April. Dylan goes to LA and Laura moves into the apartment across the hall for the month. We go for coffee in the mornings and coach each other through everyday crises and give our friendship a nice little trial by fire. We go to see Dylan's new film at the Metro. It rains for the first time. I agree to babysit some sourdough starter. They turn off the heat in this old building and at first I don't realize that I'm going to spend the entire month cold, coming home and getting into the bathtub, waking up and getting into the bathtub, stopping work and getting into the bathtub. Wearing a toque at my desk. I bury myself in final papers and final exams. I'm convinced I'm going to fail Shakespeare, but instead I get a B.
Smack in the middle of finals week, I make my first-ever article pitch via Twitter, and to my shock, Sprudge.com says they want 1000 words plus pictures. Says they'll pay me. I am terrified. It takes me half a day, but I write the article and even finish it two days before the deadline. I listen exclusively to Purity Ring, Waxahatchee, Christian screamo and the new Kendrick Lamar. I buy tickets to fly to LA four hours after I'm scheduled to defend my thesis. I invite my dad to come to my thesis defense and he says he'll come. I spend two days preparing my presentation. Laura and I go to see a double feature (Fargo and Kumiko the Treasure Hunter), I stay up all night to do laundry and pack, and on the last Monday morning of the month, me and four other English honours students present our research to a classroom full of professors, friends, and parents. The others talk about graphic novels, a blues album, and postmodernist time travel films. I talk about Emily Dickinson. They have powerpoint presentations. I do not. My dad hasn't seen me do anything since I was 11. My professors come up to congratulate me when I'm finished. He's incredibly proud and I am incredibly happy. I leave Simpkin with Laura and my key under the mat. I fly to California.
May. When I get home, it's sleeting. I take public transit from the airport and no one looks at each other or talks to each other. I don't want to be back in Edmonton or even Canada. Simpkin is happy to see me but has thoroughly colonized the apartment, which already feels a little less like home. My pussywillows have long, thready roots. I buy groceries and get change for laundry and wash my sheets and clean the dust and cat hair off of everything. Two days later, Dylan gets home as well. The NDP take a majority in the provincial election. For the first time, I feel my generation is represented in politics. We are all elated and so proud of everyone for voting. I walk down Whyte Ave and high five someone. The next morning it snows and people make jokes about the democrats getting a majority and hell freezing over. My friends say it's Christmas.
Last week, the Sprudge article comes out. My friends have a garage sale because they're moving to Europe. We spend an afternoon sitting around a bonfire drinking beer from Alberta that the Gurbas won't be able to get across the pond and all of us raid the most expertly curated booksale imaginable. The snow melts and I ride my bike and sit on the front steps on 99th St drinking beer and reading The Pearl, which is one of the books I got from Joe. (I also scored Annie Dillard, Marx, Milosz, Cormac McCarthy, Virginia Woolf's diary and two of Beth's bowls. Dylan found me a copy of Sylvia.)
I start knitting something. I arrange to do a trade for a stick and poke tattoo on my shoulder blade. I start summer school and Dylan tries to get me to approach PHIL 101 with a good attitude. I start revising the little story I wrote in Montreal and start planning to make two short films. I finally do my taxes. I read and read and read. I discover there are lilac bushes in the yard. I visit the creek.
This is going to be an amazing summer.