This morning as I was doing cartwheels over my last PSET grade, something occurred to me. Getting up from my tumble, I thought back to that Tuesday night when I actually did the work and one face swam up from the midst of all the numbers imprinted on my eyelids.
I never could have done it without you (or I could have, after much mental anguish and 10 days after the deadline)! You’re always the one who bails me out the night before the PSET is due, when a week of bad decisions has culminated in what’s sure to be a terrible evening for me. It’s just a little further, you tell me with a smile, and I can’t help but shake my head into focus and talk through the problem with you. And suddenly, it’s not just the homework questions — it’s all the questions which have bothered me all week. Am I screwing up my life? Does the TF dislike me? Am I doomed to this vicious circle of procrastination and self-hate?
You are everything that is whole and good about the world. You violate every rule I lived by in high school — trust no one, watch your own back, feign affection for and interest in others. I’m sure other people must have exploited your brains, but I’m happy that you kept alive your optimism and concern for all those around you. The best thing about the nights (and mornings) we spend together is the faith you have in me. You look into my eyes and you believe that somewhere deep down, I know the answer or am capable of finding it. You give me confidence in myself.
Do not be surprised if you find care packages and hear an excited voice calling your name, because besides showering you with hugs you didn’t ask for and gifts you do not need for the rest of the semester, how else can I ever repay you? In the meanwhile, I guess I will try to emulate your philosophy any time I see a desperate soul in need at 2 a.m. on a Sunday night, and dream of the night when we get to hang out not hunched over a set of stapled pages in Cabot Library.
A Rescued Soul