Eh, the sound and fury of yesterday is gone. Nobody has taken the bait and thrown the first stone at the Trump supporter on Facebook and as much as I regard her comments with disgust, I also, on some far distant level, also want to be better than spittle-filled invectives and rage at someone who disagrees with me. It’s kind of a moral code.
So instead of another night of swinging for invisible political fences, we have a glass of pineapple juice and rum and the smell of laundry spinning in the dryer with an overly synthetic softener sheet for all the the synesthetic mojo we require.
Autumn doesn’t, or hasn’t, been much of a time of looking backwards in my life. Winter will do that, or summer…when all around me, others are moving steadily towards goals, being active, having major life moments. If any season can be said to have felt like that in my own life, it’s fall. Autumn has carried the energy with it of change for me. Maybe it’s why its colors look best on me – forest green, juicy wine tones, burnished and aged metals, loamy, dark earth. It feels natural here. The deflating heat of summer has subsided, the restrictive cold of winter not yet arrived, there is, in my mind, a little room to move.
It makes me think of my last semester of college. I, by virtue of my AP English class in High School, and some inexplicable luck, was graduating a semester early. As I’d already been rooming with girls a year younger than me, this meant that I was out of sync with everyone. After an attempt at four friends living together hadn’t worked out completely (that is meant for another post), the housing situation changed and I felt alone – I wasn’t going to be signing another full year-lease and the quasi-attempt at existing like a grown-up in an off-campus apartment had to end. And I was alone. This meant, as a graduating senior, the easiest option for me was to stay in the dorms in a single room.
This wasn’t all bad. This was the time I started watching Supernatural and made a group of friends online that encouraged me to travel to see them, this was also the time I had some of my most profound professors. The oral Chaucer exam comes to mind…the test was to visit the professor’s office and have a conversation about what you had learned over the semester. At the time, I was earnestly looking forward to going home and earnestly dreading it. In truth, this period was deeply consequential for me.
It was something of a hermitage. I was something of an anchoress with a microwave. I found myself eminently capable of enduring solitude. Of course, I cried. One night I slumped against the wall and nearly passed out, but mostly I just attended to the tasks required of me. I read and wrote my assignments, I watched Dark Angel, I gripped the internet around its waist and held it close. And everyday, everywhere I had to go, I walked.
I didn’t need to go far for food, but it was a fair stretch into campus to get to my classes and I remember so well those winding paths between buildings and remember in particular a conversation with myself walking back to my room on an autumn night when the air just went chilly and the leaves crunched under my feet. I knew what I was then, I knew I could get through, I could handle my fears. In that instant, I respected all of my efforts. I respected my loneliness, myself.
I…don’t know why I think of that tonight.
Listening to Dear Sugar and feeling a resonance.