“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”
Last week, I saw someone whom I haven’t seen in four years. She was on the elliptical machine at the RSF (Berkeley’s gym). I stopped to say hi and wanted to catch up with her. Her name is anonymous, and we attended the same high school. Let’s call her Sigma. We were both on the swimming team and always saw each other on the pool deck. However, we only knew of each other as we never spoke back then.
“Be a Lancer… Beat Troy!”
Yesterday on 12/10/12, amidst the beginning of finals week, I grabbed lunch with her at Northside Cafe. We had a nice conversation while we took our time eating.
Sigma is a graduating senior majoring in English. She was actually on the pre-med track for the first three years before switching over to her passion – she stated that, as much as she tried pushing it away, English just kept coming back and she finally accepted it. She wants to pursue a Ph.D and be a professor teaching the subject.
She asked me what I was involved with on campus, to which I replied rowing crew. She really surprised me by revealing that she had also rowed crew her first two years at Berkeley. All the horror stories I had heard about the previous women’s coach, she experienced it firsthand. She said that she missed it dearly, but that it was just a lot to handle.
She’s also part of an on campus club called Writers’ Ink: Center for Creative delinquents (WICCD), in which she founded.
Sigma lives on north side. When I asked why she chose the location, she stated that she had lived in south side her sophomore year with three other girls. Due to housing complications, she moved to the apartment in which she now resides.
She also loves watching [good] television shows. When she asked me what shows I watched, I didn’t have much to offer – I don’t watch much TV. The few shows that I stated, however, she received positively! Those include Battlestar Galactica, 24, South Park, and a bit of Modern Family. She said I had good taste in the few shows that I’ve watched; that’s frackin’ right, nothing tops Battlestar Galactica now.
Video games are also another hobby of hers. I revealed that I used to be addicted to World of Warcraft, and she laughed and wasn’t surprised. She started naming a few games she’s played, and it was my turn to receive them positively. Borderlands and Half-Life 2 are two games she’s played. We bonded over the fact that Ravenholm was a frightening place in the latter game. While she couldn’t bring herself to traverse that part of the game, I guiltily muttered that I put on “God Mode” (invincibility) to get past that part.
She also goes to the gym a lot, which is how I found her in the first place. Exercising on the elliptical helps take her mind off daily stressors, and she sometimes goes on for an hour and a half without realizing how fast time flies.
I knew of Sigma in high school also because her older brother swam as well. He graduated from UCLA and is now working in Santa Monica. I haven’t seen him since he graduated, so it’s been over four years now.
We eventually parted our ways, but I’m glad that I still have another semester to hang out with her. Sigma has been re-met, but I wonder… how many people have I looked at all my life and never seen?