I don’t know how crazy and impulsive it is to become a shepherd in New Zealand. We have a lot of sheep. They need to be herded.
Still, if I could go crazy and do whatever my heart desired, I’d go and do the OE. Specifically, Europe. It’s all very Jo March of me. Literature, cafes, history… I remember when I was sixteen and restless, wishing I could slurk off to France or somewhere. The whole of Europe looked much more promising than the walls of classrooms.
Even now I’d like to go, but first I need the money. I can definitely see myself roaming around, picking up odd-jobs that tourists do (do they?) for extra money and practicing languages.
So, I was right.
It appears to be O-Week, the dreaded Orientation.
I got to uni, bypassing the Subway I frequent for lunch when I realized just how many people there were. At some times, the place has people spilling out onto the steps and sidewalk to wait. This was one of those times.
Then I got to the quad. My word, there were so many people. Sidewalks. Clusters on the sidewalks. Throngs by the bus pass kiosk and the cafe that charges too much for a small mocha. Waiting for their tertiary stickers and in the bookstore.
And the booths. I noticed at least one political party one; a yoga one (which surprised me); a volunteers group, an Egyptology group; a Christian students club and that’s just the ones I saw without really looking.
And in class… I’m taking an English paper, in Gothic literature, and I’d forgotten just how noisy a roomful of students can be while they’re waiting for the lecture to begin. I wound up playing the loudest song I dared through my earphones, in hopes of muffling the sounds. It worked, to an extent, but I’ve found that I can pinpoint three conversations to their rough location in a room of people, and it stresses me out.
Let’s hope tomorrow – art history – is quieter.
OK, this isn’t quite a chore, but it is a thing I get stuck doing quite frequently.
Waiting for buses.
Come rain, hail or shine I find myself springy-stepping towards the bus stop in the morning, and then after my classes I lag, dragging my heels to the other one. I stand at the bus stop by the pizza place and wonder if I can persuade my parents that they want pizza for dinner, or the one by the music school and wonder why I can never hear music.
It should be noted that I am not perceived as a patient person. When I tell my parents I’m patient, they React with amusement or skepticism. The general consensus is that I am not patient. I don’t like waiting for buses: it’s boring and I can never quite predict when one is going to arrive. They appear at will, which is not something I enjoy. I have a fondness for routine and structure.
This is why, at a wide variety of times during the week, I can be seen at a bus stop, staring sulkily into the distance.
Some nights I’ll be awake – take recent nights where it’s been summery and too warm to sleep.
At the same time it’s unnervingly dark, so dark that I can’t see my hand in front of me. Often, the neighbours will have outside lights on and a glimmer of the light filters into my room, into my vision. In these cases I can stand and see my silhouette in the mirror, if I focus my eyes carefully.
These are the same nights when time seems to evaporate. The time feels drifty, and it could be ten minutes or two hours that passes. If I do look at the time on my phone, I’m almost always surprised - is it that early/late?
During these times I don’t like to watch the time, but sometimes I check just to see how much longer I have to sleep. The answer is always the same, and so I’ve become convinced that once the clock reads a certain set of numbers time becomes something magical, something that can evade you or torment you by staying longer.
you do realize that
I’m not your princess -
ancient devotion does
nothing to quell irritation.
if anything, it exacerbates it.
there will be no pictures
of us, no dreamy stories of
Back When We…
we are not a fairytale,
though you seem to think so.
I wish you would realize this.
resilient, every time I try to
I should admire that, but I don’t.
I’m hardly ideal:
we are too separate and
you too ordinary.
you are not a challenger:
it’s kind of a strike against you,
and you don’t realize it.
you idealize me and
it’s the second strike.
let’s be realists here.
we wouldn’t work.
devoted repulses detached -
it’s strike three.
see – not a fairytale.
My dreams tend to the weird/scary and I don’t generally remember them too well. One time I was maybe ten, and I dreamed of wolves. All around the perimeter of my house and the neighbour’s house.
Then last night: I was in a hotel-B’n'B type of place. In Italy. It was a bit shabby and quite small, and the bed was approximately five paces away from the kitchenette. I can’t quite call it a kitchen because there was a microwave, a kettle and a fridge. The bed was a tiny single, shoved right against the wall. It was a cheap place, because that was all Dream-Me could afford.
The memory of the dream altogether is patchy, because I was sleeping, but then there was a near-explosion that almost killed Dream-Me. Stubbornly, I stayed put.
The next day there was a second thing that happened, while I was lying on the floor reading. After this, the owner of the place materialized, made me coffee and suggested that I get out, pronto. So I rushed to pack my belongings, got into the fancy sports-car and we sped off.
I don’t know what became of Dream-Me after that. I await the sequel.
panic rushes through your veins
and your throat closes up.
you’ve no control over this
and you’re known for disliking
lack of control.
the cursor blinks at you
and your hands go cold and clammy.
this is an old story
and experience does absolutely
nothing to ease the tension.
you’re on autopilot
and tap in the familiar details.
you could almost do this
in your sleep, if not
for the cursor.
a few quick clicks
and navigations later, you’re there.
the page is still the same,
results present, and it’s OK, you’re OK,
because you were good enough and it’s a relief.