The countdown has begun and in two months I'll be turning 30, which got me thinking about my legacy. I know this is a topic everyone has talked about from comedians, politicians, to philosophers, but I've got something I'd like to share, a story in fact:
It was my 21st birthday and while most people would go to a bar or club for the first time legally, the majority of my friends were a year younger so instead I had a party at a friend's "frat" house at Rutgers. It was a great time, I drank plenty of shots, drank plenty of beers, drank plenty of pretty much anything put in front of me, as any good 'twenty firster' should. Needless to say I got pretty drunk, and unsurprisingly don't remember some of that night. However, after blacking out, I came to around 3am and had a moment of clarity while watching everyone around me. I had seen a group of Hispanic people talking in a group, my white friends talking together, even the 2 black people at the party were together. Suddenly my drunken Arab ass felt out of place at my own party (this is probably the only birthday I've ever spent without any family), so I decided to look for Arabs and walked out and away from the house. If you know anything about Rutgers, the first place you go for Arabs is the grease trucks spot. This is a parking lot filled with more than a handful of food trucks specializing in 'fat' sandwiches in which you can pretty much put whatever you'd like in it. Most, if not all, of the cooks/drivers of the grease trucks are Arabic, but they're not open at 3am. Now, I'm not sure when they close I know full well they wouldn't be open that late.
Feeling completely dejected I sat down (while I remember more of this night than I probably should, I can't recall if I sat on a bench, grass, or in the middle of the parking lot) and thought to myself for some time. Eventually, I looked at the building in front of me and saw it to be the "Asian Culture Studies Building" or some such name, and thought Well Arabs are technically Asians, maybe there's some Arab's there. Again time held no meaning to me at this point.
Speaking of which, at this point in reading you may be wondering what this has to do with legacy, trust me I promise this digression is building towards that.
Heading towards the building I was actually facing the back of it, and tried the rear door, but unsurprisingly it was locked. Refusing to be deterred, I went around to the front, and while the lights in the lobby were on, the doors were...locked. On the verge of giving up on my epic quest (yes it was epic and only gets better) I once again sat down, this time I do recall there being a bench that faced the lobby doors. After a couple minutes, a janitor walked by the doors. I will still fight to this day that he was in fact a janitor despite the building being locked, the fact he was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans, and had no giant ring of keys, simply because he was pushing a rolling garbage can. In any case, upon seeing him, I asked for him to open the door, and after a quizzical look he obliged, and I finally entered the building.
I searched throughout the ground floor which consisted mostly of lecture halls and no Arabs. I had systematically searched each floor (not seeing the janitor again) without seeing anyone else. While on the 4th (and top floor) the alcohol had begun taking over more than just my brain and I needed to urinate. Deciding now would be the most opportune time to use a females bathroom, I did so. Now the reason for mentioning this is to validate while surely moronic, I am not insane as a friend was able to verify the layout of the building (a building I had never entered before or since) I described including the leaky faucet in the restroom.
With all that said and done I had still not found what I was looking for so I decided to head back to the party. And what greeted me as I exited the building? Cops. Now I had no idea what they were there for, but in my inebriated state it had to be for me, and couldn't be good. So I did what any irrational drunk would do, I ran. Thankfully, they were still in the squad car, and I was running through the quad. I believe I was able to lose them through some bushes that exited at a dimly lit side street which I promptly ran up.
Running as fast as I could, which is quicker than my body shape would imply, I made good distance until I came to a small building that resembled a large house, but what stopped me was a statue standing on the lawn. I have no idea who the statue was of, and that could be because he was an obscure campus figure, or I was too drunk to read the plaque/ recognize the face. All I did know at that moment is that I wanted to do something in my lifetime to deserve a statue. I became lost in speculation of what this man did to deserve a statue (again for all I know the statue could have been of George Washington or Batman, the two most deserving men on statues, but that's not the point) and that contemplating led me to reflect on what I had done in my life. Granted at the time I had just turned 21, and life hasn't expected much of me, but here I was drunk in a town I don't know being chased by the cops. That realization reminded me that there were cops after me, and I began my dash for freedom again.
Moments after literally being thrown into the house, the cops drove by with their lights flashing and sirens blaring. I spent the rest of the early morning hours sleeping in a bathtub, which was just fine for me at the time.
9 years later and I remember details to that story that truly are irrelevant but I still have the desire... nay the NEED to have a statue of myself commissioned and constructed, it doesn't even have to be gold, I'll settle for bronze.
What's your legacy going to be? And how do you want it immortalized?