My last show finished, the heroine’s fate unknown as I popped the ear buds out. The late afternoon sun crossed the window I sat beside, onto the model I had spent the better part of the afternoon hunched over. I set my tools aside and rose carefully, ducking under the four foot high beam that bisects my workspace. It was time for daily hot chocolate.
I don’t go down to the vending machines in the afternoon to seek snacks, but to seek comfort. It’s not the calories I find comfort in, but the casual encounters and impromptu conversations that spring up as I make my was from the Attic to the lobby four stories below, through the main crossroads of the building, the Link. I walk past offices on my way back up, craning my head to find empty desks, but instead of returning to the Attic, I head down the grand Nineteenth Century staircase and out the formal, Roman-arched entry, into the Arts Quad on the west end of campus.
There are lots of people about at this time in the afternoon, mostly students. I find a place in the sun and stand sipping. I think of the letter I opened this morning from Cornell. At least they had the decency to spring for a stamp. I think of the winding paths crossing the quad and the people moving in every direction. The wind has shifted to the north and feels cold on the back of my neck, ruffling my too short hair I wish now I had never cut. The almost too-hot chocolate coats the inside of my sternum in pleasing pain on its way down. I look at the buds on the trees.
I think life is not a metaphor, turn around, and go back inside.