I’m sitting here and I’m in Azusa and it’s 10:06pm and I’m reading Huck Finn and I’m drinking tea out of a cracked cup and Keaton Henson’s “Sarah Minor” just came on Pandora and oh how I miss Oxford.

That sentence is different than I’d like it to be. I’m in Azusa, not Oxford. It’s 10:06pm, not 6:06am. I’m reading Huck Finn for my American Lit. class, not Agnes Grey for my Brontë tutorial. I’m drinking tea out of a cracked cup, a cup that wasn’t at all cracked when I drank out of it in Oxford. I’m actually able to listen to Pandora. You can’t listen to Pandora in England.

I just set up my desk for this semester and I plastered pictures and postcards from my travels all around me. They help a little, with the missing, but they’re too flat. Too not real. Too imaginary. I wish I could pick them up and stretch the edges until they were big enough for me to climb in and stroll again though the lazy streets of Montpellier or ride though Venetian alleys in gondola.

The new term in Oxford has begun and I keep seeing friends posting pictures of the streets I used to walk down. I want to be solely happy for them, and mostly I am. But I am also jealous, in the most childishly possessive and raw ways. I want those streets to be mine. I want those experiences to be mine. I want Oxford to be mine again. But it’s not and it can’t be and won’t be and really transience is beautiful but it’s also a pain in the ass.

We’re all jumping into new things or old things or familiar things or foreign things and we’re all different and we’re all human and we’re all broken-hearted and we’re all on the brink of fresh, green-meadow love.

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