the second half of that title is only relevant in this way: I want to read Chaucer. I need to read Chaucer. I've heard Chaucer is difficult, but lately in my classes and some circles of friends literature has come up and the flow and transformation of languages and Chaucer was one of the ones mentioned. Old English is Beowulf (hardly readable), Chaucer is Middle (kind of readable, difficult), & Shakespeare is Modern English (not our type of modern, but modern as in it's still readable, easily readable to us). I've had a copy of the Cantaberry Tales sitting on my bookshelf at home for a good year or two, and I've only opened it once. But now I want to and now I'm at university. On that note, I want to reread Onegin. Dammit I love Onegin. And I'll be reading Gogol's The Nose pretty soon! I think I just miss having a literature class. They killed me with their papers, but I loved the literature. This semester I opted out on having a lit class because last semester I had two at the same time, and that was nearly a nightmare. Bad, but could've been worse. I wanted a break, so no lit classes this semester. It was probably for the best, but sometimes this semester feels stale. Right now I have four books stacked next to my bed, and I can barely open one. I crawl into bed and I can't read. Last night, I started too, but not for long. It was already 1 AM, and I couldn't force myself to keep reading. It was a borrowed book, Cyrano de Bergerac, and I'm only on Sc. 2! Oh well.
I have some fanfiction that I'm thinking of posting soon. One tiny little drabble, but I think I have a little inspiration to give it a little more life, one more scene. I had planned to expand this drabble, but it was based on an early episode of Inuyasha that I had not finished - I watched half the episode, inspiration struck, I wrote down my draft for the fic, then watched the rest of the episode and realized that my idea was MAJORLY NOT A THING THAT WOULD BE CANON. But I was able to sit down and write the opening scene, and it needs work, but I won't touch it because I actually like it, even if it does seem like one of those pretentious fics. I can't describe it, but it feels out of place and . . . melodramatic. Oh well. MAYBE I will post it. I'm indecisive and forgetful.
Today I was hit with a giant wave of nostalgia and loss. Not the physical loss, but- do you ever think of who you could have been, if you had the resources and time and patience and diligence and etc., who you could be, right at this moment, if things had gone differently? I'm assuming there's a resounding yes to that question. It's regret, but not regret you could exactly control, just regret that you couldn't go through with who you wanted to be because you had no control. So not a loss of life or someone dear, but a loss of who you dreamed to be?
Lately, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, before my Russian class at 3, after lunch at 12, I go up to the university library, the fourth floor, to this room that I can usually count on to be open. Our university library is kind of like two merged libraries, and this half of the library you can only access on the fourth floor and all the open study rooms have chalk boards, not dry erase boards like the fancier, upgraded other half. I love this room, room 400. I love how smooth the board is, how the table isn't too wide, how mainly the room is open after 1 and I can sneak in and use it. No one rents the room, so I'm never kicked out. At least, not yet anyway. And since it's a chalkboard, the chalk is provided, and since it's in the library, there's usually fresh chalk or at least pieces that are long enough to hold onto, not little nubs. I go in here and study my Russian before class, fill the board with vocab terms I need to practice and cram. If I need to practice saying sentences out loud, I write some of the key terms on the board and have enough room to pace around, saying them over and over again. I get dizzy sometimes, but it works.
So I'm writing the terms on this board, and the board is so smooth, and I look down at my hands at some point, notice the chalk dusted on them, and I think "Ha, I think my personal aesthetic is now chalk and chalkboards." I used to hate chalkboards, but now I love writing on them. Instantly it was like a punch to the gut once I thought it- or no, like a sudden tug in my stomach. "My aesthetic" refers to how on Tumblr, on the fandom side, you can constantly come across "aesthetic posts" for some character or show or movie, and it'll be abstract images of half faces, clothes, objects, whatever that match the subject. They're usually quite pretty, the ones that are spread around. So I was thinking of my own "aesthetic post," or "mood board" is what they're actually called. One of my pictures would be of chalk. And as previously mentioned, that thought hurt.
I used to be a gymnast when I was little. I loved it. I loved tumbling, the pit, kind of the vault, rarely the beam, and my dad loves to tell how fast I'd climb the rope, a three inch thick rope (or more in my memory! but then back then I had such small hands) hanging from the two storied ceiling. They'd have us climb up and down those ropes, and we'd be careful not to get rope burns but sometimes you couldn't help it, coming down with small burns on the insides of our feet's arches and hands' corners. We'd race up and down them, proud to reach the orange tagged top and to climb back down, counting the knots as we went.
The bars were one of my favorite things, and I always was excited to go on them, but as time went on, we rarely approached them. But I remember bathing my hands in the chalk bowls, getting ready for them & then us trying to avoid being scolded for putting too much on. I remember watching the older girls (the true athletes! the ones i'd look up to, so strong and swift and serious) snap from bar to bar and wanting to do the same. Instead, we went to the beams more, used the chalk for that - though my memory might be fuzzy here, I can't remember if chalk is used for that.
And then, I made a friend! One that I might continue to see each week on Thursdays. And then, that same day,I stood at the counter with my mom as she unregistered me from the program. A two week break, she called it. I understood we needed to save money right now, just for a while. And then I never went back to gymnastics. Every time I watch gymnastics, like at the Olympics, I feel a little pang, engulfed in nostalgia and regret.
I wish I had stayed with gymnastics, even if all it would be was an intensive hobby, but I know that wasn't possible.