It was time to stop playing around. I had to remove him from my longings. I had to take a figurative seam ripper to my figurative heart and tear him out. Stitch by stitch.
When I had first gotten back from Australia, Christmas and I had taken up making silly little stuffed things out of thermal pajama material. Dinosaurs and ducks and the like. Every time I made one, I secretly wrote out a little prayer for whoever I was making it for, wadded it up, and crammed it into a little cloth heart that I then added to the stuffing before sewing the creature up.
Rosie requested a clown. I hate clowns, but I love Rosie, so I did my best. I was creeped out through the whole process of making it, but when I was done it looked rather cute. Well, for a clown, anyway. Eddie saw me present it to her and put in a request for a robot.
The robot was tricky because I decided to use a little cardboard box for the torso. It was convenient for putting a prayer in, though. Just heart and stuffing and close the lid. But pushing the yarn needle through the cardboard again and again while I sewed on too many arms was a process that left my fingers rather bloody and bruised.
The thing looked like a mutated Bender from Futurama when completed. Just... cuddlier.
Hurrumph. I bet I made things cooler than she did.
I facepalmed. I had to stop thinking things like that. She was probably a really sweet, heartfelt kind of girl.
My Summer of Love with the Hanwells had ended with one glorious peanut butter and crackers eating, tent dwelling, concert going, anti showering week at Cornerstone near Chicago, Illinois. As Kentucky and Rosie and I worked the merchandise tables, we befriended bands, dumpster-diving crusty punks, and a nun with a nose ring.
Moving back into the dorms after all that seemed painfully mundane. Classes, books, professors. Leaves changed, making my mountains look like a lumpy bowl of Fruity Pebbles.
When it snowed for the first time that year, Christmas, our friend Josie, and I decided a winter photo shoot was in order to mix things up a bit.
It was a fun time, but it wasn't long before Josie and Christmas realized they had to go hit the books. I gave them both a see-ya-later squeeze, and trucked on up to the 2nd floor of the University Center for my favorite mint-chocolaty iced latte type drink.
Sitting by myself in there was lonely. Kaylee had graduated and moved on. Dustin was long gone. And Eddie? Heh.
Some freshmen I didn't recognize were buzzing around the door that used to be the way to Kaylee and Eddie's office. I made myself busy stirring the whipped cream into my latte.
When I absolutely couldn't mix it in anymore, I went out onto the balcony to check on the snow.
I had spent enough time being emo with my latte, that there was a surprising amount accumulated on the ground outside. Kids were working on snowmen and snowball fights with the kind of exuberance that can only mean one thing. Classes were canceled.
I went back inside and tried to get interested in a syllabus I had in my purse.
Suddenly, I heard some mayhem happening behind me and to the right. I crammed the syllabus back in my purse and turned to see what was going on.
It was my lanky, suspender and sideways hat wearing friend Nicholas Stevens and lanky long-haired, toboggan wearing guy I'd never laid eyes on before in my life.
They were helping each other lug a snowball the size of the base of a snowman through the building and they looked mightily pleased with themselves.
I didn't know what was going on there, but I knew that I wanted to be part of it. I shouted hello to Nicholas and hopped on over to ask if I could help, but before I made it to them, their giant snow wad crumbled into melting fluff all over the floor.
About that time a school official came storming out, all but grabbed the boys by their ears and dragged them into his office. Why they got in trouble and I didn't, I'll never know. I had to have looked just as guilty, as I was standing close by with a giant trouble-making grin on my face.
When the guys came back out, they were rolling their eyes and biting their lips trying not to laugh. They cleaned up the mess they made with their hands and a garbage can lid they had been using as a saucer as they explained to me that they had just narrowly missed some unknown penalty.
Nicholas introduced his friend, Joseph, to me. Joseph beamed and shook my hand and then pulled his hat down over his ears.
The guys asked if I wanted to come hang out with them. Did I ever! I chucked my empty plastic cup in the trash and followed them downstairs and outside. We spent the rest of the day frolicking in the snow and generally doing our best not to act our ages.
We made bowling pins and a ball out of snow and then proceeded to fail miserably at "snow bowling". Don't try it. It doesn't work. Cheerwine snow slushies were our next order of business. Snow angels, snowmen, snow confessions, a few sad attempts at sled-less sledding, and then farewell hugs and we all parted ways.
On my way back to my dorm under sidewalk streetlights, I sighed a happy sigh.
It had been a good day.