Hello, again. Hello, owl eyes. It feels like months since I've been here. It's like returning to a familiar room that you've been away from. Dust has gathered on the eaves and rose scarves are moth infested and you spot a faded book you used to keep under your pillow, so you pick it up and delicately turn the pages, thin with age and slightly transparent. You find petals and aspen leaves pressed between the letters and you remember the smell of the summer when you walked around your culdesac, barefoot, plucking one petal from every garden and one leaf from every tree of every yard, and you placed them in the thickest book you could find. Russian olive trees and hot tar and scones from the carnival down the street, you remember. You whisper to the petals and dehydrated, brittle stems, wake up, wake up. I have missed you, Afternoon Tea.
The winter break has been the loveliest of reprieves and textbook hiatuses. It's given me a chance to take in my new home. My new home with the oddly shaped bedroom nooks and tiptoe balcony and ceiling air vents. It's taken me a few weeks to adjust to the modern architecture of this fifth floor and lament on my second story fire escape with the parking lot window scene. But the expanse of time that I've acquired over the past three weeks has given me the chance to find shortcuts. If I pour cream into the bottom of my cup before I pour my coffee, I won't have to use a spoon. If I take sixteen stairs to Barnes and Noble on my break, instead of turning the corner for Starbucks, I can order cinnamon tea in half the time and still have twelve minutes to read in the break room on thick leather benches. If I sit in the basin of my bathtub, and curl myself up so that I'm nearly touching the drain, I reduce the risk of cutting my ankles with a new razor. If I coat the kitchen counters in fig-scented cleaner, and use three paper towels to clear debris, I eliminate lackluster streaks that change shape at odd angles. If I fall asleep curled into the warmth of the body next to me, I dream of feeling yellow and little jars full of buttons and fragile things. Most beautiful of all, about the break, is that I've somehow lost track of myself. Hours and days have somehow vanished from beneath my precisely planned schedule books and minute alarms. I found myself wondering what day of the week it was, how long I had been lying in bed reading, and at what hour we turned the lamp off. A new semester begins.