Submitted by Kathleen Ryan.
It is the same type of white as your eyeball when it is foggy. It is the type of white you’d expect heaven to be, bright but clouded about to reveal the mystery you’ve waited your whole life for. It is not any of that. It is the sky on a foggy day as I look outside of my campus’s library’s window.
Those images before were calming to me. I had a bad dream earlier this week where I was at dinner with a guy who I liked. In waking life I had constantly extended myself to him and in waking life he had constantly rejected me. I guess he took my extension as a sign of desperation, a bridge to be walked on, a desperate shaky bridge. I thought of it more as an extended hand. Or maybe it wasn’t, maybe he was right. I was a bridge not a hand. Maybe we are both right, maybe I am both. Two people can be right and wrong at the same time. In my dream he rejected me too. I woke up thinking I keep doing this to myself. That feeling is still with me.
In my class on gothic art my professor says that the difference between Gothic and Romanesque sculpture is that in Romanesque sculptures scenes of hell dominate. They are a warning. In Gothic there is the idea that “you can choose salvation or not.” He fiddles with the projector to make sure he doesn’t put the images upside down and makes a lot of knowing humb sounds.
In the library again. Facing no window except for one that shows another section of the library. No fog. No brightness. There is a window looking down at me, but I can’t face it unless I lay down in the library. I can’t lie down. I’m trying to reach my friend. I’m thinking about reaching my friend. His phone can only send and receive texts when he has wifi. So instead of reaching I wait. I told an NYU transplant about my friend and his phone situation and my situation with him and his phone. The NYU transplant said “That’s not a good friend.” How do you define a good friend? If I can cry around you and you comfort me I think that’s a start to a definition, but there’s also feeling.
I should be reading for my political science class, but instead I’m reading Gertrude Stein. I want things repeated to me with slight variance till they come to mean something different. I can’t focus on reading for political science.
On the J train I text my friend again, the one whose phone needs wifi. His name is Michael. I forgot the name of this rapper who was pretty prominent in the 90s and who had a deep voice. I want to listen to his music on my phone, but I can’t remember his name. I ask Michael if he knows who I am talking about. I text that I played it in a car once. We don’t go in cars together often so I think it’s all the details I need to give. I was the car dj as we were driving from the east village to somewhere in Queens or Brooklyn. It wasn’t mine or his car, it was some guy named Elvis’ car. I met Elvis that day and have yet to see him again. That was maybe 4 years ago.
I find out the name of the rapper. Craig Mack. The song I want to listen to is Flava In Ya Ear. Got the data to turn your body into anti matter. Michael texts me back Craig Mack’s name but before that I text him Craig Mack’s name. I’m not sure the time frame on him receiving each text, so maybe he remembered the car ride 4 years ago or maybe he repeated my answer to me. I am inclined to believe the former.
I head up to the stairs to an apartment for my first singing lesson ever. The woman is nice and friendly. I never sing in front of people. I tell her I think this will help me overcome my fear of that. When I leave my diaphragm feels like the rest of my body does after a mild run.
I took the J to the E to get home. On the E train I have the volume of my music up enough so a lot around me isn’t audible still it comes to my attention that two guys are talking about me. It is in a way that is sexual and condescending. I keep my face straight, I try not to listen. My headphone volume is loud enough so that I can almost keep on ignoring this. I get off in one stop. I’m off the train and I think I should have said something, but there was two of them and one of me. I think it’s better to just forget it, but my disposition has changed. I think about how one is balding and feel a little better.
I should sleep, but I can’t sleep. I always get into my bed hoping it will mean sleep, but instead I end up googling something on my phone or just not sleeping.
Sleep comes when it wants after I’ve been lying in my bed for almost two hours.
Kathleen Ryan is a student with a job or two studying Media Studies. Some girl from Queens.