playing a home-made album I'd not listened to since May 11, 2008: one of the "Freek Family Dinners" from February 21, 1999 – the night that I introduced Kevin to Mark and Erik in a serious way for the first time. They'd known of one another more than really ever having hung out together before, so this dinner and jam session turned into one of those opportunities to bring your different circles of friends together and see what happens. Kev was interning at Purdue and Erik was back doing the M.Div. with Mark about to start the following school year. A strong sense of friends from school still being around: I'll be soaking that in again during these last few months in Milwaukee before being the first to "bust up the gang" by heading off to New Orleans.