“…you know those days when you’re like this might as well happen.”
– ‘The Xanax Story,’ John Mulaney
You’ve had those days. Come on, I know you have. Today was one of those days for me. Come to think of it, I’ve had quite a few of these kinds of days since my arrival to a country intertwined with magical realism. It most certainly was real, and I’d stretch it far enough to say it had me feeling some kind of magical.
I knew today would be one of those days even before I went to bed. Why? Dave Fitz sent me a “Hi Kerianne Baylor” Facebook message. What does that mean? It means an all-nighter. Granted, it was already past 1:00 a.m., but this type of message makes way for something far from procrastination: Inspiration. Just receiving them paves the way for pivotal life conversations about time, digital storytelling, curiosity, travel, education and negativity—and pretty much anything and everything in between—that last until the following morning. Yes, I had class at 8:00 a.m., but you know damn well I was ready and willing to be up until sunrise.
You see, some of my deepest conversations during my senior year at Marist involved Dave and I killing entire nights. Insomniacs some would say, but if you asked me, I’d say something along the lines of carpe noctem (seize the night). Because these are the type of connections that give you those late-night, I-should-be-doing-more-right-now jitters. You Google new things. Your eyes widen at ingenious new perspectives. You reflect on great ideas. You experience the depths of introspection. You converse about those profound topics that trigger newfound curiosity, that have been suspended in your mind and finally let out into the depths of the messenger window.
At one point last night Dave said the following about finishing up his most recent edit: “If you’re gonna be up [I] would love your opinion on it.” He doesn’t know, but I actually laughed out loud. Man, was I already wide awake. And I would be until about 5:00 a.m.
I would wake up at exactly 7:50 a.m., ten minutes before one of my ficha’s last classes in which they were giving individual and business presentations. I would look around and assess my already-late-for-teaching situation, realizing I hadn’t printed the final presentation grading rubric and consequently plopping my laptop in my bag because typed assessments would have to suffice.
I would glance at my phone, checking messages from my mentor that necessitated immediate, yet cloudy replies. I would hear the doorbell ring at exactly 8:00 a.m., jolt my head towards the door, and throw on some shorts (because who would sleep with clothes on in 90-degree weather, amirite?), instantaneously remembering that I had asked the new cleaning lady to come on Tuesday.
I would notice our friend Logan crashed on our couch, nudging him ever so slightly and whisking him away to my bedroom so that the apartment could be cleaned. I would tap Nathan awake to remind him that a) the cleaning lady was here and I had to go; b) that he was the only Spanish speaker left to communicate with her; and c) we’d have to split some Colombian pesos for payment.
I would hurriedly explain some instructions to Emilsa, telling her that I had to leave and the chico in that bedroom over there could help her if she needed anything (which already included running down to the doorman to borrow a broom because ours were thrown away by our last cleaning lady). I would throw on a dress, grab a banana, and run out the door, immediately spinning my heels to return to the kitchen to snag a bag of cookies and candy for my students’ last day.
I would jump into the first moving vehicle outside my apartment, stirring up small talk with my ex-military taxi driver from Bucaramanga. While watching the steamy city wake up around me, I would wonder if I even put a bra on, if I grabbed everything I needed, if it even mattered that I’d be super late (even for Colombia); but what would spread across my recently awoken face was a smile, a real wide one.
I wouldn’t care about hardly sleeping because I would feel energized. I’d feel ready. For what? Who knows. For class. For today. For tomorrow. For this entire week splitting at the seams with emotions. Goodbyes. Loads of laughter. Hellos. Awaited hugs and kisses from family members in NJ. Saudade. Longing. Longing for now, for this moment of sheer excitement as I taxi my way to one of the last classes of the first half of my ten-month teach abroad endeavor.
Is it crazy to already feel nostalgic for this moment in the future? I know for sure I’ll miss it. Because even after an almost sleepless night of awakening conversation and jaw-dropping videography, I feel weightless. I feel present in this verging-on-eight forty a.m.-cab-ride to 8:00 a.m. class with a sly, slightly-more-knowledgable grin across my sun-kissed, B’quilla-glowing face. I feel that, yes, this chain of fortunate interactions and events might as well happen today. Hell, may it happen to me any day. Because it was purely blissful and renewing. Because there’s some sort of magic in the haphazard flow of my early morning. And I’d like to say I had a feeling I’d feel this way, because as Dave said when he first messaged me, “it’s been a while.” It shouldn’t take this long of a while to get back to that heightened awareness of life; that appreciation for open, honest sharing of thoughts and ideas; and that desire to truly compliment each other on our talents, interests, goals and minds—“Smart is sexy,” right Fitz?.
Today, watch this reel of images and experiences that flow together to form the inner-workings of Dave Fitz’s last twelve months. It might as well happen. You might as well click play to wake up and do more—you have no time to waste.