September 5, 2011


I've left my island refuge for my life in the city, and though I'll admit to some pining for bicycles and gardens and beers at Southwind, it is good to be back in DC, and to have a schedule. I have returned to school as a newly minted second year, which comes with a great deal less anxiety than I experienced as a fledgling, lost first year. It is raining in the city today, and I keep looking out my window to see if the leaves in the big tree are bouncing and finding nothing--just the city skyline. The tree was taken down while I was last on Gwynn's Island, cut off at its knees and leaving my view much altered. While my privacy remains largely intact given the height of my apartment, my neighbors across the alley must find theirs hugely changed. Today a striped cat in the living room of the house just below me stared up at me while I sat on my balcony--the first time I've ever been "seen" by any neighbor. I waved at it, unsure of what else to do, and went back inside.

I've got a story due a week from today, which means I'm spending most of my waking time worrying about it and slowly hacking away at the piece. By that, I mean writing. I find my approach to writing is somewhat like that of a sculptor; I spend a great deal of time considering what I am about to write, unwilling to write anything until I have at least a rough image of what is going to come from this great hunk of stone (meaning, all of the words in the universe and all the images and stories swimming around in my somewhat unfocused brain). And even then, I won't actually write down a word until I have the perfect sentence. It's all very perfectionistic of me, and probably doesn't serve me. This all used to be very effortless to me, and whether that indicates a change in my life at large or simply a change in my expectations of my own writing, I don't know.

What have I been up to, other than waving at cats? This weekend I went out with Kathleen, and we went to a party at her very good friend's apartment with the intention of leaving to dance after a few drinks. A few hours later, where do I find myself but whipping down 14th street on an oddly clunky red bicycle, rented from a Bikeshare kiosk in Columbia Heights. We wound our way through streets and among the usual herds of people going every which way on Saturday nights, whooping in delight, and I felt very young. We danced at Black Cat's Moon Bounce/Dance Affair until late into the night, and it was a great, great night. I met Azwa, my UCSC freshman year roommate, for brunch on Sunday morning and spent the rest of the day sculpting, with little to no result until the moment before I fell asleep. So, island-pining aside, my return is going well.

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