I know this is technically a day late, but let’s pretend I totally posted this yesterday…
Neil starts outlining a plan in his head as he ducks between
students and buildings. Group projects are the bane of his existence, but he
has to do them if he wants to pass, and he has to pass if he wants to be
eligible to keep playing Exy. At least this time Joseph Peters isn’t in his
group, but he still prefers individual assignments. The faster he gets his five
slides done, the less he has to interact with the group.
Neil cuts across the Green because it’s faster, but he has
to weave through a sea of bodies. The warmer weather of spring has drawn out
many students from their hoards in the library. From sunbathers to studiers,
the grass is now marred by waves and waves of bright colors and tanned skin.
The combination of laughter and the singing of nearby birds tangle together in
the air like a tangible cacophony, and the rays of the sun lick down along the
ground, creating a blissful atmosphere.
Neil sidesteps around a group of sorority girls and ducks to
avoid getting in the middle of an ultimate frisbee game. By the time he makes
it Perimeter Road, the crowds have thinned out, and it’s easy to cross the road
and head up towards Fox Tower.
His dorm is dark when Neil unlocks the door. For some reason
all of the lights have been turned off, and it instantly strikes Neil as odd.
He knows he can double check the schedule taped to the fridge, but he
distinctly remembers Nicky’s class getting out earlier than his. Even stranger
still is the fact that someone has blocked out the windows, so only a few
straggling bands of light seep in. The stark darkness puts Neil on edge,
settling deep in his chest and making waves of anxiety begin to churn. He knows
it’s been three years, that there’s no need to run anymore, but that doesn’t
stop the disquiet in his bones or ease the itch now sparking in his muscles. He’s
considering heading up to the roof and texting Andrew when the lights flick on.
i thought about death last on a tuesday. i thought about how decay is supposed to smell sweet and i wondered what that meant for its taste. i have no intention to find out, though i know curiosity, like cat to mouse, has a way of digging her claws in.
i thought about life last night. not just the sunrise, or the stars. not just the way the world goes dizzy at the edges when you hold your breath, but the way that the air feels in the aftermath of a storm. particles lightning-charged with the same kind of life that lingers in the synapses of a brain at the edge of discovery.
this morning i thought about you. you. you are hard to fold into words. i find that your curves do not like the way sentences feel when i try to hold them up against you, to see if i caught your image within them. the comparison is as weak as i was when i saw you last tuesday, or when you smiled at me last night.
tonight? who knows. the thing is, i think these days i laugh more than i cry, but i still think about death. i haven’t looked at the stars in a while but i still see them, and i will always watch for storms. you do not complete me as i was a person before you, but i like that we could live alone. it means we choose not to.