It’s gotten cold here in England. Which is an interesting thing this time around because normally I don’t like the cold and the rain and have spent a lot of time avoiding it while I lived in St Louis particularly when it was doing both at the same time. However here I don’t seem to get as cold easily nor the rain bother me. I’m not entirely sure if it’s just because it gets so much colder in St Louis or if it is a shift in my personal body chemistry however one thing that has changed is my level of social interactions which has grown much warmer since leaving.
When I was in the lou, I was left isolated socially, mostly my fault the longer I look at whether due to poor life choices or poor decisions in friends. Social isolation is something that leaves my heart cold, less caring. However here being in a communal living situation I’ve been introduced to the fact of living with lots of people over night. I’ve been living away from my parents for over 10 years and have grown accustom to a wide variety of social living conditions from living in a one bedroom house alone, to living with 5 other guys in a massive house and lots of things in between but none of it was as communal as this is. Everyday I see the same people, 7 of us inc me, share 1 kitchen and 2 bathrooms, and everyday we share the same struggles of acceptance, school work, cultural adjustment, money, and seeking out our place. Living in this close proximity to strangers is both a wonderful and challenging experience that has left me feeling exhilarated and exhausted, loved and hated, apart of a bigger community and isolated depending on the day. Communal living has been a wild ride so far but it’s left me anything but feeling cold.
I have been listening to this album on repeat the last few weeks, Soon It Will Be Cold Enough by Emancipator. I don’t remember how I found it, somewhere through the youtubes. It’s a strange and funny and a little bit sad music experience. I will write about it more in depth at a later point on a Wednesday but it has left me feeling the want for real snow. It’s only rained here. Maybe it’ll snow over winter holiday.
We most of the month of December off for winter holiday and most everyone goes home over that period, specifically everyone on my flat and the vast majority of my block(1) are leaving. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this yet. I keep going back between “It will be nice to have some alone time” and “holy crap it’s going to get cold here, just think about how much body heat that’s produced by this many people living here”. I might have to turn on my heater in my room. However I want it to snow over break. One of my favourite things about winter is the first snow. I have many fond memories of walking around at night in the middle of the streets covered in snow with no one around. I would get this sense that the world was quieter than normal, like a giant blanket has been laid over the city and maybe that I’m the only one out here, kind of a Last Man on Earth feeling. It gets so quiet that I swear that I could hear the crystalline tinging of snowflakes colliding and settling on a massive bed of the ones who have come before. I wonder if the campus will be that cold and quiet this December.
I haven’t been close to my family or extended family for some time now because reasons and many years I spend the holidays sitting around my place watching tv, frequently getting drunk, and finding the one place that does delivery on the holiday just trying to get out of my skull for a set of hours. Holidays are a hard thing. I don’t want to spend it with people I don’t like nor do I want to spend it alone but between being around people whom I don’t want to see and being cold, I frequently choose the cold.
Divorcing one’s personal history, I read somewhere, and not returning from where you come is the difference between and adventurer and an explorer. The adventurer rambles, the explorer gathers information and brings back em’s findings. I don’t know if I agree with this but it is an interesting distinction to make since the reason I began traveling in the first place was to find home because I never felt quite right where I was born. Either born too soon or too late, always out of time and down on both money and love (they say a person is supposed to get lucky in one or the other). I feel that despite how cold I feel, that there’s a certain warmth here letting me know I’m not entirely alone.
- Flat means floor and Block means building in this context. There’s like 6 colleges, which are like clusters of dorm buildings each with it’s own flavour, history, and culture and each college is a cluster of blocks and a campus bar. Yea I know, as an American the whole “bars on campus” thing still blows my mind sometimes but that’s because the legal drinking age here is 16 and the legal purchasing age is 18, which I’m not sure if I fully understand the reasoning behind because you can legally consume at 16 but you can’t purchase it nor go out to bars/clubs until 18. I suppose it works well enough because the culture around drinking here is surprisingly much more mature and less of a secretive thing unlike at american universities where you know it is happening but like you have to secret drink, especially if you live on campus for three of four years of your university career which frankly seems to do more harm than good.