via The Quad
I’ve a thing about quads. They’re so peaceful. It’s almost like you’re in a safe space. Did you see what I did there? There’s one in Sullivan Upper I used to sit in during the summers as I tried to escape the presence of a very very very bad woman. It’s the reason I live alone. You could say I have trust issues. It could be worse. I could have a litter of kids I’ve neither the financial nor emotional means to care for. First do no harm. I’m not proud to have broken the hearts of women. To this day I don’t know what the fuck women see in me. I do know there’s a voice in my head telling me what a piece of shit I am. I’ve more than one. There’s a family reunion I’ll never forget.
This brings me to Queens. I sat there tonight, catching the last of the daylight. It’s a beautiful place. It’s also the sight of my greatest triumph. The stakes could not have been higher; graduate or die trying. I had to fight the voices of unworth calling me an endless malingerer. Finishing the degree was my act of defiance. I knew that I could never walk through that quad having failed. I knew I never would. One way or another. My last year, the tenth, was a fury of activity so intense it blew out circuits that have yet to recover. It’s hard to believe I had it in me, all the more so given the struggle that every day now represents. But I did it. I have the photos. I have the parchment. I asked my sister to pass on the proof to some people. One was fool enough to email me. The other had the wit to do fuck all. I remember screaming at my sister the last time she was over,
“I am not excrement!!”
The narrative never stops. And I’m forever shouting it down. Sometimes I wake up punching and kicking the wall. You just can’t get away from some people. I always wake up exhausted. So it goes.
Sorry Kurt. It’s too good a line to not use.
Tonight I ran a gauntlet on my way to and from the place of solace. The animals are in town for Freshers’ Week. I never knew you could squeeze a full bottle of Buckfast into your back pocket. They wear it like a badge of pride. I passed the Hatfield and the Rose and Crown. On the opposite side of the road. They completely filled up the pavement. The walk through the avenues is harrowing. Malice and menace fill the air. Yokels, incapable of mere speech, shout at each other in accents so thick they may as well be gibberish. It’s therefore apt that the content is just that.
I made it and sat in silence. It’s a soothing space and the sky was beautiful. It’s strange to be in the serene and empty eye of the storm. This institution has brought a tide of horror to a place I used to call home. I miss it. It’s the first house of my own I ever had. I used to wake up sandwiched between two cats whose love, spelled out in purrs and cuddles, kept suicide at bay. Fur Babies.
I heard today that they’re closing the School of Sociology. Academia’s dying. In a different life, I could have studied classics at Queens, done a Ph.D. even. Both the dream and the department are long gone along with Italian, Russian and so much more. I know that History’s in the cross-hairs. Well it would be, wouldn’t it? You can’t build a corporate whorehouse on such disciplines.
On the way home I passed hostels for the homeless. When I was the age of the freshers I was living in such places. On my other blog I’ve written about this. It’s the formative experience of my adult life. I know the government is determined to close every hostel and every domestic violence shelter in the country, so the poor souls within have a deeper circle of hell to fall into. What’s that? You don’t believe me? You think it’s all just, you know, voices in my head? Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re wrong.
Click the links.
September 21st 2016