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2007-04-20 - 3:58 p.m.

We are, next weekend, taking my homebody, best-friend-from-college, sideburns-to-his-chin buddy out for a small little bachelor party. We'll eat Mexican food and go to a bar and then another bar and one of them wants to go dancing. Our other roommate from college is coming down from New York. He's a lawyer in Manhattan. There is no question in my mind that I will, at some point, try to get him to pay for everything.

Dave and Julie are making up their own music list for their wedding reception. They are music heads. Audiophiles. Music faces, if you're my girlfriend. In any event, they know their music and I wonder how much of what they play will be the stuff Dave and I listened to, sitting around, reading Rolling Stone and Spin, drinking High Life, going out for smokes until three in the morning. I expect to be assailed by nostalgia. I learned a long time ago, I think, to allow the assailing and even to revel in it. It's kind of what I write about, in some way, every time I sit down to write. Funny how only the good stuff is nostalgia. The bad stuff is, what, the stuff that keeps us up at night? But, holy shit! I just looked up "nostalgia" and it comes from the words meaning "home" and "of pain." So, nostalgia literally means something like, "pain that comes from longing for home." A complex emotion, right? I'm glad that we have a word for that, at least, and that we don't have to borrow the French word for it.

Allow me, please, the chance to recognize that the song "Come On! Feel the Illinoise!" by Sufjan Stevens possesses the quality, inarguably, of being a song that no one is capable of disliking.

Sat on the roof last night with some friends who are moving to Seattle in two weeks. I'm sad about it but he's from Portland and she's from Sacramento, so they're getting closer to where they're probably supposed to be. But since I moved back to Baltimore I've liked every second I've been around them and they're smart and fun and a little depressed and a little dark and it'll be a little quieter when they go. To feel nostalgia early, before it's ripe: What's that? A case of being soft in the middle, of too many late-night books and not enough bent-back days under the sun? Or is it a case of what we've all got: friends on our insides, taken like a vitamin, gulped down with whatever's in that jug there. A little of both, I'd say, and glad to say I'm used to it by now.

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