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Back at the lake

I sat on a cement wall today and thought about the lake house. I thought about all the times spent with my feet bare and in swinging off the dock, grazing the chilly water while Sam, Tiffanie, Bryan, and Kaleena played and splashed. I thought about all the cups of coffee I drank in my wet swimsuit, sitting at the table with Aunt Beast. And the more I thought about the lake and the tighter I closed my eyes, the more like waves people’s feet scraping across the pavement sounded. And the tractors, mowing the athletic fields began to sound more like motor boats with the laughter and chatter of my peers turning into the laugher and chatter of people happily tubing behind the boats. And the snippets of conversation I heard resembled more and more the pleasant conversation of those out on the pontoon boats cruising. And I squeezed my eyes shut even tighter and felt a breeze blow through my hair. And in my heart, for just a moment, I was at home on the lake.

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not your typical saturday night…


I worked most of yesterday afternoon/evening: 3-7:30 catering for school. When I got back I took a shower and settled down to a late dinner of leftover chicken wings and popped Ratatouille in the DVD player. A bit later, one of my housemates got home and he watched some of it with me until a little before ten when we remembered there were fireworks. So we walked over in the drizzle to watch a 12 minute fireworks display. Then we came back, finished the movie, then watched Rocky and Bullwinkle. 

Not your typical Saturday night on a state school campus, lemme tell ya.

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I thought I’d be productive this morning so before I ate breakfast and finished getting ready for the day, I started two loads of laundry with enought time left so that I could put them in the dryer before I left for class and come back to freshly laundered, warm, dry clothes. Ha. 

The light colored load ended up in a washer that either didn’t work or that someone stopped ten minutes into the cycle, leaving my clothes sitting in a puddle of lukewarm, smelly water. Which I didn’t find out until ten minutes before my 8:30 class started. So I started them over in another washer. My dark load was fine. Unfortunately, I put it in a dryer and forgot to check to make sure the person who had used it before me wasn’t a moron. (that is to say, I left my clothes in a dryer for an hour with no heat.) So I turned it to a setting with heat. But that dryer was broken. By the time I knew that, however, my light clothes were clean and dry and it was time for my next class and two hours of sandwich making. So my clothes went into the dryer and sat there until sometime after 2. 

I was supposed to get my hair cut. That didn’t happen. I’m still unruly. 

Also, I lost about 300 songs last night. I mean, I still have them. My computer just doesn’t know how to find them. Joy. 

That’s all I really have to say. 

It sucks that I can’t be with my people from O. (specifically Aunt Beast at this particular moment.) It sucks more that the people within walking distance I can’t be with either because we’re all too busy.

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being known…

They went together into the old room 
That looked across the fields; and Imogen 
Gazed out with a girl’s gladness in her eyes, 
Happy to know that she was back once more 
Where there were those who knew her, and at last 
Had gloriously got away again 
From cabs and clattered asphalt for a while; 
And there she sat and talked and looked and laughed 
And made the mother and the children laugh. 
Aunt Imogen made everybody laugh. 

Aunt Imogen, Edwin Arlington Robinson

I spent the weekend with Aunt Beast, the “laundry lady” from O. She lives on the lake with her son. Unfortunately, he was with his father this weekend. She and I went hiking, went to a used bookstore, cooked dinner, had a campfire, watched a chick flick and ate chocolate. We sat on her dock and drank coffee.

We talked about so much. I read this poem for class a couple weeks ago and I really love it. And those few lines, especially the ones about being happy to be someplace “away” and where there were those who knew her. Aunt Beast definitely knows me pretty well. And I also saw Chief and Sunshine, who also know me well. It was so relaxing and fulfilling to be with people that I’m that comfortable with. 

Anyway, why do I say all this? Just because I miss them. During the summer it’s rare to find a lot of time to just chill out with one another, to really know them. Obviously we know each other pretty well from working with one another and seeing what makes them tick. I know Aunt Beast a lot better than I know a lot of people. And she knows me better than a lot of people do. It’s just good to be able to relax together. That’s all.

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Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got? 

The Cowardly Lion laments throughout The Wizard of Oz that he lacks courage. When Dorothy and the others find him, he is cowering in fear and not doing anything. That’s because living life, truly living life, requires courage. It’s easy to shrug off life, to live complacently, doing everything the way you’ve always done it. But for anything in life to mean anything, we must be courageous. 

As a senior in college, the future is looming quite inevitably and I must admit, that makes me a little scared. I’ve seen too many people I know graduate from college and proceed to waste several years of their lives. It would be easy for me to take the easy way out and do something comfortable. But if I want my life to mean anything, there has to be a little risk involved. I have to be courageous and go out on a limb a bit. 

The thing is, the Cowardly Lion, once he met Dorothy, did begin to live life. It wasn’t the diploma that made him brave. It was simply being brave that made him brave. We can’t wait around, reading books on courage and learning how to live life. We must simply live it. 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

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My my, isn’t life strange? Who would have thought that the crazy one who recoiled at even the threat of touch would be missing hugs, affection, and being held? Certainly not me. It’s strange to go from having my Giant Teddy Bear or my Aunt Beast or, to an extent, a few others, to just hug randomly and hold me if I needed it to having relatively nothing.

My Giant Teddy Bear I miss a lot right now. He knew exactly when I was feeling the need to be held and could differentiate that from the simple mood for a hug. And Aunt Beast, always there not just physically for a hug but emotionally also. I miss them… 

I’m sitting in my room, listening of course to somewhat sad music, missing them and wanting, strangely, to just sort of… be held. I don’t know how else to explain it. I don’t get it. 

And I can’t ask for it. Because I have established myself as not liking touch. It’s weird. You know? 

Any thoughts on this latest conundrum? I mean, it’s good to be close to people… but it’s also so much… harder.