It’s the winter solstice and it feels like summer. It feels like time is stretching itself out, bending and not breaking, giving me more hours to read and think and talk—and most importantly—write.
I’ve missed writing. For a while I was afraid of it because I thought I had nothing to say, that everything lacked substance or worth. I have shared so few stories this semester that I’ve started to think that there are none worth telling. So, I’m starting with the first story and finding my way to where I am now.
This is from the end of summer and the beginning of the school year.
Jordan came back into town for a few weeks during the summer. I saw him at a party and we re-exchanged numbers so we could meet for coffee.
I had fruit and biscuits with vegetarian sausage and gravy while he had tea, or maybe it was coffee? I am only half certain that these details are relevant to the story.
We were in a dive—or what I would classify as a dive—in downtown Lawrence. There’s graffiti on the walls and a constant loop of old-timey cartoons playing in front of an old floral couch.
I had just started working as a chapel assistant for weddings so I had to leave. He had been in Costa Rica for an entire semester: getting tan, growing a beard, cutting his hair, getting harassed by his Tica grandmother. There was so much more I wanted to hear and live vicariously through so I asked him what he was doing for the rest of the day and invited him to the chapel.
He’d never been—I feel like almost everyone’s first time inside of that chapel has been with me. The ceremony ended and we saw that it was raining outside. Or, maybe we didn’t notice then? The rain didn’t matter though.
Long ago I realized that I was not made of sugar and spice; that my kind does not melt in the rain. So, we let time amble on and we didn’t rush to catch up, walking in the rain.
Three boys sat on their sheltered porch and yelled out to us.
“Hey, you want to get out of the rain?”
We told them “maybe later.”
We went into the hotel from the side door through Jimmy Johns, away from the circle drive and the valet parking. We took the elevator to the fifth floor terrace and watched the uniformed hotel workers run back and forth, carting plates and glasses and silverware from the deck to the safety of the hotel. We helped them out and held the door.
I told him the best view of Lawrence was on that terrace, but now that I think about it I might have been wrong.
We started the walk back to my car and stopped to meet the boys on the porch.
They told us the history behind their house and gave us a few beers. We met their dog, Tyson, and then I drove Jordan back to his car.
Jordan and I lived on the fifth floor of Lewis Hall our freshman year. It was the “Spanish Language Learning Community”—our resident assistant spoke Spanish fluently and those of us in the LC were supposed to speak in Spanish to each other. He ended up spending an entire year in Costa Rica. I finished the required amount of Spanish classes and feel closest to Spanish culture when I’m at the Mexican restaurant downtown that doesn’t card and serves cheap pitchers of frozen margaritas.
Jordan called me (still calls me) trendy and once when I bought a pair of shoes and threw the cardboard box in the trash, Jordan called me out on it and put the box in the recycling.
Once, he told me I should write about my lime green rain boots.
I guess this is as close as I get to filling that request.
almost two years ago