I dream of the next step. My personal salvation. The answer to my waiting and wandering. In my dream, it’s so close. I can almost reach out and grab it. A simple game with a simple name, which a simple premise in a potential not yet tapped yet. A love letter my person of old, mixed with the feelings and intentionms of my person of new. I know what the next step is.
RING RING RING RING RING
I grogiggly open my eyes, reeling from another long Saturday night at Dep’s. Though covered by the curtains at my window, I can see between the folds, a grey light slivers past. The grey light is accompanied by the hard patter of rain. How lovely. I sharkisly check all the snese in my body, and begin to make my way out of bed. This bed is too high off the ground, too expense when I purchased it, and takes up too much space in the small room I occupy. This room isn’t mine either: I share it with one of my sisters. They grew up in the same room together, and unfortunately so did the amount of belongings they each acquired over time. The overflowing items find itself in my room, and now I sleep in a little better space than a sotrage unit. I carefully tip-toe my way past the scattered belongs on the floor to silence my phone’s incessant ringing. Most people place their phones on their nightstand. I had no such nightstand, so I placed it on the dresser directly in front of my bed. After succesfly evading the minefield of shoes, clothes, and luggage carriers, all remmants of my recent re-arrival to my childhood home of old, I finally meet my antagonist, and prompt silence it for the day.
Keir, are you awake? I hear you shuffling aroiund in your rooom. If you’re up and about, get ready! We’re heading out to church in 20 minutes!
I sigh, at the crossroads with my own spirtuaality, and protest that today I’m not feeling well enough to head out for today. But in my vague supersitition notions, I realize today is the beginning of a massive writing project I ovolunteere to undertake for the next 30 days. Writing a novel, they say. But about what, I ask? I only vageuly committed to this understanding about two weeks ago, and then realize I was about two months to late to plan this novel out effectively. Screw it, who cares, I’ll just write about whatever. Maybe there is something to be found after driveling out gargbage for 30 days straight. In my wanderling thoughs, my mom resumes screeching at me to get ready. You know, for such a self-proclaimed holy women, she can be without compassion wuite oteten.
Quickly scaanning aroiud the disorded pigstein I call my bedroom, I see last week’s church ensumemble neatly folded on my dresses. Worn for only one houjr, for this very same reaosn last week. I wuickly throw it on, sprtiz from cologne I feel indifferent about, and run out the door. My mom is already furious that I’ve dawdled so long, and began driving off just befoer I shut the front door. She stopped the car, scoffed quickly to show her annoyance at my lack of promptnoess, and after splasling over several puddles now forming in my front war, settle myself in the back with my cousin Cezar.
A short car ride later, and we find ourselves at the front entreanch of the church. Serious church ushers in masks goad us to move together and quickly santizie before findou our seats, and I frown wryly under my own mask. It was insane to even be here, a glorified book club meeting for the salvation of a higher beign that also thruist the world into dissary wuth a diesease that spread like wildfire through human encounters. The new norm became wwearing masks of all shapes and sizes to do what we used to consider regular. I find it unnnersving how normal everyone wants life to be, at the cost of their own lives themselves.
Mulling with the dissaction of having trcicked myself into attending mass withm y family once more, I finally notice that I’m at Enlgish mass today. For every single sunday with no sundays missing, I manage to lost myself in though about the wonders of the world and the choises of my own life. In English mass, I have like a 10% chance of making it through the whole sermon without forgetting myself. It’s always the same old droning lessons with the same old rigid ways of thinking. I think back to some friends who left the church for the very reason that their existence called for their damnation. How hypocritcal. If I were a just god, I wouldn’t damn someone else for thinking or being different.
Today’ sermon was a bit different. When the newwer priests come up to peach, they ususally do a better job at stortelling and keeping my attention. They ususally intervweave a small anecode with the lesson at hand, hwholly keeping my enegagined and maybe making me retain just a bit of the lesson at hand. Today’s sermon was talking about saints, the Catholic’s version of normal people achinity dinvinity through their actions and belief in their faith. “Some were rich, some where poor, some where dark-skinned, and some where light-skinned. But what did they all have in common?” I scoffed, knowing what answer was forthcoming. But something about saints seemed fantastical. A heroe’s journey to prove their faith, an arc to transcend the themes of the time and instead became a common theme for throujghout human history. This type of emotional development awas riveting for me, a repliacable framework for how to be great as well.
Church ends, and the cold November rain keeps pouring down over us. We showed up late to mass thanks to my prior night’s shenangins, and was forced to fetch the family car across the rippling pavement to the other side of the lot. Drip, drip, the rain keeps ouring, and I pass by the Spanish mass’ commencet, a lot of more serious as there was no social sdistancing for that event. I keep my shaming thoughts to myself, thinking how foolish I was to risk coming to mass in person for the Lord’ salvation, but how much more foolish the Spanish crowd was for knowing how much more dangerou stheir stakes were. I finally get to the car, rush inside, turn the key, and peel out to pick up my impatient mother at the front og the church. The pandemic had took away post-mass fraterizations with heir spiratial sisters in faith, and soffed at the propsct of going imemdiately home.
