I got to write for the first time in a really long time yesterday. I played Cake Mania for about three hours ... but when the first trial ran out, I began adding more to one of my stories that I've been working on for the better part of four years. Fiction. Fantasy. Lots of planning out. That is, nothing of particular consequence.
"Write what you know, Jo."
Lying on Front Quad, enjoying the beautiful weather. It felt extremely unproductive to be doing homework and the like; holed up in my room or the library. Something strange did happen yesterday. Or not strange so much as ... indescribable. I was talking to Kate, trying to cheer her up a bit and be there at least, and I told her to come over so that we could go walk Erica's dog (which I said I'd do around 8), thinking that the puppy would cheer her up. So I'm sitting in my room ... the lights are off, I'm at my desk. Now, my desk faces my window, which is wide-open, the shades are drawn down to about top of the bottom of the window, open so that the last lingering rays of sun can slip through the cracks. I love that time of day. Sitting there as the room darkens and the world slowly dims like a candle about to go out. I'm waiting for Kate. Just waiting ... watching the window.
She comes in, and throws on the lights. "Why are you sitting here in the dark?" she asks, incredulous almost, as though the thought of me sitting there with the lights off was utterly ridiculous. I laughed, a bit, grabbed my keys, and led the way to the apartment.
I didn't need to explain, because I know that it would sound crazy aloud. Sometimes there are some things that you just keep to yourself. Sometimes people don't need to know everything about you. You must keep some secrets. And I realized how utterly romantic those moments can be. And now, sitting in the library where I am ... I'm facing the gigantic picture window that opens up the grassy hill that leads up the loop. And the sun is slowly slipping up that hill as it sets. People are still walking past, enjoying the weather, catching up on their me-time, talking with friends. But the library is growing dimmer, the hill is growing dimmer, and the sky is that dusty shade of blue it gets when the color seems to be getting drawn out of it. The only thing is ... the library will still be light when the sun goes down. It's not the same, doesn't have the same effect. But while sitting here in limbo, when it's not dark enough outside for the library lights to be blaring and superficial, I can pretend that it's my moment on a larger scale.
We get so concerned with what other people think and who we want ourselves to be. Who we want to be perceived as. That we forget to keep it real. There really are things that just aren't as important.
But hey, I'm just a crazy college sophomore. What do I know?
Homecoming (Walter's Song)
it's desert ice outside but this diner has thawed my ears
hot coffee in a clean white mug and a smile when the waitress hears
that I was born in North Carolina
not an hour from her home town
and we used to play the same pizza parlor pinball
and there's a glance in time suspended as I wonder how it is
we've been swept up just by circumstance to where the coyote lives
where my days are strips of highway
and she's wiping tables down
holding on and still waiting for that windfall
but I've come home
even though I've never had so far to go
I've come home
I pay the check and leave the change from a crumpled ten-dollar bill
head across the street where VACANCY is burning in neon still
well the night eats up my body heat
and there's no sign of another
and I find myself slipping down into that black
but things are good I've got a lot of followers of my faith
I've got a whole congregation living in my head these days
and I'm preaching from the pulpit
to cries of “Amen brother”
closing my eyes to feel the warmth come back
and I've come home
even though I swear I've never been so alone
I've come home
I just want to be living as I'm dying
just like everybody here
just want to know my little flicker of time is worthwhile
and I don't know where I'm driving to
but I know I'm getting old
and there's a blessing in every moment every mile
thin white terry bars of soap and a couple little plastic cups
old Gideons Bible in the nightstand drawer saying “Go on open up”
well I'll kneel down on the carpet here
though I never was sure of God
think tonight I'll give Him the benefit of the doubt
I switch off the lights and imagine that waitress outlined in the bed
her hair falling all around me
I smile and shake my head
well we all write our own endings
and we all have our own scars
but tonight I think I see what it's all about
because I've come home
I've come home