Mental fireworks flared up with birdsong and the blackest tea, a thin film of sleep still covers my teeth weakly as I’m torn awake by movement and cold chills both. The heater clicks predictably in a total disarray like a drunk percussion band leader throwing mallets at undergraduate marching band drummers. Planes fly overhead predictably like the yawning sound of God’s total and absolute absence from modern life. We like to cling, to cling haphazard like barnacles, to our old wooden ship ideals, those washed ashore years ago, lightning blasted a hole through the hull with diamond precision and nothing floats.
This is the first morning of Spring Term and of my, freshly considered, junior existence at the University of Washington. Not sure how to feel except gently brazen, a blase demeanor though an infectious smile and nod toward truth and literature. There will be words. So many words to describe the world through other lenses. There will be fish eye, telescopic, retractable, malleable, grounded in observatory, depth charge, window washing… I will spray rain-w-x on my body and run through the rain watching it glide off my body as rocks tumble down a mountainside through a forceful upward slope.
My critical thinking will not flatline, I’ll be drowned in words. Courage to settle into myself and feel no teeth gnashing, snarling guilt about my charity case silent resignation apartment life. Can I exist without losing my mind in this apartment? can there be music and laughter even with the repetitious and insane click-clack of the heater which is so incredibly distracting to my rhythmic words and musical mind… it has no rhythm… it is atonal… there is no music… Quite often I hear voices and the slam of the garbage or recycling bins outside the living room. I hope they sorted correctly though throwing glass in with paper doesn’t make much sense and fills the consciousness with a dread that our mess is too great to fix easily, quickly, efficiently.
This is the time for growth. For job hunting and lovesickness. I have to carve my way into this place with the insane persistence of wind erosion or canal building.
Motivation comes from putting things off in a forest of distraction and suddenly finding a clearing in which to work through as much as possible before returning to the trees.
She is a clearing with big beautiful spruce and maple, with vines tangling around my feet when I step out too far, those tulip fields and nimble foot dance partners.
I am suspended animation. To believe that I have a purpose to fulfill today, in comparing clothes and eyelashes with the fellow students of my first two classes, the very first a long trek all the way beyond campus, it is rattling and confusing. Really I shouldn’t chase this rabbit much longer… questioning, concerned… everything… It should come natural and I can’t do it without a good breakfast. I can’t have the energy to pretend I’m more socially stable than I am among those who probably downplay it to seem humble in my presence. To overthink is to die in introductory settings. It must be instinctive and without polish. Let the dull truth shine like gleaming sunlight over an ocean.
Realize how worthwhile you are to get to know. Never pretend. Know who you are and nourish that personality with a magnetism to attract others with similar beautiful belligerence. Now clarity waits in the form of a petty breakfast scramble in the corner kitchen. There will be vegetables and fruit. Fuel for these important encounters with future peers. With confidants or co-conspirators. With enemies.