Friday, September 01, 2006

Back to School

I was just in an elevator with a young man and his father and a dolly full of duffel bags and suitcases and Poland Spring. The son was talking about minutes on his cellphone, how he'll try not to go over. He was very tall, and blonde, and moderately handsome with an outfit that looked too planned - a perfectly fitting tshirt, jeans just the right wash of "cool" and a brown belt. His similarly statured father was watching him talk, looking wistful, as if he were already gone.

This, combined with the chill in the air and the unreasonably long line at Staples reminded me that it is "back to school" time. Or specifically, back to college time. September snuck up on me and anyone who knows me knows that I hate fall, the slow goodbye to summer, the decay of all things warm, long days, eating outside and pedicures. Some years, the trip to Brandeis still felt like summer. The window was down, the beachy tunes still on the radio and I looked tan. Other years, the decay had already set in, the jean jacket was out, the window was up, the radio made me cry.

It occurs to me that city kids don't have cars, so this father was likely driving his son to school. The first year that I drove myself to school was junior year after one of the best summers of my life. I had spent it in Waltham with roommates Leah, Leigh and Yakka. I was repairing myself from a year of despair, and had it not been for that summer - for steamy drunken nights, for the Dave Matthews Band, for spaghetti on the wall, for watching real love happen, for tucking in my stoned friends who had passed out waiting for me to bring pizza, for solitude without loneliness- had it not been for friends old and new, I don't know where I would be today. After that summer, I drove to Brandeis after a brief stint home. I was wearing a sundress. We were living sorta off campus. It was my longest drive, and I gripped the steering wheel with sweaty palms until my knuckles whitened for most of the drive, scared of crashing, scared of returning. When I reached the parking lot, my friend Gail was hanging out the window, calling to me and waving. When she saw me, she said, "you look so good". I had not looked so good when we last parted. Soon enough the suite was filled with luggage and laughter and bagel crumbs. It was good to be back.

This time every year, I have a litte ache. I miss the friends calling me from windows. Despite my loathing of fall and all of its goodbyes, it's the hellos that I still miss.

8 Comments:

At 12:34 PM PDT, Anonymous Buffy said...

I love this post. And I know exactly what you mean....except I adore Autumn. Partly for the fashion. Mostly for the leaves...

 
At 2:04 PM PDT, Blogger Amy said...

Ahh, how could I neglect to mention the fashion. Love layering and tights. And yes, I love the leaves as well. Something in the evolution of color makes me feel like anything has the possibility for renewal.

 
At 4:09 AM PDT, Anonymous Sophie said...

I really think its fun reading you!

Love the Stockholm Syndrom below. Charlotte (5 y) spend the weekend with my mother and she returned telling me I was "nice". Wait a minute, I am her mother! I am not nice, she should love me, right? Yeah, right and the country air, homegrown vegetables, no school and no "no"s dont compare to big city limits, time pressure and poluted air and rushing to school! So love Me!

Mh, she is wonderful and give it time she'll love me again. Even when I take her to school in the morning. Sheeezzz, she is 5, school should be fun!

Thanks for your Sista report as well. I'll return and check your outings.

Have fun,
Sophie

 
At 6:56 AM PDT, Blogger Amy said...

I love your Sophie story. "She's nice". How hilarious. It makes me feel validated for being upset when recently I tried to take Chloe home and she instead wrapped her arms around my mother's knees. But I also secretly love that she loves grandma. ;) Just one of the many inner conflicts of motherhood...

 
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