A few days ago , Monday, was not only a busy day (as were the last few days, hence the lack of blogging), and a taxing one, but also a bit of a powerful one.

Busy, in that I had to write 2 papers equaling a total of 22 pages, 7 of those pages written on a topic I am so not interested in and of a book I did not read (Augustine’s Confessions…the other paper was on considerations in counseling Hispanic-American youth). All this, in addition having to run errands to campus and to the department of motor vehicles. In a matter of approximately 16 hours.

Powerful, eerily powerful, in the places I found myself throughout the day.

And taxing for the reasons it was busy and powerful….

My day began running my many errands, nothing too exciting. One of the errands required going to the Department of Motor Vehicles (one of the most dreaded errands of all times, ugh, being an adult…). The DMV happened to be close to a Panera Bread, one of my absolute favorite places to study….comfy chairs, unlimited soda refills, free internet, vegan fare… This PB, however, happened to be in a very busy part of Chapel Hill, and there was no parking directly by the restaurant. I ended up, having to park down the street… in a parking garage…in the parking garage, the one where I was hit with rocks.

For those that are reading this that don’t know, it is not a huge deal, but I had rocks and offensive slurs thrown at me in a parking garage after leaving a gay night at a bar about a month or so ago. Again, it is not that big of a deal (it could have been so much worse) but… still. I wasn’t planning on revisiting that parking garage so soon thereafter. I ended up driving around for about an hour looking for parking elsewhere, but couldn’t find any, and I was wasting gas and precious paper writing time, so I decided to go for it.

I drove slowly, hesitatingly, into the garage, but kept moving forward. It was the middle of the day, so that helped a lot. I could not help but glance across the parking garage to the place where I vividly remember walking to my car, and, mid-step, hearing the offensive words of a few young boys, wondering ‘are they talking to me?’, and, turning and looking in curiosity and concern, being met with a handful of rocks.

As I got out of my car, about to go to Panera, I stood for a moment, silent and uneasy, like a terrified teenager about to go on an awkward first date, feeling silly and incredibly nervous, not knowing what to say or to do or what to even think. But, eventually, being able to put one foot in front of the other to get out the door, on with the date—in this case, my date with Augustine.

Moments later, I nestled myself in a comfortable leather chair, settling in with my soda and computer, ready to get to know Augustine. But, like a lot of awkward teenage first dates, I was not able to get the focus off of myself and onto my date. I tried to focus on him, I really did, but my mind was focused on the parking garage. So, in that spirit of that awkward teenager, I stopped even trying, for awhile. And I sat, alone, thinking, reflecting, perhaps even healing some.

Eventually, I was able to get back to Augustine. And he and I hung out all day long at Panera Bread. But, we were getting along so well, and Panera closed, so we had to move elsewhere. We took a trip over to the school library, and settled ourselves in the Perkins library coffee shop.

I realized, as I started to settle myself in and get back to work, at a new stage in my relationship with Augustine, I realized that this coffee shop was where I went with Sanford when I came to visit Duke, this was where he convinced me to come to Duke—warning me it would be hard, but worth it.

So I neglected Augustine yet again, Poor guy, it wasn’t his fault. But, he is just not my type. So I sat in Perkins, nestled in a pink flower-patterned chair, reflecting on the day, on how I really did not give a shit about Augustine, reflecting on my own frustrations, on how getting rocks and slurs thrown at me were easier to deal with then being gay at divinity school.

As I sat, angry at Sanford for convincing me to come to Duke, angry at myself for listening to him, the Radiohead cd I was listening to ended and a old cd by a band ‘Cry Cry Cry’ came on, and I first laughed, because I was crying and it was ironic, especially considering I had likely cried more in a day than I had all month. But the song came on, and I was stunned by its beauty and lyrics. I will post it in my next post, for those that didn’t make it this far in the blog post.

Regardless of whether Duke Divinity School is where I am supposed to be (which I think it is, even when it is freaking hard) I will reach my destiny. And maybe my time here at Duke will help that happen,….maybe it will help others reach their destinies…who knows, maybe it is my destiny. The beauty comes from the pain. I’m coming along by way of some sorrow… and of course, with glimpses of joy. Joy has been a light sleeper these days, but will someday wake to days of laughter.

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