Dejana's Writing

Window One
an original piece by Dejana Talis
-not to be used without permission-

This is the first in what I hoped would be a series of essays, but the rest never got written. In this essay I tried to capture a fragment of myself, how I thought, felt, and behaved on a daily basis.

Window One: Senior Equilibrium

look into me
as I look into you
only the heart
can hold all that is true

“It’s getting nasty out there,” my boss remarks to me as we pass each other in the Union.

An icy chill swirls in through the two sets of doors while students enter and exit. I pull my coat closed in front of me before I push my way through, and am greeted by gray skies and blowing flurries of snow that dance in the gusts of wind. I am glad I parked illegally. Shifting my backpack on my shoulder, I fight my way across the parking lot and up to the road that curves between Groves and Tower Hall. Snow whistles around the tires of the few cars fortunate enough to secure a legitimate parking spot.

At last I reach my car and toss the yellow rectangle into the back seat, where it joins the five or so others already piled there. The ticket states that I parked on “Daisy Hill Rd.” I don’t see any daisies. Dandelions, maybe, in the summer.

I close the door and am now safe, sheltered from the wintry blast by my car’s metallic embrace. My very own car, which I had had to go behind my mom’s back to purchase after fifteen years of taking the bus.

I turn the car around and begin the drive home to my apartment, off-campus, free of the restrictive, vandalism-plagued cells of on-campus housing. As I reach Kenwood Avenue someone’s lost parking ticket tumbles by, stolen by the wind. I don’t know what the wind would want with a parking ticket. Perhaps it envies things that can cease their motion.

On the drive home I reflect on the events of the day. Not a bad day, really… I had added half a chapter to my novel during today’s lecture-and-memorize class before polishing my resume during my short shift at work.

I feel almost content, despite having to listen to yet more people receive congratulations on being chosen for the cast of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” I try to pretend I don’t mind not being cast, but I do. I am devastated. As a pessimist, it had been a long time since I had wanted something as badly as I wanted a role in that play. Somewhere deep inside, I had truly believed I would earn a place among the actresses of CSS. Now, I feel nothing but shame when I see any of the lucky ones, even those I had almost considered friends. Amazing how something so silly can make a person feel so inferior.

This was supposed to be my last semester of parking tickets, boring classes, and social inadequacy. Again I wonder if I made the right decision by changing my graduation date from this May to December.

On Mesaba Avenue the heater of my car finally kicks in and snowflakes begin to melt on my windshield. I sweep them away with my wipers, a mistake, as I only succeed in smearing the glass to a fog. I glare at the over-cautious driver of the Geo with Wisconsin plates in front of me, who hits the brakes every other second as we flow down the rollercoaster road through the dense traffic of Duluth’s rush hour.

The world surrounding me is gray as the gray within me, bordering on light. I have to return to campus for a meeting in two hours, but I consider asking a dear friend if she wants to get together after that, to add light to the darkness. My friend is not a CSS student.

Still, things have gone well for me of late. I have a nice apartment and a car of my own. With two jobs, I make ends meet. I earn good grades and have found value in organizations I identify with. I have beaten the persistent depression that had overwhelmed me for many years, without the aid of therapy or medication. I have good relationships with my parents and friends I can depend on. Those who hurt me have faded from my life.

As I think ahead I wonder if this will be the last year of this comfortable stability. A year from now I will be a graduate. Where will I be? What will I be doing, when that time comes? What successes, what failures will I have between today and that day? Will the things I work for today find fruitful meaning, or will they fade into the past as forgotten half-baked attempts?

Despite the future’s uncertainty, at this moment I am content, or at least as content as a college senior without a lover can be three days before Valentine’s Day. I am glad I have my involvement in “The Vagina Monologues” to distract me from potential loneliness. I am one of three directors of the production... although, I now wonder what right I have to direct anyone, as I have no talent for theatre. I have removed “Actress” from my heart’s list of personal abilities.

I pull into the parking lot of my apartment building. As usual, some of the tenants have left the space between cars just barely too small for another vehicle to fit, and I am forced to park at the far end of the lot. The pavement is broken and uneven, and my car takes the bumps hard.

As I climb out of the car I notice that it is no longer snowing. I look up at blue skies, the brisk wind sweeping a few remaining clouds aside. I look toward the gray water of Lake Superior, gray as the clouds that still hang over it, the air between lake and sky hazy with snow. The swift wind rolls the clouds away, leaving only itself as a reminder of the brief winter weather. Here, the sky is a crisp blue, the sun shining down upon me, although its warmth is lost to the February chill.

Now it is snowing in Superior.

The End
This piece of original fiction is the sole property of Dejana Talis.
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