In response to the WordPress Daily Prompt.
It will, dollars to donuts, be hot as hell on July 30, 2014. My life splits in two after May 1–I will stand either on the edge of what has been a long time coming or–having failed–in the midst of an interminable sameness, the one I have slipped into rather like one might slip into a coma, thinking at some point How the hell did I end up here? and in the very next second forgetting all about it. But if I have not failed, I will stand on the aforementioned edge–my first day as an MFA candidate.
On July 30, the clothes and books thrown into boxes would fight nerves. I’d try to talk them down and fail miserably; there is no calming books when they set their minds to anxiety. (One more reason to love their corners and ink and their crisp, diaphanous pages.)
There would be a day off, a trip to the lake, sun-bleached straw for hair, sunglasses perched over crinkled eyes that today see more than the myriad reflections offered by the water, sunscreen slathered over skin that today feels more than the wake’s white foam, which instead feels the coming fall and winter and the particular give-and-click rhythm of keys on a keyboard, feels a manuscript feathered through clammy, beaten, victorious hands and that sweaty, clenched, pinpricked workshop-stomach.
There would be a sun-bleached nap in a cool and dark basement, eyes stained with light even in sleep.
There would be supper out on the patio, waving away the flies but glad to be doing so for one more of a dwindling number of nights.
The sun would set late. Maybe there would be one more bike ride around this small town and its dry, warm streets, maybe with a friend or maybe without, maybe rolling past Little League games and the old brick high school and out around the edge of town with a breeze catching just so on peach-fuzzed forearms and brushing my hair back the way I’ve so far only imagined some terribly important person will do at some point.
On the second to last day of the seventh month of this year, I will be a quarter century old.
I hope it will be sunny and warm and still, and that when the treetops and the baseball fields and small-midwest-town storefronts on Main Street begin to glow with dying light and when the shadows yawn and stretch and get ready for another shift, as I rip down the asphalt at what must be the speed of light, feeling the coming days all piled on top of one another in a glorious heap, I hope for a realization at this exact moment, a recognition that these prongs of life are not accidental. And I hope it’s all warm, all sharp, all as sweet as the air sweeping into me.