the chestnut dawn
I swear under my breath as my toe smashes into the chest of drawers, a poor excuse of a thing which is rammed lazily into the corner of my new room. Boxy and with a lingering scent of dust, my dorm room in the College of William and Mary is large enough, I suppose, and is about as far away from home as I could get. As of yet, at 7.30am on a sunny September morning I am making the most of my time of unadulterated, white hot freedom. I am taking advantage of the stillness that hangs in the corridors like the ghosts of previous students, because in an hour or so the halls will be bursting with first year students shouting and screaming and generally enjoying the hell out of themselves.
I however want none of that. Sure, I came here to escape my demons, but who’s to say I have to shack up with a bunch of eighteen year olds whilst they frolic carelessly during their first shot at independence? Nuh-uh. Not for me, thank you very much.
I have already unpacked my stuff. My suitcase is jammed under my bed, and the few belongings I brought with me on the nine hour flight across the continent are scattered tidily on the shelf that droops over the small desk next to the window. Two CDs, one for angry moods and one for calm moods; my favourite movie; a photograph of my family taken when I was seven and my Journal. Mother had fretted that I would miss my other possessions once parted from them, but I had assured her otherwise.
Figuring there wasn’t anything else left to do now but sleep, I changed into my jogging bottoms and slipped under the covers. As I lay, tired and jetlagged, my head was heavy upon the pillow. And my room looked soempty.I didn’t regret not having any of my proper things –thingsmake people cautious, materialistic beings obsessed with having everything just because it is possible. I had decided when I was seven that I neither wanted nor neededanythingbesides my heart and my soul, and when I was ten I at least allowed myself a CD. Over the years my Journal was added to the list, and I had secretly kept the photograph of the four of us in Maine in my drawer behind the bookcase, where nobody would find it. Where nobody could know.