I had a lovely reading period. I slept in, had lazy tea and cartoon-filled mornings. I went to four hours of rehearsal for the Rocky Horror Picture Show (we perform Saturday, October 30th, by the way). I went to the Glow party and danced with my friends. I went to both dance team performances for the blue and white weekend and both times arrived seconds after the performances had ended. But the walking there and the good company made them both worth it. I dressed up for an early Halloween party, only to cover my costume in layers to stay warm at the carnival. I even bungee-jumped, something I couldn’t remember ever doing before.
But after all of this, it was a two-minute moment on Sunday, between intense homework sessions to catch up for the week ahead, that did it for me.
Got to stay cool, you hot, hot head. Count to a thousand before you sleep in bed.
It was a rough one. I often do Sunday group homework sessions, and that day we were all feeling the weight of the return to normalcy. There were tears and lots of absurd, frustrated laughter as we got through oral skills and lab reports and readings. Throughout the day, the tension of an important personal event happening that evening hung over us like a cloud, making even the easiest assignment harder to focus on.
Read the news, pass the time, drink the juice, feel just fine.
I was struggling to get through my work. I’d had three days with my brain turned off, taking time to hit restart on my system. And after starting up again, I sat there, reading the same sentences over and over again, and they continued to pass right through me. I was getting nowhere.
Eventually, I had to just stop.
I pulled out my headphones and plugged them in. I lay down in the middle of the most open space of the floor, and closed my eyes.
Well whose fault is that, if it wasn’t mom and dad’s? “Well it must be yours.”
We’ll have none of that, no.
I let myself sink into the floor as it rose up, solid and firm, to hold me. I inhaled, slowly,
and then let that breath go. I flexed my toes this way and that, letting the steady rhythm of the song move me. I took the time to stop thinking about my homework. I took the time to stop being mad at myself for putting it off. I took the time to be forgiving and grateful for the three days of shut-off I’d had. I took the time to wake myself up, to slowly turn back on. I was getting nowhere by landing in that Sunday with my legs already pumping. I had no direction, no intention, so I was just running myself out of gas.
My love, it kills me slowly, slowly I could die. And when she sleeps she hears the blues, and sees shades of black and white.
And I got chills.
As the song faded out, the last notes ringing to fill the void in my head, I opened my eyes. I looked up at the ceiling. I looked outside the window, at the trees, and the blue sky. I looked at my friends, still hunched over their books and laptops. I was overwhelmed with love for them.
I got up off of the floor and sat down again with my reading.
After another hour or so of work, we all stopped. We closed our books and our laptops, we pushed our chairs back, and we got some nail polish. We sat in my room and watched cartoons, breathing softly together into the rhythm of the gentle stroke of the brush.