chuck has been staying at my house for the last few days, reading outside with my cats, and today we drove down to swat to pass him off to josh for the next few days before the beginning of my fourth term at the college.
as we neared the campus we both started screaming in potential agony, and pearl jam's "alive" came on the radio, so we pumped it loud. maybe greg heard all the way at the gryphon station. i think we're both looking forward to swat in some ways, but this was a sudden realization as to the realities of the place, not just our hopeful notions full of plans and possibilities. hell, it's college, and it's double-edged.
in the sun lab we found both josh and scott, and cathy was hanging out her window when i drove up to ml, we unloaded some things and scoped and measured rooms, like i've done for six years at boarding school and here. not too shabby, i think i'll be able to fit the couch and still have room to sit on the floor with people and drink tea. pillar candles have been ordered from the wholesaler (thanks mom) and will be beautiful and warm.
seeing everyone together again was interesting... our r.a. is worried we will damage the impressionable new frosh, altho we really are harmless. i'm excited about my big fridge and my wine rack and the cafe that they're experimenting with downstairs. i want to get people out to ml and then up to my room to talk and share stories. people are some of the school's greatest assets... rich and full of experiences and thoughts, creative eccentricities.
driving back from the college i took the route thru philly. the lights always give the night sky an orangey-pink glow in the skies over swat. i love to drive by the city at night... past the refineries with what look like giant christmas lights strung up and down the stacks, the illuminated tethers on a restored sailing ship, outlines of skyscrapers, and wizzing alert lights of cars. to drive out here at night is to be flying thru a sparkling world of people and hard concrete and metal, all very real and substantial but hard to focus on.
jimi hendrix came on and i turned up the radio a few notches to bath myself in the beats of "standing next to a mountain" and rock on thru the city. then another jimi song, then some led zeppelin, and then when the noise was just loud enough i turned it clear off and looked around. the billboards stretched around the bend and i realized the space thru which i was traveling. the pieces of eye-time all set and paid for, the useless colors and slogans, lit by halogen white floods. i waited for some sort of epiphany but nothing came... like i really thought one would. as i reached to turn the radio back on the mountain dew billboard told me to "seek the truth", so i remembered it and went on with my drive.
the strings of lights overhead give each passing car many shadows. each one is dilute and artificial, and the spaces where they converge are small. it's like having multiple identities. which light to look into? which shadow to cut off? they always move and stretch and fade as you go along, picking up new ones, all running thru the big city and the dark black strips.
i endulged my consumer by stopping at the t.j. maxx still open at 9pm at mercer mall near my old high school, looking for cheapo linen pants like chuck has. instead i found soft brown ones and a shirt that wasn't so great but for five bucks it would cover my skin, and skimmed on home with the greatest of speed along roads i'd driven since i got my license, dropping my brother off at school or visiting friends yet to graduate. they all go off the college now, some to years abroad in england. it's so weird... they were my younger friends, i enjoyed their spirits and dreams, took in their hugs and returned them the best i could, regretted missing their graduation and saw how much they're changed since i was last there. so strange... no matter what i will always be older, but i can't tell them much. only what i know, and they tell me what they know, and them we go along and find the laughs that are just hanging out there waiting for someone to bite.
i forgot to return the movie we rented last night... "the replacement killers". the visuals are pretty good, lotsa guns and the dialogue could fit on a few pages, but you end up liking the characters. the soundtrack people found a song that i've only heard on and obscure asian underground techno cd sandy found in seattle and which i must find too.
the hurricane hitting virginia and north carolina tomorrow threatens our trip to long beach island, and i haven't heard from sandy, yet we leave early in the morning. my cough will hopefully not keep me up tonight, altho maybe i should go have some tea.
a flash of lightning at 1:28am just signaled the coming rains.
08.21 | august | 09.07