Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Camaraderie

I apologize for not blogging lately, but there's been so much to do! I've been running around, getting signatures on the many forms I need to graduate, and turning them in. It's 2016--shouldn't physical paperwork be so last decade already? On the bright side, all the other MFAs are in the same boat, so I have plenty of friends who can commiserate.

I have to defend my thesis by April 15th, which means I have to give my thesis to my committee by the end of March. Which means the edits I'm working on right now are probably the last edits I can make. So that's alarming. Cue relevant 80's power ballad. Honestly, if I had to hand it in tomorrow, everything would be fine. It certainly wouldn't be perfect, but it would be a coherent book. And yet, no matter how many times I remind myself of this fact--that everything is already fine--it doesn't make a difference. I'm too Type-A for my own good. I will work work work until the last minute. Cue other relevant 80's power ballad.

You know what? Let's not focus on the stressful things right now. Instead, let me tell you about last Friday's Neon Lit, which left me with veritable warm fuzzies. It was almost literally magical.

Shaun was hosting, and after a few brief, funny opening statements, he pointed at me and told me to look under my chair. I was, of course, confused. But there, taped to the bottom of my seat, was an envelope. Inside were a few lines of verse, which turned out to have been penned by Danielle, who was the first reader. And so the evening went, with random audience members introducing the next reader, and the next, and the next. The readers were all wonderful, but there were some definite highlights. Matt read a few letters that he wrote to his friends over the summer--and then he announced that he'd brought a box where people could submit their addresses if they'd like a letter from him next summer. Aurora read a story with multiple beginnings that's soon to be published in Glimmer Train. And at the end of the evening, Dan stood at the microphone--but instead of reading his own story, he read a story by his friend Kevin Randall, who recently passed away and had been applying to MFA programs at the time of his death. It was moving, to say the least. Afterwards, we commandeered the patio at Atomic Liquors, where we made merry well into the night.

I think I'm going to miss these people when I leave. Whenever it is that I leave. Wherever it is that I go.

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