I can’t make the math work
And the calendar is jumbled, too
I know I started in the dorm
And I know I went to Austria Junior year
But it’s all mixed up after that
Five years at uni
But six addresses
Not counting summers

Two years in the dorm.
I know this is right because of the roommates
Danielle (“that’s pronounced Daneel”)
Mary Pat
Freshman year off the drive
Sophomore year off the courtyard

A year in Austria
Then summer with my mother in Urbana
That’s three years.

I started my first senior year at German House
Roommate Ruth, who got there first
And took the entire closet
Both desks
And all the shelves
And was confused when I told her
She had to move some of her stuff

I guess that fourth year was made up
with a move second semester
This is where the math stops working
Because I don’t remember
Leaving German House mid year

That next apartment
was a four-plus-one walk up
With Resi, who I met in Austria,
and Deb, her best friend
They were so suburban
And didn’t know quite what to do
With their artist roommate with the professor father
And the Chinese boyfriend

Then summer with my mother in Chicago
I stored all my stuff at Mary Pat’s house
And the basement flooded but they didn’t tell me
I lost everything I owned.

My second senior year I lived with Barb
Who was never there
And whose boyfriend I slept with
I still don’t really feel bad about it
I think she married him in the end
It was the year that it snowed so hard
And got so cold
That I slept at the art building for more than a week
Even though campus was closed
Due to the weather.
That was the year that my mother
Told me not to come for Thanksgiving
And Wei told me not to come for Thanksgiving
And I made a one-person Thanksgiving dinner
With a Cornish hen
And then cried so hard
That I couldn’t eat it

I never had Thanksgiving with my mother ever again
Because she died the following April

Where I lived: 17 to 22

3 thoughts on “Everywhere I lived in college

  1. so much, it is not surprising some has been forgotten or become cloudy. things that are tough to remember, things that are tough to forget, and so much pain. family and friends, the ones you’re supposed to be able to turn to always seem to let you down.

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