Three-ish inches of ice encircled every route away from my apartment building for months, turning the walk to school into a series of little and big leaps as I hoped with each one I’d land on dry ground. Finally, the ice was melting, water and warmth carving away at a winter that just wouldn’t let go.
My copy of Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” album had arrived in the mail when I got home from school. I remembered when I bought Jesse McCartney’s “Beautiful Soul” album in 2004, unwrapping Cardi’s CD with similar enthusiasm 15 years later.
I cried as I opened the envelope, peeled away the plastic wrap, realizing that it had been so long since I’d had a good day, a good week, a good month. Realizing that I deserve to have good days at all.
I remember one day this semester, maybe in week four or week six or week seven, I unlocked my door, threw my backpack on the couch and collapsed in the entryway, crying over nothing and everything, all at once. I have cried in my carrel, on the Ped Mall, on the Cambus (but shoutout to the Wednesday night Blue Route driver for playing nothing but Kesha).
Maybe it was the all-consuming grayness of this winter, the winter break breakup, the one extra class I’m taking this semester. Joy has been hard to come by.
It was probably the sunlight. Or maybe Cardi B saying “I think us bad bitches is a gift from god” (and who are we to question that premise).
I forgot what joy sounds like, what it looks like, where it lives. This semester has still been difficult beyond belief, sapping me of energy and joy in new and *creative* ways, it seems.
But I have never been so happy to see slushy sidewalks, to dodge ankle-deep puddles on my way to school.
Joy looks weird sometimes, like the ever-aggressive geese when they first return to campus in the spring. It sounds weird, too. Like a delightfully bad remix of Kesha’s “Blow” circa the year I graduated from high school. But it still lives here, and that’s all I really need to know.