After getting home and scrouding up a quick breakfast, I count the hours and my travel gear. Today we would be traveling two hours to the nearby colelge towen to visist my sister on her birthday. Sundays were usually the day I cancelled all social engagement (virtual or otherwise), and got a chance to breathe and finish up any outstandingh homework due this weekend. “Homework” is a bit of a gernous term, as these classes were servided by regularly people, not accredited insitutions. Should I failed, the stakes were pretty much nondestrucutrve. I would stay exactly where I was in life. I choked on my brteath for just a split second, thinking of how horrting that prospect was. I workred hard, because I dreamed of the day I would finally become free. TO make my own rules, run my own business, and fulfill my own dream, instead of working and wasting time fuflilling anothers. Thinking of all the pressures to get to tomorrow sooner, my head starts to ache. It feels like its about to split open, balancing creative writing, virtual reality developmeent, bot developent, social engagements, family committments, pet maintenta, work obvilouations-
I stop before I split my hea dany further. I put up today’s task list, now stacked at 44 tasks from all the tasks I hafd pushed back for weeks on end, and repeat the same process. 14 tasks remain, with two important remaining at the forefront, and a I close my tasks app to prepare for the long car ride ahead. I told myself I would never let my work get ahead of my bonds, because the deadlines were all aribratray, not matter how stressful they all become. Moments like celbraeting a birthday come and go as fast as the wind.
My other sister, who deliberately avoids my mom for a lifetime of resentment, greets myself, my dad, my cousin Cezar, and my mom, and we stuff ourselves into my dad’s car and make the long joujrney forward. Once comofrtanble, I try to position myself to take a power nap in the car ride. The stress of my two overdue taks to do when I get back, probalbly no sooner than 8PM to start when I Regularly when to sleep at 9, rpmoised tno miracle assignsments beying done. The Days of staying up late to finish assigments due to time mismanagemente were long gone. I am the master of my own life, not some 44 ever-so-imporatnt tasks that needed to be accomplish everyday.
I wake up, and we reaech the outskirts of the college town. The same town I spent an unfilling 4 years in, the remdined of my fearseful self of old, an endless amount iof opportuntity squanered because I let my fear overcome me. It’s the very same reason I usualy hand with Dep’s crew instead ofmy own from colelge. They were having a get-together last night as well, but I don’t know how to breal it to them that I hate being with them now. I’ve come a long way since were were the best of friends in college, but everything we get together they always seem ther same. I seem the fartherest ahead, always pursuing to achive the nexxt level of self, while they continued to hidfe in their safe regue, never growing, never changing, always staying the same.
Mulling over how the eventual confrotations would go in my mind, I take note that we finally arrived at my college campus of old, and the college campius of new for my youngest sister. Usually the campus would be sprawling with students, milling to and from their various club activies, students, friend crossing, and beyond. Today the campus was eerily empty, just the occasional student runner wearing their masks like a chin diaper wwhile in the absnsense of others out in the wild. I wonder how my sister feels about her colelge life starrting off like this.
Eventually we get to my sister’s dorm, and have a very cute session reuning after who knows how long. The rain stopped long ago, repleaced with blue skies and the passing puffy cloud. I’m lose track of the days, overwheelmeng with my holy qaudfect of writing homeework, VR dev homework, forging bondfs, and dwork obligations. I think this losing track of the days is fine: the flow of time is different from those who need to do something and those who wait for nothing. Each passing day we get closer to the vaccine being discovered and releeased tothe publisc. One step closer to theworld of yesterday. But strangely enough, I like this current world of isolation. I’ve never gotten so much sone in such litle title. I wouldnt even be working on anything besides my job in the old world. This pandemic. though sad and sweeping in its casuallyts, have me chance to start over and thinking aboujt where I wanted to be tomorrow. And where I wanted to be tomorow, was fully immersed in today.
After our overly long-= re-frateitionzat withm my sister, we head into town, have a lovely dinner (paid by me as the biggest baller of the family), and spent a commically long time trying to light cancles in the jester winds putting out ever flare we alighted. I take in all in, breathein,g existing, being alive for the first iime in the long time. The dorm site in which my sister resids thas three bulding, the old one, unremarkble in every regard, but does exactly as job intended. Its neightber is new, beautiful, reformed, a reflection of the times and the investment to try and be more than what it needs to. ANd next to that beautfuo building is a new contender in construiction, long and dotted with various reminant of projects of a bdorm build that would beven surpass the best one on site today. I smile, and reaize what all of this is for.
If you had a chance to start over in life, would you take it? It’s a facvorite question between collge alimni,asking how much different you would re-live your life in those four previous years. Knowing everything I knew now, I could take the world by storm, and set myself up to be in a much better posistion, maybe even fre as ai have dream of for so long. But I smile, knowing that even if I had the chance to start over, I wouldn’t. The oldbest dorm building was me, doing exactly was it was intended to do, and nothing more. The Best buestiold thus far was a reflection of the person I could be: slightrly better, but only because I was set up to succeeded from the start. And then the last building under construction was the person I was yet to be. Everyday we wake up, is a chance to start over and start anew. The wild blows over me in that hallowed courtyard between worlds, between relealites, between selnses of selves i could be, and it blows to tomorrow.