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From the Us to Paris and Back Again: the Early Years Page 261

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Frankfurt, Germany-

Bad craziness last night. It was my last 24 hours in Paris, my last hurrah before shipping out to California for a summer of forced labor painting houses. If it wasn't for these damn 75 dollar textbooks, I'd be spending my summer frolicking about Europe, drinking legally and generally enjoying my emancipation from high school. Instead, in a maddening fit of responsibility I agreed to spend my summer sweating for chump change in San Francisco. Then I crammed the entire aforementioned summer of cavorting into one rip-roaring night of bawdiness and goodbyes. The setting was the Moosehead Canadian Bar. Good atmosphere, great beer on tap, and best of all, 2 for 1 Mondays. However the highlight of this night was the cast. 30 of my closest friends; men and women, girlfriends and ex.'s, students and teachers, and all are there to see me off with a thumping good time and a swelling case of melancholy.

Now I'm sitting on a tarmac in Frankfurt en route to San Francisco, and my head feels as if a whole tribe of Navajo have performed a rain-dance between my eyes. This is the best kind of hangover however, epic in proportions, but so sweet in origin that you almost relish the acrid taste in your mouth as the taste of victory. Damn what a shin-dig it was. The night began with me sagely discussing the future with my English teacher, a fellow Californian. By the end of the night, we're both belting out off-key versions of the Beach Boys, and hoarsely toasting all things "f***in' awesome." The night was everything I ever imagined a last-gasp nostalgia-fest should be, and it seems to me that it provided a solid end to my adventures abroad, a period that will forever be remembered as life-changing. The only problem now was figuring out how in the hell I was ever going to top it. Little did I know that such opportunities for creating lasting memories were only a short ways down the trail, at a swingin' little pop-stand called JMU.

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