Tuesday, December 6, 2016

wish that we could talk about it

I miss the way we used to argue
Locked, in your basement
--LCD Soundsystem

Outside my window, the shadow of the valley of death is pitch black; and, just past it, the lights of a not-quite-semi-truck flicker down the small road that leads to the dining hall.

It's cold in that you don't want to leave your house kind of cold. I haven't taken out my AC window units yet, which probably explains why there are inhospitable drafts leaking into my apartment. The cold reminds me of when I would stand too close to my windows in my sunny room with the beautiful wooden floor to look out on the snow on the train tracks. I don't mind the drafts. They're just an excuse to wrap up in blankets. They're certainly better than the stifling heat of old buildings, that smells iron like the radiator, and makes you sweat underneath your turtleneck after walking up three flights of stairs.

Now, I live about as far away from Metro North train tracks as you can possibly get. And all the buildings are filled with dry, hot, air. I can feel my skin turn to paper and my hair crackle into dry threads. I miss falling asleep in my oceanic bed as the trains rumbled by under the roaming moon. The pipes sang in the middle of the night, I wrapped myself in blankets, and snow piled up on the roof outside.

Right now, the year is very dark. There is no snow right now, just bitter wind as the sun sets.

Today, I prayed in the chapel of the theology building with friends. The chapel of the theology building is situated at what could only be described as the hinge of the building. The chapel juts out like a tumor from the unremarkably L-shaped structure. It has lackluster windows, with various trees cut out of the stained glass. I don't know what those trees signify. I try to decipher their enigmatic symbolism with my stare.

But the sun that juts through the wood beams of the roof, and that darts through the glass trees is radiant. The poor winter sun is so wane and sickly, and musters up just a hint of golden right before she falls. But, in the chapel, the light is warm and healthy. As we sit there, the sun sets, and twilight seeps through the windows, as the chapel grows more silver and shrouded in dark.

I remind myself that on December 6th in New York, the pink strips of sunset do not arrive at 5:30, but at 4:30, and they are hidden behind the Trump developments on the West Side Highway, so I should count myself blessed that I get to enjoy the mauve sunset at 5:30pm at the end of a long day, the view blocked only by a few low buildings, and lots of trees.

But myself is not consoled. I forgot how concrete insulates, guarding a pedestrian from winter's coldest winds. And how quick the walk was from my doorstep to the subway station. It's much closer than the walk between library and classroom.

My blood feels so cold. I have completely forgotten the annoyingly sticky sweat of July, and how beads of perspiration roll down my back if I so much as move a hair. How can I still be the same person who sweated bullets on the subway platform? I can feel the blood pumping through my legs like iced tea washing down my gullet on a hot July day. I would not be surprised if the plasma froze solid in my capillaries. I am much colder than I used to be.

Perhaps it is only natural to greet the end of the year with nostalgia for what has been, and sadness that the sun's life has been sucked out of her. 

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