The world is graduating. Albums of pictures flood my walls
of gowned, smiling former classmates, that one person I did a group project
with sophomore year. Each of their heads boasting a traditional cap, as though
it is anything but conventional, but rather extraordinary like a crown.
Shouldn’t we feel like queens and kings? Even if only for a day where we forget
how many times we’ve slammed books closed, cried over index cards, and founds
ourselves mixing Kahlua with coffee to get through those before eleven classes.
My world is a flurry of cap and gowns, of congrats, and the unfortunate: I’m
going to miss you.
I wonder if the he girl at the coffee shop who is bouncing
around; proud of her graduation, ever slammed a book closed in frustration. Did
the young guy carrying the boxes up flights of stairs to his first apartment
ever sit on the stairs out front of the library with a cigarette between his
lips and wonder what’s next, what’s after college.
My best friend grabbed a pillow from my bed the day I was
moving out and held it to her chest. She buried her head into it, hiding her
eyes, as they grew pink, then red with tears.In that moment I’d write a hundred more essays, take every test again,
if that meant more time with her. If only my friend’s hug was as steely as she
had hopped it could have kept me prisoner for a few more days.
In the seven days since I left the campus I called home for
years I’ve never been more thankful for technology. I’ve left a job after only
working one day, and by a miracle found another. I’ve cried into my pillow in
my studio apartment to the sounds of downtown. To the church bells ding, ding,
ding, dinging to every new hour.
In seven more days will it still feel as though the world is
graduating? Or will I be the only one letting nostalgia whisper into my ear.