All for Naught?
I found myself making the very poor decision to leave the Hill around 5:45 PM on a weekday to get to Tenleytown by 6:30 PM, via Rock Creek Parkway*. You can start laughing now.
Imagine someone having a noose around your neck and slowly tightening it for 40 minutes while another simultaneously plucks each hair from your nether regions. Meanwhile, people sit and stare in their Mercedes whilst twiddling with their crackberries.
There was nail biting and teeth grinding and the feeling that my life was slowly slipping away. Though tempted, I managed to not run my car directly into the Kennedy Center.
I drove in desperation to Tenleytown.
Think of the most beautiful person-both inside and out-that you could ever possibly meet and multiply that by 457. That is who I had to go see by 6:30 and if I didn’t get there by then, she would go back to Spain and I would be left saddened that I missed that one remnant of my final semester.
When I got to campus this feeling, that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, swept over me. I’ve been there over the past 10 months** numerous times, but this time it just felt different. Was it the disappointment of speeding to this place that I had previously dreaded and winding up there and not feeling any differently about it? Was it that I missed it?
I don’t feel like I miss the place, but more of the idea of it all. That feeling of being independent though not 100% responsible. Knowing that after a delectable (and by delectable, I mean vomit inducing) meal at the Terrace Dining Room, that I could head back to Anderson Hall and drink my way through a bottle of Tenley Vodka, not caring that Grey Goose was so much better. The thought of staying up until 4AM-it was a Tuesday after all-to smoke and drink and really contemplate going to class in the morning.
I finally parked-giving no thought to adding to my collection of unpaid parking tickets-and ran into the wrong dormitory. Am an idiot. Then ran into the correct dorm and she had left. I was saddened and realized that I had rushed across the city to see someone just to get back that part of my life.
You know how in a crowd, no matter what, or in the dark or from afar, the one person who will be able to positively identify you is your mother? It doesn’t matter if you’re in a crowd of thousands, but she will always recognize you. Well, that’s what happened. MariCarmen-academic advisor/professor/giver of copious free food and wine/pseudo madre extraordinaire- called my name and came running up to me. “I saw you running in, and I told them to stop and I rushed out to come see you”. I got two besos and a hug. She kept saying Que tal? And I was too tongue tied to speak in Spanish-hell, English for that matter-but she kept hugging me and telling me how happy she was to see me. I felt loved and missed and rushed, but like I had come across the city with good reason and I was genuinely happy to see her and that feeling that everything was perfectly ok.
There are the days that I seriously would go back and do every minute of the past four years over again. I could spend my evenings in my dorm room smoking, drinking and talking. Funneling beers and drinking boxed wine and playing Kings. Completely unsure of my grades, pretending as if I didn’t care, but I really fucking did. Knowing that Professor Wisman held the key to my Economic grade and future; because obviously my entire future is based off of one ‘C’. The other days-a majority of days-it’s nice to know that there are no midterms or homework or dorm rooms and communal showers where people puke and have sex.
I’m just sitting here hoping that one day I’ll find some happy medium. I’d really like to be sure that everything is perfectly Ok and that there is some sort of method to the madness.
* While in the car, I heard a commercial that said “Beltway; it’s from the Latin for Parking Lot”. Made me laugh
** Exactly 10 months ago today. And yet very little has changed. Hmmm…