What Did I Miss?

So it’s September 22nd. Where did the time go right? We can all remember what we were doing before you know what hit the fan. It might’ve been perusing through a menu at your favorite restaurant, getting in a fitting room to potentially add to your drip. Or, it could’ve been simply getting fresh air minus the mandatory attendance of a mask. For me, I recall how I decided on a Wednesday not to go to class, tomorrow being another day. Besides, I figured I’d be kind to myself, the Price is Right and the cookies and cream in the fridge were to be my close companions that day. Thursday, on the other hand, was to be another day I could open up the blinds, head out to greet the Q25, the Q34, whichever came first, and step foot on the Queens College campus. As short sighted as it may seem now, back in March I thought that tomorrow would be much more sure than it is now. I believed it would come as another day I could huff and puff up to the fourth floor, shuffle through a moist locker for my equally moist art supplies, overall enjoy the warming weather and the weathered building that is Klapper Hall. My plans weren’t exactly concrete, dried into stone but I had a foundation I was working. That is until all that was, wasn’t. And I miss it.

So Thursday came, Friday too, another week, another month or two. And here we are. Actually, here I am wondering if an inanimate entity like Queen’s College’s Klapper Hall misses me, because I sure know I miss the familiarity, the stability, the sureness that came with seeing that green windowed building. Can’t we all relate to clinging so tightly to objects, people, even a concept, all as a desperate claw for normalcy? Even as I enter my meeting ID and password for my two classes, quit my tutoring job at the writing center, continue to function as a member of this new society, I still ponder over the what if’s, the what now’s, the what next. I still wonder:

What if I went in for that last day of in person class? What if I was just able to get my hands on an easel, borrow an eraser from my classmate, ask for my professor’s help close enough so that I was still close enough to see grays peaking through her scalp? Even if all for the last time?

What will I do now that I’m unemployed? What will I do now that I’ve made my spreadsheets, sent my emails, strained my eyes to network on Instagram but my efforts don’t feel as tangible as they used to? What will I do now that I’m cooped up with these thoughts, these oh so anxious thoughts, that didn’t cross my mind before? Will those stay? Will that dictate what’s next? Will my current circumstances succeed in being the captain of my soul?

I won’t lie and say that I’ll find closure, satisfying answers to these questions. But that’ll be alright, it has to. It’s healthy to mourn for the prior things like Klapper Hall. But it’s also healthy to take it one step at a time, however big that step needs to be, in order to take you far. I have been, I am gonna go places, you have been, you are gonna go places. Hang in there.

Comments ( 6 )

  1. Sharifa Thompson
    Hi Alexis, I related to this post so much! Especially the parts where you talked about grasping for those little crumbs of normalcy and the uncertainty in not knowing what the future holds. This was great!
    • Alexis Ward
      Thanks Sharifa. I wasn't sure what was so called "allowed" to talk about but I'm glad it was able to really resound with you. Take care.
  2. Sam Ascencio [He/him/his]
    God, Alexis you ended this is such a beautiful way. Thank you so much for sharing all this. All these questions just muddle my own head it's nice to see them written out almost like in Fahrenheit 451 to burn them in my mind but never let them touch my soul.
    • Alexis Ward
      Thank you so much Sam, I appreciate the kind words so much. We're all going through so much and feel alone as a result but that couldn't be further from the truth.
  3. Kaysi Holman
    "Thursday came, Friday too, another week, another month or two" - I feel like this describes my whole year! I love the questions you're posing here, and your willingness to not have answers. Your yearning for things of old, in such detail, makes them feel real, even if you can't touch or feel them in person. Here's to taking the next step!
  4. Kashema Hutchinson
    Hi Alexis, your words can be a survival guide for many: "It’s healthy to mourn for the prior things like...it’s also healthy to take it one step at a time, however big that step needs to be, in order to take you far. I have been, I am gonna go places, you have been, you are gonna go places. Hang in there." For many, mourning life prior to the pandemic is not something that has been practiced and so the holding on holds them back from adjusting. I hope whoever reads this gets that. Thank you, Alexis.

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