“Be like a bird, halting in her flight
On a limb too light
that gives way beneath her–
She sings, sings, knowing she has wings!
She sings, sings, knowing she has wings.”
Just so you’re aware, while I’m writing this, I’m in my last quarter of a creative writing major and I’m about to walk out of a lease because I haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep in my own bed in over two months. I’ll find a place, but I’ve got three weeks left until the end of the month.
I sleep on people’s couches so that I don’t wake up to the sound of domestic violence next door at two AM. The landlord does nothing, the cops do less. Every incident triggers a sick panic in me. This is somewhat paradoxical; I stand at about 5’8″, have boy-short hair, and I wear Doc Martens on days that end in Y. Logic says I shouldn’t feel what I do because my neighbor is unquestionably terrified of me.
All bullies are.
I get so angry about what I have to hear that I can’t think, and for a college Senior, that’s a bad place to be. It’s even worse when you add to that the fact that I tutor people for a living and I spend at least two nights a week with my Godchildren, who are nine, six, and three months. Thoughtfulness and patience are mandatory for me.
It’s not so bad, though; every day I go “home” for a shower and a meal after class, and every night, I get to escape. I’ve done the couch-surfing thing before, during school, and this time is actually easier–I know to bring a blanket of my own, to carry a travel toothbrush, and I have friends on campus.
Wherever I go, I bring a gift for my host: rice balls and homemade cookies for my campus-dwellers, groceries for my sister, and a bottle of something for my friends with nine-to-fives. If you get past the fear of uncertainty, it’s like a perpetual sleepover.
This is, of course, detrimental to my studies, even this early on. I have the good fortune to be blessed with studious friends, so at least some of the time, I actually do MORE work at night because we hang out in a dorm room and read and to hell with the dishes, laundry, etc. that all dorm-dwellers ignore.
Other nights, I get caught up reading to my Godsons and watching stupid TV with my sister. Luckily, I have class in the afternoon, so I can usually make up for lost time my getting up early and heading to school–assuming I can pry the baby off my shoulder. It’s hard; I like her there.
At any rate, this isn’t my first rodeo, and as every bull-rider knows, it’ll all be over soon. Victory is hanging on.