A little over 8 years ago I met someone whom I consider a good friend. Somewhat morose, but otherwise level-headed. In perhaps the greatest adventure of our young lives, we set off to China.
Over the course of our stay in China we got to know the rest of the group better. This friend of mine told me, with his tongue loosened by alcohol, that he found it cathartic to run (in the rain, naked, or both I could not for the life of me recall which one). I, out of pride, and not wanting to appear ignorant quietly agreed. The rest of our stay was lively and eventful for we had seen and learned so much about ourselves and the world in so short a time. We had gotten drunk more times than we cared to admit, and usually from Tsing-Tao which was sold in the school cafeteria. We discovered what true friendship tasted like and it tasted like blood. I credit him for more than half a decade's consumption of cigarettes, as he, having drunken himself into a stupor, again managed to occupy one of our beds. Thus, I went out and lit one of his cigarettes in turn. Another friend of ours during that time remarked that we might no longer be friends upon our return to the homeland.
He was right.
We were a motley crew from varying age groups and backgrounds. We would find little to no time to see each other despite all of us going to the same school.
I gradually lost contact with all of them. Thankfully, facebook arrived and most of us were able to keep in touch with one another.
Fast forward to the present day, I decided to open my old e-mail account. As I sifted through spam e-mails, twitter and facebook notifications, e-newsletters, I felt a wave of relief passing over, flowing into, and pouring out of me. It was at that point I understood the meaning of catharsis. I felt, after ransacking the contents of my inbox for anything meaningful, as if a great burden had been lifted from me. I recalled all my blunders and victories, and how sweet it was to be alive.