Sometime today I believe Portland broke a 40 year record for the most snowfall in December. Outside is just unending white, with that sharp wet smell I associate with fall finals as an undergrad (often a blizzardy time of year). I've baked a few half-hearted batches of Christmas cookies (adjusted to the particular tastes of AK), finished a book, made great progress on Nicholas Nickleby, and bought my texts for next quarter (a most expensive expedition). Since his work is still closed, AK has turned nocturnal again, slipping his cold feet under the covers just as I'm ready to stumble into the kitchen for a pot of tea. I shouldn't complain, since it was in just such a wintery situation that we decided that being together in the long term wouldn't be such a bad idea (he coached late into the night and I was fighting with the dreaded undergraduate thesis).
Things seem to be improving outdoors, and I say this after attempting a four mile walk this afternoon where a friend and I managed to completely cross paths, each arriving home cranky and exhausted two hours after we left. The snow has taken on that dense slushiness that forewarns a great thaw and that also seeps deeply into old running shoes that anyone might be using instead of snow boots for traction. Hopefully all will be approaching well in time for my flight to NY on Friday evening. Trips home are always complicated - I want to see my family, but they also drive me insane. I own that this is by no means an original complaint and I do love my family. I've just lost the ability to understand them. It's mostly my fault - I've moved on from them willingly, both emotionally and geographically. For a very long time I wanted to be someone different. I had a very specific vision of this new person: skinny, well-read with an appropriate quote at her fingertips, well-dressed, possessed of a strong voice that was vaguely sweet and which lacked even a hint of Queens, an Important Job with an office that had a door, a couch, and some art on the wall. Nothing of substance, as you can see, but that's as far as I could see as an awkward eighteen-year-old who was very conscious of her jeans, her hips, and her lack of Milton.
Right now, I think I can say that I'm happy. I have a cup of tea, a desk, and a rather welcoming postcard of Elizabeth Bishop (she's caught mid-sentence and seems so enthused by what I'm producing that I'm inspired to keep on going). It's trying to convince my parents, who aren't quite sure what a librarian or a fencing coach does for a living and who haven't seen how comfortable and happy I am in this small room, that I'm approaching content. At least the Little One (14, but that's what I'll always call her) is excited by arrival. I hope I don't disappoint.
It is that time of year again!
4 months ago