Every morning I leave fifty minutes before class to board the underground and read my book. Because of the odd hour I leave for class, I just miss the morning rush hour and stuffed carriages full of anxious bodies. The cold air turns my cheeks rosy-red as I wait for the tube to arrive. There is an elderly Asian woman to my right, her arms laden with reusable bags and I can only presume that she’s venturing out to the shops. Lucky. I don’t necessarily look forward to spending hours inside a classroom but then I think about all the writing I get to do and I can’t help but look forward to what I will learn in class. The train slowly approaches the platform and I sling my too-heavy backpack over my shoulder. The inside of the carriage is empty and warm, a pleasant refuge from the cutting winter wind. I pick my seat carefully, not too close to anyone if not absolutely necessary and pull out my well-worn novel. It took me awhile to sink into this novel but now I can’t put it down. I furiously turn page after page so engrossed in the story that I nearly miss my stop. I neatly fold the page corner and exit the tube just before the doors close. My legs feel weighted down by lead as I start mentally preparing for class. Notebook, check. Favorite pen, check. Homework…check.
Then my day sweeps me up into the rhythm of uni. One professor intimidates me with her expectations; however, I receive exceptional feedback from her on a recent assignment and while I am quietly pleased, I am also well aware of the revisions I need to make to improve. I attend writing class after writing class. Literature, journalism, creative writing. My notebook is scribbled with hasty notes, some illegible that I will have to decipher later. Thoughts swirl around my head and land in a tangled heap on my notepad. Inspiration for journalist stories, creative writing, portfolio building, internships, how to improve and succeed in my field. Semesters like this make me fall passionately in love with writing again. It is my refuge and my future.
The sun is growing dimmer as the day fades away. My backpack is painfully heavy, I regret packing all of my gym gear and lugging it with me all day. I think I am getting scoliosis. I tell myself to calm down. The train pulls up to the platform, a little more crowded than my morning commute. Thankfully there is an open seat. I toss my overweight backpack aside and collapse into it. Pulling my novel back out again, I am once more lulled into a fictitious hideaway filled with pretty words and a writing style that satisfies me. Back to Chinon, France. Back home for the night.