Things are about to get crazy around here. We’re breaking out the Risk board.
We’ll all waiting for some snow. Francis, the yellow lab next door; the town of Morris; and me. Funnily enough, we’re due for a winter storm, which will hit between midnight tonight and midnight tomorrow. Then we’re due for a blizzard, which will hit between midnight tomorrow and midnight on Monday. A foot of snow total, and white-out conditions.
Meanwhile, I’m eating the Most Delicious Orange in the world, pretending to enjoy my raspberry green tea (it’s bitter, but Dr. Oz told me to drink it, so I’m obeying), and watching Little Miss Sunshine.
And waiting for the storms, of course.
I’ve had a line from Shakespeare stuck in my head all week: Romeo has just slain Tybalt. Ignoring, or perhaps not hearing Benvolio begging him to flee before men arrive, Romeo throws his head back and shouts to the heavens: “O, I am fortune’s fool!” Tonight, I took action: I watched Shakespeare in Love. I watched Joseph Fiennes say that line, hand clutching at a plaster pillar.
And then I sat down and wrote a magnificent (if I may say so) introduction to my senior seminar paper.
I’m still at it, and will be as long as inspiration holds.
It’s just past 4 p.m., and I, most blessed of women, am reclined beneath quilt, reading Orlando. He frolics about Elizabethan England, writing poetry and serving the Queen and staring curiously at peasants frozen in the cold (which, Woolf tells us, we don’t have anymore). And I listen to the sound of Grace’s mother arriving downstairs: “Here’s the living room, here’s the table, which is actually worth about $3,000 (we have to be careful with it). Here’s the kitchen, which was clean yesterday. Here’s my room. The clothes on the floor are clean; I don’t have drawers, so I have to keep them there.” Her mother replies that it’s okay, it’s okay, she’s not here to judge our quality of life. There’s a ring around the bathtub and the floors grit a little underfoot, but she won’t say anything, because we’re in college, and because all she wants is to take her overworked daughter out to dinner.
I, dutifully, line up my tasks: annotated bibliography, Orlando, Urania, Lexicon, OED worksheet, MLA worksheet, Teach for America application. I’ve accidentally left my Christmas lights on all night and all day, and slowly they are winking from blue to white. Like dying stars, I don’t realize until it has already happened, and then I run my eyes up and down the string, counting the changes. Seven whites so far, four light blues. The rest shine steadfastly on, lighting the corner while I read Orlando.
I did some things yesterday. There aren’t pictures, because I’m a goon, but basically, I had a birthday.
I pulled an all-nighter, of course, only going to sleep once 5:30 (and official birthday time) was upon us.
When I woke up, I tore into the mysterious box that had been looming with promise all week.
Then I grocery shopped.
Then I cleaned. I did piles of dishes, glared at Joey when he dared to dirty more for lunch. I swept, arranged chairs, baked a cake, licked the bowl used to mix up said cake, did laundry, made up with Joey after he agreed to mow the lawn, arranged pitas in attractive spirals on a chipped plate, spent an hour creating a party playlist, and changed outfits twice.
Then I paced. And paced. And asked my housemates if I could do anything else. And paced some more after they said no.
I couldn’t decide if it would be worse if people didn’t arrive, or if they did. You see, now that we’ve gotten to know each other a little better, I feel that I can tell you that I don’t like parties. I’m not good at mingling, I’m never the most outgoing person in the room, and I tend to shrink into a corner when people start dancing. And even though there would only be friends at this party, many of whom I have known since freshman year, I was still worried that this party would be some sort of horrifying dud that would involve many polite coughs and eye rolls.
Furthermore, Jordan, not knowing about my meticulously-crafted birthday playlist, had attached his iPad to the speakers. Upbeat Latin music was blaring, and I was pacing, and the scarf I had eventually decided to wear was feeling more and more like a noose with each passing second.
And then I unplugged Jordan’s iPad and plugged in my laptop. The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” started to play. And I felt infinitely better.
The party, of course, was fantastic. Everyone brought loads of food: sushi, soup, shish kebab, snickers salad, homemade salsa, soda, fruit snacks (it was a college party, after all), brownies, pasta, etc. It was a little strange to realize that everyone was essentially there to see me, but I tried to bounce around to all the groups, and to talk to every person there for at least a little while. And, although I invited people from different walks of campus life (there were my friends from my freshman dorm, my English major buddies, and my MCSA comrades), everyone got along and seemed to have a good time.
The best moment, however, was when Maddie walked out of the kitchen holding a lit cake, and everyone started singing. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so perfectly happy.
After the successfully classy wine and cheese party of last night, after four hours of study in the library, and after my second Cloud Cult concert (they also came to UMM my freshman year), I have picked my way back up to my room, dodging forgotten suit jackets and half-melted candles.
My map fell down again today, but rather than wresting with the sticky tack, I’ve left it on the floor, facedown.
I’m expecting a Skype call in a few minutes, and then, as it will likely be too late to do anything else, I think I’ll settle down with a Holly Movie.
They’re gracelessly named, but basically, Holly Movies are historic dramas that are usually artsy, and usually disliked by the rest of the world. The New World is one such movie. The two people I naively forced to watch it with me are no longer my friends. I don’t know what happened there.
Anyway, happy Saturday night. One day, perhaps, I will again have a television available to me, and will again be able to watch SNL.