April 2003

Boys in knee socks?

Wednesday, April 2, 2003, 8:40 a.m.

Today was the second time someone has found this diary by searching for "boys in knee socks" (with quotes). Is this someone's fantasy? I wonder if they were disappointed when they found this...

I wonder if I will now get lots of "boys in knee socks" hits for having told you this...


Friday, April 4, 2003, 1:57 a.m.

I'm not using good posture. I know this because every time I shrug my shoulders, my vertebrae all make a noise like walking on bubble wrap. And this morning I woke up with my throat rough and sore. Tomorrow I have a "friendly conversation" about my cell bio lab - a conversation which is worth 10% of my grade. I have been trying to call, Mom, Dad... I feel like I'm stuck in a whirlwind.

Chamomile-spearmint tea with honey does wonders, though, for the throat and the spirits. Tomorrow really is Friday. Saturday is Hollis' concert. And on Monday Rabi made my week by saying hello to me.

So it's not all bad.

saving the world in my sleep

Tuesday, April 8, 2003, 10:21 a.m.

I don't know if it was real, or in a dream
Lately, waking up, I'm not sure where I've been
-Indigo Girls

I don't remember what I dreamed this morning, but I do know that it was so vivid and intense that when I woke my only thought was, "I have to get back - they need me." Kate asked me when I had class, and it took me a moment to remember what the word meant. When I woke a second time, I was so confused about where I was that I started to undress.

I keep having dreams of saving something. I never know exactly what, once I've woken up, but I am always the key player in some rescue mission, and all depends on me. I know what to do in these dreams, too. I am in control. This is in contrast to my waking self, who rarely feels that she knows the best plan. I am tense lately, like an old guitar string stretched from fret to fret. I am hanging on to what I can, lilies and hyacinths and cocoa in the morning.

I know where the tension comes from, too. But last night, I seemed to let go of a certain fact about a certain boy's future, and we were in tune all night. At two, just before bed, I was standing in his bathroom, watching his meticulous movements. I was shivering becuase of the window, which was wide open to dispel any smoke and prevent the fire alarm from sounding. He was almost oblivious to my presence as he sprinkled sugar carefully on the surface of each custard, then turned the ramekin round and round while caramelizing those granules into a golden shell. When I cracked that shell later, tap-tap-crunching with my spoon, I thought of Amélie, but when I tasted the créme brûlè itself I forgot to think of anything. The custard was still warm on top from the butane flame, but cool beneath, and studded with tart cherries. The smooth vanillaness of the custard and the crisp caramelized sugar balenced perfectly and melted on my tongue.

I went to bed content. Maybe it was the créme brûlè that gave me the power to save the world.

How to cure a headache

Tuesday, April 8, 2003, 4:50 p.m.

They say the creek is polluted.

I don't know about that; all I know
is that this afternoon it is icy cold
as I stand barefoot where the snowmelt joins
the broader, slow-moving water. Almost at once my feet are too cold
to feel the sharp edges of gneiss and schist
beneath the shallow water. I watch for broken bottles and rusty nails,
knowing that I would hardly notice until the bright red billowed
through the rippling water and dripped onto the mud
as I hobbled to the bank,
the only scarlet in a brown landscape accented with green.

As I walk along the paths, toes still pressing
into the numbing, nipping mud, I laugh at the snow
that nestles among the ivy, winter's last rebellion against persistent spring.
The daffodils still huddle low, comforting each other
after the shock of the frost, but here a bird sings,
and across the creek a carpet of vegetation covers the soil.

I ruminate, later, sitting on a damp stone by a trickling rivulet
to rinse my frozen feet and relace my boots,
what of it if the daffodils sigh?
Because the creek is remembering how to babble,
and the plants are remembering the color green,
and I am remembering the way to walk in the woods.

moments of sand, moments of flowers

Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 10:31 a.m.

My room is a mess, but my sister is coming to visit me on Friday. Meanwhile I'm making it through this week by sheer will, because I spent this weekend sick in bed. I think my fever is gone this morning, although I forgot to check before I was scalding my tongue with chamomile.

I still cry sometimes because in a few months he will be across the ocean, and time seems to slip through my fingers like sand, like water. It's no use grasping tighter. No matter how many handfuls I try to trap, each one leaks out between my knuckles. I'm getting better - it has been almost a month since he found out he was going - but still there are moments when it overwhelms me. I blink the tears back, because there's nothing more he can say that he hasn't said, nothing he can do to make all the hurt and fear go away. I know that we love each other and that we've survived time apart before; I know that email and telephones and a quick postal service make communicating much easier; I know that plane tickets to Glasgow are as low as $315.00, and I know I can handle jetlag. I'm just going to continue being frightened, a little, and I'm going to continue missing him in advance. It's how I do things, and I do think it hurts less after the fact - gets me used to it.

But the trees outside his window are exploding with white flowers, and the daffodils all dance upright in the breeze now. Somehow, too, everything that Joni Mitchell sings this morning is true, and that makes it all right.

sunlight savings

Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 7:10 p.m.

All I want to say is that this daylight savings thing is crazy. My clock says 7:10, but the sky says something like four in the afternoon. And it's only April. I haven't seen the sun so much in months.


(Tuesdays are really writing days, aren't they?)


Monday, April 21, 2003, 5:09 p.m.

It's easier said than done, you know.

Days of Beauty
Copyright Elizabeth McDonald 2003

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