It Was a Bright Cold Day in October, and the Clocks Were Striking Thirteen

This is what a subway system that works – for the most part – looks like:

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So far, I’ve only taken the Green, Orange, and Red lines. I have seen the depths of Oak Grove, the country clubs of Newton, a rainy Davis, a windy Kenmore. The T is much easier to understand than the jumbled alphabet and random numerics of Manhattan’s subway system. I still love the subway there, but I felt much more intelligent not having to ask which trains go into or out of Boston, when in Manhattan the only thing I knew was that the L train goes to Brooklyn and the ocean is about to explode into it so they have to fix it.

I am excited to see the rest of the T and spend more one-hour intervals taking three lines to meet my Wheeli driver somewhere north of the city to get back to Burlington. Some interesting people watching has come out of my time spent in Boston, and most of it has been underground. These are the songs I’ve been heavily rotating while that happens, sweating and killing my phone battery:

Tiny Cities and Jarmin in the Dark, for dusk rides underground on the red line, in the heart of the city, wearing heeled shoes

Dissolve Me and Perth, for chilly late mornings on your way to Cambridge

Giving Up the Gun and Machu Picchu, for descending into the Harvard station

Take a Chance and Ridin’ Round (Osho Redo) for deep evening rides back to Kenmore and half-sleepy Uber rides

Flashing Lights and Ivy League Circus for walking up the stairs into the city for the first time, for the the first time in a while or the weekend

Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games is the special orange line song because it takes forever to arrive at the station and this is a good measure of time in between those arrivals and departures

If I Ever Feel Better and A Heart Like Hers are golden hour songs, whether you’re in the aboveground parts of Riverside or Oak Grove, or neither

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The yellow jacket made a few appearances last weekend. I was standing on the edge of the Charles with Michael’s family, and some Princeton rower boy blew me a kiss from the water and asked me if I caught it.

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I went to the Head of the Charles Regatta, got Georgetown cupcakes, books from Brookline Booksmith, and lived and loved for two cold days in the windiest city in the U.S. (I always thought Chicago was, but apparently that’s a myth and Boston is). My favorite part so far has been coming back to Vermont, tired and filled with the sights and sounds of phone service-less, back country New Hampshire, and doing my boatload of laundry from the weekend. And all of my clothes were soaking this time, whether from drinks or rain or being too close to my shower towel.

It’s gross, but I can tell that people look at me, lugging my stained backpack and ugly green track bag from high school around, wondering where I’m coming from and where I’m going next.

 

The Verbal Translation of Nervously Jiggling Your Legs

It’s one of those Friday nights where Soundcloud makes you sad, you’re tired of your candle scents and your hair is crunchy and sweaty but you don’t want to stand under the cold, low-pressure flow of your dorm’s shower head.

It hasn’t really felt like my life has permanently changed until now. College has felt like one long weekend, but now, as I type this without distraction of hastily made friendships, it feels like forever. And I don’t like that.

If I could attribute a feeling to Flume’s latest album, Skin, it would be a sad Friday night, one where your plans fell through and you start realizing things. Like how you’re almost out of meal points, and how behind you are on laundry.

Waiting sucks. I call my mom, I tell her my problems, and she tells me to wait. Friends come in time, good grades come in time, ideas come in time, everything comes in time. I want college to be done, I want a degree in something, and I want to be eating unseasoned rice on the floor of my Manhattan apartment with someone I feel comfortable reading my journal to. I never thought I would be fortunate enough to find my people in high school, to find my best friend at fourteen, and I took it for granted. I kind of realized how precious it was when Catie would come home for weekends last year, and we would all wake up groggy, making pancakes and listening to twenty one pilots, but now that space in time seems even more far away.

Yes, home would have gotten old. I needed a change. College is important and good, and I hope it either gets important and good or I transfer somewhere important and good. I hope my Rosa DiLauro essay gets me places for very cheap so I can wake up in a world where Ubers across town don’t cost $10.97 on off-peak hours and Saxby’s shops dot every other corner.

Burlington doesn’t have any grime. Yes, the city is dirty, but the air is too clean for this to be a real city. The bus system is too unreliable. I could sit here and complain about how much I feel so disconnected from the place I live, but it’s not going to get me anywhere. I have to accept that nothing is permanent, people have other things to do and can’t pay attention to you all the time. And it’s important to note that I am doing good. I have never been late to a class and have done all my homework. I take showers every day (with the exception of today) and get to work on time every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I paint. I write. I finally got to the Yale part of Gilmore Girls.

Someday I’ll find people that I will click with, and until then, I have my repetitive candle scents as a sense of stability.