The sirens wail. The wind whips into the windows and they shudder, shaking with the force of falling trees. Desks scrape against the floor as students shove themselves from their seats in unison; feet pound like pelting raindrops on the floor.
On the stairs.
As we make our way to the basement. They scurry to find a place beside the walls; they crouch and duck and cover. The lights flicker off. We’re buried in darkness.
My feelings are strong, and mixed, and I’ve yet to fully process the significance of a Trump presidency and the impact it’ll have on me, my friends, my family, and my kids.
But no matter how long my mind whirs and spits out warnings and error messages, it doesn’t change the fact that tomorrow the 45th President of the United States will take office–and whether we love him, hate him, or ignore him, that fact cannot be changed.
Today was a day. Literally my first step out the door I slipped on black ice and gave myself a possible slight concussion. So knowing I’m gonna be woken up throughout the night (because comas) while I plan for precalculus and wonder just how long I can put off grading those related rates calculus quizzes, I figured I might as well write a bit.
Because I had an amazing idea in the elevator this morning!
It’s been a fair month since I blogged last. NaNoWriMo overwhelmed me (I still have some final words to share on that front: like many things in the present, they’re presently forthcoming) and I started a new medication in November that knocked me out entirely. I held onto the end of my first semester in grad school by a thread, and I’ve been using the time since for some much-needed recovery.
No, “recovery” is a bad word. There was nothing to recover from, but I needed to relax.
I had a pendulum of posts swinging through my mind this whole time, but they came and went and I rose and slept and nothing came to fruition. But hardly more than a week ago I pulled up outside a theater with my friend for Star Wars VII and that has been a moment that has stayed with me more than anything.
Don’t worry, there’ll be no spoilers here, but maybe something deeper.
National Novel Writing Month. If I’ve written about it once, I’ve written about it a hundred times (or at least annually since I began blogging). It’s the one time each year I allow my writing to take center stage (how’s that for mixing metaphors?)–often, though reluctantly, at the expense of my other obligations. So far, I’ve won NaNoWriMo every year.
And this year will make ten consecutive wins. If I manage to make it.
My writing desk vibrates with the hum of Florence + the Machine, the echoes of her voice as it thralls and throws the air, a soft vibrato all the way to my fingertips, my toes.
My toes sit soft at the ends of my shoes, slightly sweetened by sweat and the long walk across campus I made today–twice–beneath the blistering North Carolinian sun.
My right shoe is pressed flat against the floor of the faded maroon carpeting of my new campus apartment, only the ball of my left foot hitting the floor, my heel raised as I lean forward, poised for creativity, ready for my words to rewrite the world.
I’d say it feels like home, but it doesn’t. It isn’t.
I wish on falling stars. I make a wish at 11:11. I wish on birthday candles and math tests and every time I cross the street. But I’ve never tossed coins in a fountain to make a wish.
I like fountains, though. Harel and I had a habit of taking a picture with every fountain we passed. Then we’d taken a picture with all the fountains, so we stopped.
There was this moment, back in Queretaro just a week and a half ago, when he and I were in a museum and in the middle of its courtyard, there was this ornate fountain, its basin shaped like an eight-pointed star. I leaned over to admire the blue and white tiles inside it, for a moment thought of making a wish on those waters, but we didn’t have any coins on us. And yet, the moment lingered, drawn out, as though something were stirring, my pockets yearning for a few pesos to cast aside, the world waiting to grant our wishes.
Polarity is an interesting animal. We think we know opposites–day and night, sun and moon, light and shadow–but then we’re faced with nuanced categories that defy perfect dualism–male and female, black and white, good and bad. Here there isn’t so much a binary system as much as a continuum, and it’s easy to get lost in the grey matter.
So lately I’ve been longing, lingering, languishing…and I’ve been fighting against it, feeling frothy and shameful, and it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. So I’ve been perusing TED Talks, because they’re awesome, and sometimes a little awesome makes you awesome, too.
And in a way, somewhere in this mess of chaos, a new story began.
To the person who stole my wallet yesterday while on the subway in Mexico City with my fiance, I’m sorry. I don’t know why you felt the need to reach into my pocket as the crowd shoved its way into the train car and take what was not yours, but I pray there was a good reason–perhaps your kids are starving and you can’t find a job, perhaps a loved one is sick, perhaps you never learned the difference between right and wrong.
For each of these things, you cannot be blamed, and I am sorry.