The dam has broken. I’m now 6 days from leaving for China, and the craziness has caught up with me. I could sense it gaining ground this past weekend as Matt, Vilas, and I traveled to Wausau for a hoo-rah with the Nelsons, and my moods swung rampantly as if I was once again 15, living in my old bedroom instead of just staying for 2 nights. One minute, I’m screaming for the Packers at a crowded bar (turns out I’m still a fan), the next I’m telling Vilas through clenched teeth that she’s the WORST DOG EVER for waking us up at 4, and the next I’m concentrating on exactly how the hugs of my mom, dad, and sisters feel as we say goodbye on Monday.
But I think what prevented me from totally breaking down over the weekend was the knowledge that I had a busy week of finals ahead: lots of grading to finish, a desk to clean out, and Twilight posters to scrape off the walls. Now, with finals winding down, the trip before me both looms and beckons, and my emotions are out. of. control.
It started at lunch today, when I struggled through a giggle fit whose only discernible point of origin was…my salad? (A piece of arugula and a radish walk into a bar? Anyone?) And then later, after one of my favorite classes walked out the door for the last time and I read a thank-you card that one of those delightful seniors left for me, I started crying so fast that even I was surprised.
Oy. I’m starting to tear up again just proofreading this post.
This senior also left me a gift to be opened only on Valentine’s Day (she assured me it’s nothing that will get me arrested at customs) and a fortune cookie. Since the cookie didn’t come with a caveat, I of course ate it as soon as I could compose myself. I patiently waited the 3.2 seconds it took me to finish chewing before I read the fortune, and when I did, I wanted to start crying all over again.
Damn you, Chinese fortune tellers. You always know exactly how to vaguely articulate the unique events of my life. How do you do it?!
Happily, it was at this fragile moment that I turned the fortune over and an even more important truth was revealed to me:
It was then that I remembered how hungry I still was, so I promptly packed my bag and went in search of a san ming zhi. And now I’m feeling just fine.