Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blurred Edges



I had the apartment to myself. Well, almost. Everyone else was sleeping. I had just returned from my early morning class. The only thing enjoyable about having an early morning class was coming back to the quiet apartment and having some silence to myself. With nights full of people, laughter, music, and other illegal activities, I needed the alone time. I have an insatiable need for it.

People marveled at my ability to take care of my shit, like get my ass out of bed for an early class, amidst all the late nights and hangovers.

Something drove me out of that bed. Something drove me to do what needed to be done, graduate on time, and graduate with Magna Cum Laude honors.

Something drove me besides the big, yellow Vivarin pill I took with my coffee on my walk to class. Something drove me besides the nicotine in my veins, puffing as I strolled among mountains in the Flagstaff morning.

Slowly, slowly, my friends dropped out of school one by one. But, I wanted it all. The late nights, all the fun to be had AND the good grades and a future career.

My life at the time was a give and take, a yin and yang. Wild nights, quiet mornings. Darkness in the evening, responsibility in the day.

I lay back on the couch, watching the smoke swirl through the room by the light of the window. It hung there with nowhere to go. I had just smoked my last cigarette and crushed it in the ashtray. Soon, I would begin picking out the cigarettes that had a little bit left to give and relight them, so I would have something to smoke.

Everyone was sleeping. Soon, it would all begin again.

This was a memoir piece for The Red Dress Club in response to this picture:

19 comments:

Glen said...

like it - you is clever

angela said...

It took me longer to find my balance; I had too many late nights and not enough early mornings!

I like this piece; it's nostalgic without being overly sentimental. Nice job!

amygrew said...

You for you for not dropping out! Its hard to get everything, and you did. Good job!

Selena said...

I wish I had been even slightly motivated at any point! Maybe I should have started smoking.

;-)

May said...

I like the image of the smoke hanging in the air with nowhere to go, especially how that is happening in the apt. where the deadend activities take place.

Mrs Woog said...

Fantastic writing xx

Jen said...

very interesting.

TK said...

Wow - takes me back to my own college days - trying to balance who I was with who I wanted to be. So hard.

sara said...

Hey...did I write this? I loved the early classes. The teachers were always so impressed when you made it on time, and to be done with all your responsibilities before noon....that was good stuff!

Cheryl said...

I am amazed at how I function on so little sleep and with so much stuff in my body that didn't belong.

Good for you for persevering.

jan ~ tomatobaby said...

nice job ... but ohhh ... when i read "flagstaff..."
my memory started flashing back to 'hood and
the stanky-places we hung out so long ago
during MY college daze. wilson hall ... i will
remember you well! ... illegal activities ...
well ... again ... dayz gone by.

raising my coffee to the lumberjack ~j.

jess said...

Great writing...I really dig your style.

Jessica said...

Good for you for sticking with school when all your friends were dropping out. I can't believe you did all had the wild nights and still made it to early classes.

Leighann said...

Great Post!
I have to admit I never did smoke the butts LOL

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

oh how I miss the college smoking. best way to stay awake to write papers. Good for you for sticking it out darlin'...and for getting up for class.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

Sarah said...

I know that drive. I have it as well. It's only in recent years I've learned to channel it properly.

Ca88andra said...

Wow! Amazing to think that you know some of my memories! And thank goodness I gave up smoking years ago or that would be me - searching through the butts for something to smoke!

Katie Gates said...

Well done!

Anastasia said...

Amazing that you did all that at the same time!