Day One

March 19, 2014

[As transcribed from my old school, hand-written journal, yo]

Planes are boring.

***

Planes are boring, and I can’t sleep. The window is dark. The sky is dark, more accurately. I don’t know how far above the ground I am. You could tell me seven or one or a hundred and I’d find them all plausible. Science, man. I’m not about that life. I’m a scientifically illiterate English and History major, and I am flying further from home than I have ever been before.

It is two in the morning by my clock, but we are somewhere over the middle of the Atlantic so maybe it’s actually midnight. Or is my clock changing to keep up with us? Or is time an illusion, et cetera et cetera, the tired thoughts of someone who should be asleep right now, but somehow feels too self-conscious on a half-empty and dark plane to put my feet on the seats next to me and just sprawl. I am not emotionally ready to live on my own.

***

The entertainment system on the plane has Breaking Bad. Sleep is for the weak.

***

Slept for a bit. Slept for an hour or so. Don’t know, can’t be sure. Time’s not real, after all.

We’ve got another hour to go. I’m not excited or scared or nervous or anything. I’m mostly just tired and my neck hurts. When dad dropped me off outside security and I was on my own at last, I did a little jig of joy in the airport terminal, that’s how jazzed I was. The holy spirit of study abroad filled me up. But holy spirits don’t stick around that long, and now I am just tired and achy on a plane in the dark above the dark.

Good. Life’s too long for passionate emotions every moment.

The entertainment system has Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I am variable miles above the ground, and I can watch repeats of my new favorite sitcom. God bless the ever flattening Earth.

***

Observations on the airplane bathroom—how exactly am I supposed to have sex in there?

Please, someone, explain.

***

We’re landing.

***

We’ve landed. I’m on a bus headed to a place where I will catch another bus which will take me to Bath. I’m still pretty far out from a real bed, is what I’m hearing from all that. It is cold. And grey. And overcast. Britain lives up to everything it promised.

I am alone on this bus. A very helpful lady at the bus ticket station wrote down my route for me on the manila folder that I’m keeping my important papers in. She probably did this because I knocked over my suitcase twice, painstakingly counted out my money, and uttered, “Bus ticket? Is that what this is? Where I can get some I mean? For buses? Or coaches? Are those the same things?”

God knows if I can’t manage to look competent, I can at least look helpless. When in down, I’ll slather on what little Southern accent I have and purr, “I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.”

America, represent.

***

At Catherine Place, where I live. At the top of four flights of stairs. With a seventy pound suitcase. I made it up the stairs though. I did it, and I feel tremendously proud of myself. I feel that young adulthood is comprised of almost nothing but doing basic tasks and feeling tremendously proud of yourself for it. When you stop expecting people to pat you on the ass for the simplest things, that’s probably when you count as an adult adult.

I, however, would like a pat on the ass. I hauled that suitcase all the way up, and I put away my clothes before my flatmates (I am very British already, you see, I say flatmates and I complain about the rain) arrived.

I am rooming with Jessica from Oberlin College. My initial impression is that I am too tired to talk to people charmingly. The other two members of our flat are from Gettysburg University (Gettysburg has about 70 people in this 50 person program, so statistically speaking, they had to be). I am cautiously optimistic about all three of them, but I’m also sleep deprived and hungry so at the moment I violently hate them. It’s not personal and I don’t think they can tell, and it will be gone by morning. I also hate the sky, the wind, the lights, the beds, the Earth, the heavens, and all the vast world in between, just for reference should I post this in such a place that the roommates can read this. Don’t worry—I’ll only post this section if I do come to like you. The important thing to remember here is that I’m an asshole when I’m tired.

And I am very tired. We talked about stuff, an ASE man came over to tell us more stuff, we gnawed off our limbs and ate them for strength in this foodless house, et cetera et cetera. I’ve written enough already. Day one. I don’t imagine this will be a daily thing, but I’ll try to write consistently. I am, after all, getting graded on it.

I am not yet happy. I am still very tired. That’s the conclusion to this piece.

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March 8, 2014

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