Grad school is more than this, clearly, but-
I have been catcalled/hollered at more in the last two weeks than ever, aggregately, in my life. In my mind, I am both allowed and not allowed to complain about it. I am not allowed because I have been exempt from exposure to it, back in what I knew at the time were a consecutive set of rural Candylands. That cold-water shock makes it hard to differentiate between threatening and frightening, and then frightening and irritating. But I have also decided that yelling about it is allowed because all of those feelings are awful- infantilizing, where you turn inward for inspection to find what they see. You know when that car slows down, so’s your heart. I’ve caught on quick, but I’d rather not. Before Gainesville I’d never dressed differently due to the sullen, disaffected knowledge that if I had to be HERE, out and where people can see a grown-ass woman, there’s certainty. In walking a half-mile through one-lane suburban streets “Want to get to know me better?” got a sincerely painful and animalistic, screaming response. I am worried that I allowed my sexuality to grow in more temperate climates, where I had no need for resistance to coercion. Self-actualizing is not freedom from fear, it seems.
Colleges are messed up sometimes.
I believe in forgiveness because it doesn't change the past. All sorts of timeless things that help me live beautifully and care about another human being so deeply will not go away with your anger. They don't leave because you do. What's the use of taking that off the gold standard?
It's about you, the guy in the sunset, behind me on the swing set, looking at me like that from my own office chair, even. It's about you, because I want to live beautifully for you/ with you. Maybe one day you'll blink and- wait! we were there, once.
The point is: Check me out, I am for real.
(Also, offish cashed)
Grad school problems set you off on your own: I want to yell things about them, but then all people offer the most obvious solutions. And I become angry at my own inadequate knowledge of how these things work and at you, too. Mostly I don't want to admit to you that I have, in fact, been defeated. I asked Whittenburg, who looks like a thousand hungry puppies, what the fuck I even did. That's really the only answer I want from anybody and the only thing I want to talk to you about.
On my own over here, then, I'm done being angry. People at high school graduation made the mistake of telling us how very exceptional we were as people and how really fucking extraordinary our lives were going to be. Ha! Ha! No doors are locked, when it comes to you! I've disappointed them, but what I've wanted is to live beautifully. This whole time.
I want accessible things, I promise. In this, I've been given a chance! See? the Aria from the Goldberg Variations plays over and over in my head, and I wake up in a huge mess of quilts and thick, sensible blankets in the hilly hayfield next to my house. All things smell like white linen and lavender. The sun rises, beech leaves shake with spring, and I'm probably naked next to some boy that preferably I love. My hair is poetic and fucking awesome. His face is fresh and peaceful. There's a dirty oil lamp tilted over in the wet grass and my pipe is Lord knows where because I always lose it. Rusty wakes up dramatically and vocally like he do.
We have a day where no one says anything extraneous, and Rusty and I jump hay bales. I wear a wife beater and my old Pumas (the ones with duct tape on the sides), and a boy and I get dried mud on the back of our legs from running with the dog, playing tag. I waste too much time brushing my hands through heather and sweetgrass. I collect glass jars from the abandoned family dump and line them up together on a ledge in the sun. We all us three sit together on the steps of the old drying barn, considering the possible ironic uses of those rounded refrigerators and pieces of old tin roof in those big piles of leaves over there. The pine trees in perfect rows are all so much grander than me, the ground's as soft as you are. Let's flush pink and get dizzy and full with the daylight, and put your hands light on my legs. Remember to kiss my forehead when you touch me, and I promise I'll watch you walking with me through the grass, with love like a grown woman's.
It is also time to hit up some Moravianz, officially my prospectus topic. Very different from the last thesis focus, their story is very beautiful and personal on the surface. You will love it.
I am officially also done with talking about my feelings. Dwelling and then attempting grad school is a shock like dipping in and out of cold-water intellectual identity. Where did the days go, when I was talking? I'm asking what I'm about again.
Answer: Apprenticeship systems and artisanry under the Moravian theocracy. Done, please.
I AM/AM NOT this person anymore: Overthinking every text like a Rorschach blot, giving shape to find wrong reasons, waning interest, and disrespect. I wasn't this way before, and before that. I could giggle and tell you everything 'bout his dick. It didn't mean anything. I can't say to him or anybody else that I don't give a shit this round. But I'm working a used mold: this could be too circular. I am too tired of going through what feels like an assembly line process. But I also give myself pause over the muted, escapist beginning and end of this summer. Am I done yet?
Either way, summer's over and my bed's cold and I'm real fucking serious about it. I want to be serious about you! I thought I was supposed to play it cool, but I'd much rather Do It Right. That is the Lord's Truth: I want so, so blessedly to do it right this time. Dates to places that serve talapia, chatting like douchebags at tea, no more blow jobs for a while, if I want. In the way is: slow, dishonest panic.