My head was up in the clouds today: soaring like a lonely flying creature in the gloom of this inclement weather, allowing itself to be blown away by the gust of these stormy skies.
My only source of stillness was the thought of coming back to the university, to that one place in the world I can always come back to and call home.
I slaved away the hours inside the office like the proverbial human machine that I am: editing sentences and paragraphs, reading piles of proofs, typing word after word after word, and shoving manuscripts from one slot of my brain to another—all the while imagining someplace else and wishing the hours could skip a few numbers if only to hasten the passage of time.
I stepped out of the office half an hour past 5 PM and took the quickest ride to get to the university. I couldn’t understand why my heart was pounding the whole time or why I was expecting something indefinite to come to a close. All I could understand was the burden which comes with the weighty demand to finally set this course into action and to finally finish what I have started a long long time ago.
I graduated from college about a year ago. But unlike most of them, I didn’t settle my papers and secure my diploma right away. I didn’t want to do it back then. I didn’t have the courage to let myself be filed under records and be tucked away inside office desks and envelopes. I didn’t want to be a paperwork. I just didn’t believe in all of that.
I was lucky to find work which didn’t demand for my college documents. I just declared upfront that I was a Philosophy graduate and allowed my loquacity to take over the entire screening process. The rest, as they say, is history.
But I found the greater demand to accomplish my documents when this delayed realization finally dawned on me and suddenly struck me as in a revelation that I was somehow incomplete without my papers. And soon enough, I was washed over by the truth that I must acquire what rightfully belongs to me, or at least to my efforts.
So there I was, back to where it all began, once upon a time.
When I arrived at the university, I was greeted by a ghost town. Classes were suspended today and only the university office was open to accommodate transactions. The university gates looked cold and lifeless. The entire place was almost empty of people, except for the occasional footsteps from one or two strangers passing by.
The trees surrounding the university were sad and somber, and their swaying silhouette burst into a melancholy song. As if that was not enough, the wind blew harder and slapped me with the force of a thousand thunderstorms.
I walked along the hallways and realized to myself the bitter truth that I no longer belong to this place and that I am no longer a part of the student community. Time has already erased my name, together with all the other names of students who have finally graduated and carried on with their lives, from this blissful beautiful category.
Adulthood is such a bastard idea as compared to the immaculate paradise of youth.
It didn’t take much time to gather my documents. Once done, I took a last look before I finally stepped out of the university. It would be a lie to say that I didn’t shed a single tear ’cause I did. I cried. I bled my heart out as if I had lost an old friend. Soon enough, my vision was clouded with tears and thanksgiving. In my head, I was screaming thank yous and goodbyes to my beloved Alma Mater with all the force and the finality of an eternal apocalypse.
College was one hell of a tough time in my life, but my stay in the university was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me. And for that, it will always remain a home for my human heart.
It was an anchor to my soul to drag myself out of the campus, but I was left with no other choice but to bravely accept and resign myself to this lonely post-college life.
Every once in a while I am triggered by a memory of the life I once had when I was still a student in the university. But soon enough I realize that there is nothing more to these memories but only a sketchy remembrance of a past that is no longer within my reach. And so, I carry on in life with eyes half-blinded, portions of myself forever buried in the shadow of my forceful forgetting.
I tell myself painfully, “everything is fragmented and everything is inevitable.”