Aurora stormed back to her lodgings and slammed her door shut. Everything smelled like fish. She smelled like fish. She couldn’t not smell like fish, it was in her clothes, her bloody hair smelled like fish. She was halfway across the world. How did she end up here?
The room seemed to twist slightly, but it couldn’t be because she was sober, damn it. She didn’t conduct business drunk. She took two steps over to low table, yanked out a stick of incense, and fumbled the match to light it twice. Now her room would smell like incense and fish. She plopped down on the cushions that surrounded the table. Cushions in place of wingback chairs, a raised mat for sleeping, a narrow closet for her ever growing collection of clothes in bright silks and embroidered cranes. She looked over into the mirror. The woman in the mirror looked back, her dark eyes a bit wild. She couldn’t place her. Aristocratic bones, dark hair and eyes, tanned skin, eastern dress. No one back home would recognize her.
Here she was, halfway around the world, and for what? Following two men she’d known all of six months across the seas? Running from pirates. Becoming a pirate. What would her parents think?
What would her parents think. She took several deep breaths and managed not to choke on the incense. A bath would help. Several cool drinks of water, and a visit to the baths. She was becoming someone she’d never expected. She weighed the feeling as she shed her clothes. It wasn’t a bad one. It was the expectation of judgement that had her in a breathless panic. Which was ridiculous. She pulled on her bathing robe and belted it as she heard her two roommates return. Now was not the time to discuss her sudden internal crisis with her friends. She shook her head and let her hair hang loose. Friends. The best friends she had. Ever. People who knew her and liked her anyway. They themselves were an odd pair, and the three of them worked well all together. As she started down the back stairs to the bath house, she weighed her friends against the possible recriminations of home. And her friends won. It wasn’t no contest, but it was a very solid lead. She could figure the rest out later. Maybe write her parents. She made a face and shuddered. The dratted honesty of paper. Maybe she owed it to them. She’d think about it when she stopped smelling so much like fish.
I’ve been robbed! The line ‘Everything smelled like fish.’ was stolen and I’ve found it popping up in the lairs of Legal Thieves. Look! They’re right here.
Today I curled up with a book and read the morning away occasionally stopping to listen to the rain hitting the window. I considered getting tea and a blanket, but I wanted to spend more time with my thoughts and stillness seemed like the best option. October ranks as my favorite month thanks to my birthday, Halloween, slightly cooler weather, and more recently my roommate’s birthday.
This month specifically I am looking forward to visiting with college friends I have not seen in a while, and contemplating the approach of November and National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. Writing 1,667 words a day is something I would like to do, but what to capture in those words?
Pirates, forest dwelling rebels, ancient relics, law, chaos, singing lemurs, precocious eight year olds, imaginary otters, so many elements I could use to form short stories or a novel. Shall I write about the fall of an empire, the adventures of a single ship, the ties between lovers, the power of music, or something more abstract. Do I take an old idea or try for the new?
For now I will gather my notebooks, flash drives, lists, and pictures, and allow all of the ideas to bloom. Hopefully I will find a field of flowers to arrange into a bouquet I want to write for a month – but if not, I will still have flowers.
I certainly thought I was going to adjust to living in a new place quickly, I mean, I went to college far away from home, how different could it be? Oh how silly I can be sometimes. I love the trees, just like I knew I would, and am not dealing with the increase in heat and humidity as well as I would like. This time around, I do not have a few hundred other students in the same boat as I am. This time it is just myself and my roommate, and I found out that one can enjoy new experiences, but that I freak out when there are too many of them at once.
Public transportation, paying bills, not knowing anyone except aforementioned roommate…. this leads to the occasional mental break down regarding adulthood and why I am travelling certain paths in life. And you know what?
It’s all good. I may hyperventilate at the idea of a spontaneous trip out of the apartment (what if the bus fails to come and we are stranded far away forever in the dark!), and may wonder if this was the wisest decision I could have made on how to spend six months of my life, but life is long and friends are there with supporting shoulders to keep you from declaring yourself inept at life.
I am writing, I am handling what is coming at me, and I know many more of my own limitations and comforts. Tripping has been a part of locomotion since I could manage it. Time to remember all the skinned knees that never slowed me down and recognize that life has its own plan. As for right now, I will memorize bus schedules and handle one new thing at a time, until this new situation is normal.