This post has no photos. I apologize. I’ve been running to fast to take pictures. So it goes.
I don’t know what to make of these weeks. Days. Faulkner is pulling at the strings in my brain. I can’t stop hearing my watch. I don’t listen, but I still hear.
I should be writing a paper on Sanctuary right now–a book I hope to never have to pick up again, hope to never have to think about again after I submit the paper–but I can’t stop refreshing my local news page. Colorado. Poor Colorado. We’ve had a rough few months.
Tonight, after I went to class, after I cried in a bathroom stall for a minute–just a minute–because I really really really don’t like Sanctuary, after I ate a salad in my car and watched the rain splat on my still-horribly-cracked windshield (why hasn’t it repaired itself yet?), after I read and read and read enough secondary material that my mind is now so overloaded with Sanctuary scholarship I don’t know what thought is my own and what thought came from that dude from Ole Miss and what thought isn’t a thought at all, after I interviewed a lovely perspective student, after I went home for twenty minutes just to lie on my bed and close my eyes and breathe in out in out in out, only to then get up and travel again through the wet wet wet streets back to campus, after I tutored three students in the Writing Center, after all that I drove home for the night.
I drove up a river, my car hydroplaning uphill.
I didn’t know cars could do that. Hydroplane up. Maybe it wasn’t hydroplaning. Maybe it was just losing traction, sliding across the slope, muddy water gushing under my tiny car as I gripped the wheel and glared through the manic downpour, praying please please please please get me the fuck up this hill please please please just let get me home.
I don’t usually drive up a hill to go home. I drove up the hill because my normal route was blocked off. Flooded. So I took an alternative route. Cascade Uintah to Mesa to 19th to Bejui Columbine to 31st to blah blah blah. Colorado is flooded. Boulder got hit the worst. I’m not in Boulder. My heart aches for Boulder. My heart also aches for the Springs. My city. This place. Fires in the summer. Floods that follow. The rain is shuddering down still. Refresh. Refresh. I can’t stop clicking refresh, watching as the list of closed streets grow. The streets I know. Streets I drive on every day. Streets where people live. I think of my summer 2010 Chipita Park cabin, up up up in the canyon that is now a waterfall. I think of Manitou Springs, where I pulled espresso for the first time and kissed a boy–the first boy who ever really treated me right–beneath a gazebo. The rain falling down. The banks rising. Something like a mountain gazebo Titanic.
First we had fires. Now we have floods.
After the drive, the numb drive, the float of a drive, when I pulled up the final mini hill, my new street, pulled up the climb of my driveway and into the dim of my garage, I sobbed. I’m just so tired. I just don’t like moving. I just don’t like Sanctuary (but I love love love The Sound and The Fury, potentially too much for my own mental health). And then I crawled out and closed the garage door, shut away the rain, and I went inside and I’ve been trying to write this paper, I’ve been trying to calm down, trying to be adult since. I ate an egg spinach sandwich for dinner. I drank a glass of red wine. Just one glass. I’m an adult. I have a garage. A driveway. I’m an adult.
I guess I’m just really, really tired. It’s been almost two weeks since I finished my manuscript revision. I miss my characters. I miss them so much. It’s an ache. I can’t let myself go back though. Not yet. Too soon.
And now my phone keeps buzzing with flash flood alerts (um, really, didn’t realize the entire Westside is drowning, thanks) and it’s kind of hysterical, because I only moved into this house last weekend. Five days ago. I moved into this house because my beloved summer apartment’s ceiling collapsed after an abundance of leaking thanks to a magnitude of August rain. And my new house is fine. Safe. I’m on a slight hill. The house is lifted. The garage would fill first. The wise man built his house upon a rock…. Why is this stuck in my head? On repeat. Mormon childhood, leave. Whatever. My house is fine.
But it’s been a rat race. The summer. The return. The two new jobs. The sudden move. Unwarranted confessions from old friends. The new semester. My course is already halfway through. We leave for Mississippi on Saturday, to read Absalom, Absalom! in Rowan Oak for a week. And then after that week, three days, and kaboom. Block 1 over. It’s all so fast, too fast, and I’ve always had a fear of natural disasters, been traumatized about floods especially since the 2010 Winter Solstice mudslide, which wasn’t nearly as terrible as what I’m witnessing now (well, except the mudslide severely threatened my house). And I can’t stop refreshing the news page, the list grows and grows, and I’m thinking I’m so blessed. So blessed I’m safe. So blessed with how full my days are, I’m lucky.
Yet nonetheless I’m a wee bit exhausted and scattered and soggy and scared and, come on now, twenty-two now, come on, but then again, even adults need sleep and right now I’m averaging 4-6 hours a night because I hear the tick tick tick of my watch on my desk, and the clacking of my keyboard because it’s rare I even attempt to sleep until it’s too late for any solid slumber, I end up still awake, writing, reading, stretching. And maybe if I wasn’t so wired, so strung out on coffee and adrenaline and sleep deprivation, maybe then I’d be less wounded by Sanctuary, would stop clicking refresh refresh refresh, would have finished this paper hours ago.
So here I sit. In my home of five days, a house with a driveway and a garage, with a housemate who teaches middle school English, and I’m at my desk in front of a new window, not facing west but southwest, the rain spitting down, writing a blog instead of writing my Faulkner paper due at 5PM tomorrow.
But I think it was a good day.
I love you, rain, but you need to stop. Please stop. And please academic-self, SPEAK UP. Let’s write this thing so we can go to Mississippi and sweat in the humidity and then come home and sleep sleep sleep, come home to dry land, to autumn red, not Washington green.
I guess I should work on that paper.