Friday, July 21


RIP,, and Other Matters

Well, today's the moment of truth--when they finally cut off my Notre Dame email account and wipe the memory clean. No more malderma, no more trying to explain where the "n" in my name went, or that it's M-Alderma, not Malderma. I never expected I'd get this sentimental about it. The graduation ceremony was the hardest thing, but what I recall of our last night on campus is simply stasis, walking about under the deep dark inky purple of the sky and savoring the cathartic calm while trying hard not to think too much. Being plunged into the thick of New York has distracted me so much as to make nostalgia impossible, and ND now feels like a golden, age-hazed, and very fond memory of the past, but one that is definitely of a past which I can't quite regain, and I'm at peace with that. Indeed, it's something of a comfort that you can't go home again (that home, anyway), not the way you left it. I will return to ND someday for a visit, feeling a little bit out of place, a little bit antiquated, and at the same time perhaps perfectly in place, if only just for the little brief sliver of time I'm back in South Bend. I was glad to leave on a high, and I sensed the moment had come. I stayed in South Bend last summer and seeing the University empty like that has a certain sad melancholy to it that was as beautiful as it was hard to bear.

But I'm still a little sad to see my email go. It's an identity, you know, the last formal tie to Our Lady's university besides the sheepskin. I have a nominal alumni account but I'd already gotten the gmail one by the time I set it up, and it seemed simpler to keep it that way. There's a lot of memories stuffed back in the account--old invites to parties, jokes from friends, happy little notes from Drew, Dan, Emily, the Sober Sophomore and everyone else, a million scraps of prose I wrote down and wanted to remember but forgot to transfer to Microsoft Word, as well as Lucy's whole record, in serially-emailed quotes, of the arkies' year studying abroad in Rome, which brought back great smiles from the past to my mind. I even had a file entitled "Cool People" with the few treasured emails I'd gotten from the likes of Mark Shea, Amy Welborn and Sandra Miesel, as well as the birthday greeting I'd sent John Paul II at his "official" email address at I wonder how many billions of emails he got on that one day alone.

When I checked it a few minutes ago, it was still functioning, and naturally at about 110% capacity, something quite normal for me. The fourteen-day grace period before the kind folks at OIT lock you down always came in handy. And I'm a little bit sad as I was expecting this dramatic lockout at twelve last night. No such luck. will slip into the cosmic jetstream of the web unnoticed, at some uncertain and obscure time when the techies get around to it, and in some respects, that's the the best, and most wonderfully poignant, death I could have asked for it.

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