Milton works his way through my mind slowly, but I can't stay awake for him either. I don't feel like going anywhere tonight, but I've already promised I would go out. And I'm supposed to be pushing myself.
Hours pass quickly now, as we draw closer to the end. No longer certain of the days left, I feel the slow creep of desperation when I glance at the faces of the people who in a month will disperse like petals falling from magnolia trees on a windswept day. Despite this, I have nothing to complain about. I continue the motions of going to class, of eating (most of the time, anyway) and going to dance practices, but already I'm looking to the future. Andy said to me last night "it's too bad you can't stay another year and dance with us" and I said unremorsefully, "yes, if only staying another year meant I wouldn't be bored out of my mind." It's true - I'm mentally ready to move out of college (I think). The challenges here feel like final ones, the last door before I step up to greater things. Emotionally, it's not that I want to break the ties, but simply add some kind of elasticity to them, so that they will stretch across the miles I am about to stack on to them. I am ready, too, to end this cycle of spring good-byes, the unnatural feeling of ending things when the heat of the sun is strongest, when really it should just be a continuation of what has already passed.
Somehow it seems I have months to go. Every day is a month to be compressed with every experience I can have.
In drawing class, I sit in front of Reeves BFK with its torn edges, and try to recreate the images of my life. The ink falls easily onto the page, my hand cramps a little and when I shake it out I take stock of my progress. But there's something meditative about every minute passing, the compete emptiness of my mind but for how each new line or point creates a new shape, a shadow, the suggestion of sunlight or reflection. When the professor or another students stands over my shoulder to observe my work, I feel I'm surfacing from a long swim to speak to them. I hang the pictures on the walls of the Loft, to gather dust. Once, my suitemates all gathered around as if at a gallery, making small talk, me standing behind them, half-amused, half-serious, and a tinge of pride coloring my skin.
There isn't too much new on my front. I apply for a couple more jobs every once in a while. I meet friends for lunch and dinner, or do my homework over meals. In the evenings I dance. It's a good life, and at night I climb into my warm covers and they hold me tight. Lately I miss my Los Altos friends intensely. The other day as I walked to class I saw someone in the distance who looked like Michelle, and though it was impossible, I found myself intensely disappointed when it wasn't her. I miss the conversation we could have had. It's as if now that I know I'll be returning home, I must begin to thread back up those connections that have been laying untouched for so many years.
When I meet a new person I think "thank goodness I've met you before it was too late." And I'm grateful, and stretch toward him regardless and I think he understands. Every moment, every conversation - they are all good. They're all I have left.