Thursday, February 4, 2010

Travel Journal Excerpts [Cary] – Newbold College, England

There's a guy named Cary here. Blonde. Cute. I think his full name is Carroll because I tried to look him up on the resident list in the boy’s dorm. Wears black skateboarding shoes. Thin.

It’s 1:42 a.m., and I can’t sleep. I think I'm still jet-lagged but it's been well over a month. I’m remembering the night I met Cary. I was so glad he was standing next to an acquaintance of mine from college in the states. I couldn’t see his face well because he was in shadow even with the huge bonfire going on behind Moor Close (a pre-war mansion serves as the girl’s dorm—so cool, I know; it’s like straight out of Jane Eyre.) His hand was warm when I shook it. Not too soft. Good.

It was our first date and he took me to an Indian restaurant a couple blocks from the school. He wore a flannel shirt. Hm. He walked on the street side of the sidewalk next to me. Nice. He talked about family and flying and asked me lots of questions about my life.

He met my family in London over winter break. He brought flowers for my mom, popping up from the underground tube with a bouquet of white lilies. Everyone got along, survived. But I keep trying to focus on traveling and new friends and independence…

I can’t believe I finally get to write about the one thing that has inspired writers and painters and musicians for hundreds of years—love. I’m in love for the first time. Where you want to say it and you know you mean it and you don’t feel like you’re too young anymore. Those three things are important. It’s this weird mix of infatuation and care. I don’t know if it will last, but for some reason, I don’t care. I feel full and excited. Like my heart's turned into a piece of fruit.

Valentine’s Day

I ratted out Cary to Edelweiss, the girl’s club. Partly because it was fun to do and partly because he’s the Brotherhood president and I have to use my advantages as Girlfriend somehow. Well, they got him good—a little too good probably—and I sat on the stairs of Moor Close and listened to him holler about my traitorous self while they duck taped and honeyed and dragged him outside.

He gave me a huge, hand-made Valentine’s Day card that said he loves everything about me, that he loves who he is when he’s with me, that he can’t believe he spends his spare time flirting with the girl of his dreams. Aw. He hoped one day he could be the guy I say those three words to. I did. It took me a minute to get it because I didn’t see the three small words he had already printed.

He teases me now that I said it aloud first.

My roommates say than can tell when he looks at me.

I’m meeting Cary for breakfast. It’s Wednesday. Reading day, a.k.a. traveling to Camden Town day. It’s also pancake day, or prayer breakfast minus the prayer in our case. (sorry, mom)

I never used to be a morning person.

He laughs at the jokes only my mom would laugh at and then repeat in a way that makes it less funny somehow.

We sing hymns standing next to each other in church. We can’t really sing more than carrying a tune. If I lean against him, I can feel his chest vibrate with the notes. Humm.

Spring Break

We rode in a car together for the first time. A Volkswagen Polo on the autobahn. Spring break was Germany. Munich, the black forest, and Dachau, the concentration camp. It won’t stop being surreal while we’re in Europe. We kissed standing on a tree stump in the black forest.

I just completed the last final exam of my year abroad. And two hours ago I spent the last hour before the exam making out. What’s wrong with me?! Will I snap out of this? Do I want to?

I want to tell everyone to keep in touch. Then again, I don't. Just Cary.

I’m nostalgic for Newbold here at home. I miss my boyfriend being a three-minute walk away. But I'm glad he's still my boyfriend, Carroll McKinley Lawson the fourth down in California.


-b said...

Hey Aly!'s been a long time. I hope you and Cary are doing well. From those brief Newbold College days so long ago, I knew you were a fellow lover of books and a writer... I just visited your blogspot...and bravo, Aly. Looking forward to more excerpts and a "side of honeydew"!

Aly said...

Hi! Sorry, but who is this? Your sign in profile doesn't show really. Glad you liked this though! =)