16 May 2006

New Histories

I think I started writing this post way back in August on the day I got back to school. Coming back I felt like a sponge, squeezing into a tiny hole. I started writing this then, daydreaming about the day when Eva and I would pull up behind some liquor store to gather the ironic boxes, all colorful with seals and calligraphy, so we could pack.

I'm boxing up books in wine boxes.
And I'm packing my shoes: red suede, stacked wedges, kitten heels.
I'm throwing away the clothes I've hated for four years.
I never have to be that girl again.
This girl again.

I came back last August to a campus full of strangers because I'd been living an interior life. And I was angry and the place felt ugly with audacity, the mockery of bright brick and white columns and ridiculous lawns with perfect flowerbeds. I watched you out my windows and wrote papers in the dark.

Driving back on Rt. 7 a night ago, I leaned over to Eva and told her, "This is the last night we drive back to campus after a weekend in the city." Because everything is shrinking and receding, bending and peeling, skewing with departure, shifting and folding behind me, like a great collapsible pop up book of roads and buildings and green pastures and cardboard clowns with nursery rhymes along the page bottoms.

But as it folds behind me I am suddenly realizing: THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT I LOVE right now. You were all parts of my weekend and of this morning. You were in conversation or exploration or laughter or solidarity. You were songs and poems and afternoon mockery. You are my new history, the friends I just got this year, who came in when my world broke apart and became all of the glue and the plaster and the love that made me feel like I do now: confident to go where I want and do what I please and write long letters to leave behind me.

This semester the windows have stayed open, like I said they would, with the wind swinging the burnt orange india curtains and the light striking my eyes in the morning. And the songs I've been singing have meant less and less and less than they used to. Because sometime I stopped bleeding. Bitterness is temporal but love is enduring. And this place is fading.

I have a lot to say right now. On Saturday Josh stopped me mid-sentence as I ploughed through a rant and told me that I just needed to graduate. And it's true.

I don't have my wine boxes yet, but I think the sooner I start packing the better, and the sooner this place folds behind me, the more ready I will be to page back through.

I will never forget any of you.

5 comments:

Derby said...

I found your blog recently. Everyone else is right: your prose is absolutely beautiful.

naomi said...

yes, hannah, you just need to graduate.


you're beautiful.

-n

jules said...

hannah, you say it better than anyone else.

Hannah said...

and jules, you're one of my oldest histories here... hehe. i am so glad for our friendship this year and last... and the funny freshman and sophomore thing it grew from.

Nathan Martin said...

i couldnt forget you