What Once Was Lost:  Beginnings?


          I was taking a walk during one of our frequent Indian summers on campus and trying to think – a common occurrence nowadays, or so it seemed.  I’d begun to drift farther and farther from my friends and into a place I couldn’t identify.  As I walked, I tried not to notice Shannon and her flavor of the week boyfriend, Dan – he’d long outlasted his week, and I’d begun to wonder when she’d finally tire of him and give him the boot – Dan’s sister, Mina Ling, and some of their cronies walking behind me.  I had no desire to deal with any of them at that moment, least of all Shannon.  I rubbed my forehead.  Everything was just so messed up right now.
          I didn’t know why I was obsessing over the dreams I’d been having.  Maybe it was because they seemed so real to me.  But it was all a figment of my imagination...wasn’t it?  Where along the line had I begun to doubt that, and why would I doubt that?  I mean...it couldn’t be real – no where in history had such a thing been real.  So why was I obsessing over it?  Probably the same reason Jude obsessed over this sort of thing in her writer’s mind – because it was real to her.  Everything that happened in my dreams was real to me.
          Never mind the fact that I’d woken up bleeding that one morning.  I would have screamed at the sky if it wouldn’t have confirmed for little miss perfect behind me that I was nuts.  I headed for the library and sat on the ledge overlooking the Japanese garden, staring down at the gravel paths and the small trees as I tried to gather myself.  Shannon and her cronies just kept walking.  I suppressed the urge to spit at their heels without knowing why I wanted to do something like that in the first place.
          I am so beyond messed up.  Geez, what’s wrong with me?  I kicked at the edge of one of the stepping stones set into the grass, knowing that my kicking was as impotent as my thinking.
          I don’t even know who I am anymore.  That should say a lot right there.  How can someone forget who they are?  Without getting hit in the head.
          But I had gotten hit in the head – by the Frisbee the day I realized that Shannon was going to Grand Valley.  But that shouldn’t have sparked this sort of stuff – and the bruise had healed within a couple of days.  After that happened, I’d begun to get the funky dreams.  Could they be connected?
          I don’t know how that figures into all of this.  I wonder if it does at all.  I hadn’t thought about that day for a long time.  I was beginning to wonder if I should.
          I should be thinking about a lot of things that I’m not thinking about.  Like passing my classes this time around.  It was no secret that my grades had begun to slip and now I’d begun to wonder if the whole semester was a lost cause.  It probably is.  I don’t know how I can salvage it.  I’d managed to pull off a miracle during the fall semester, despite the distraction of the strange dreams, but it didn’t seem like I was going to be able to do the same thing this time.  Spring and summer classes, here I come.
          It never occurred to me that I might not be here come spring and summer semester.


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