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Column: All we really mean to say

11.02, Durham

"What do you see?" he asked me, and I wanted to tell him that I saw the opportunity to create more than I can currently comprehend, but she tackled him before I could. He ran back, squatted, and whispered, "I want to know what you see." The dampness of the grass seeped into the places where my back, bottom, and calves sank into it, and I thought of gravity pressing me down and imagined defying it. This, now, was what I would have described if I had been able to answer him. But when I finally found the words it was between the calls and laughs of our other friends. We were going to 3 AM breakfast and all I had time to say was, "It makes me want to cry," and we said goodnight and he yelled over his shoulder, "The ball is in your court." I am to call him when I feel like discussing this further. Or other things, I suppose.

To see a World in a grain of sand and Heaven in a Wild flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour.

7.02, Paris

I arrive at the Picasso museum late and the tour has already begun. Our guide, a petite and immaculately dressed graduate student with a one strap, leather sac-A -dos is ushering us into the first salle on the agenda: Picasso's Blue Period. Her confidence is convincing except for the red patches that creep up into her neck and ears, and I find myself attentive to rehearsed inflection: "Picasso is kind of playing a GAME with us here, riiight?" I try to picture PicAsso on our tour then assume a shallow condescension for our regurgitating guide because I make my thoughts his, too: give me a break.

We are the hollow men we are the stuffed men leaning together headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

11.02, Durham

"Let's talk about Eva's character. Who can tell me about Eva?"

The class is silent.

"Eva READS because she believes KNOWledge is LIBerating! Unlike YOU PEOPLE!"

Between the conception and the creation between the emotion and the response falls the shadow.

7.02, Paris

The youth hostel is a breeding ground for self-compromise. Over breakfast we fill silences with gossip and then welcome the weak bonds that arise from reliance on the third, absent party, and we feel empty. So we dabble until we find common ground and leap onto it hungrily. Surprise, surprise: today, it's-

Lips that would kiss form prayers to broken stone.

--our bodies. I mention that I've worked on eating disorder issues and don't plan to elaborate but their eager attentiveness encourages me and it gets personal fast. Melissa who admits her preference for cordial pretending over uncomfortable honesty becomes teary and I catch it and am pulled to her. I begin speaking and my agenda bends and is exposed according to her response. I want to help. Then: there is so much pain at the table. The most reliable vehicle into sincere conversation with upper class, American women is, again, body inadequacy, and this devastates me. I think I am crying too loudly in bed that night, so I go into the hall.

She mistook the heat of my determination for warmth between us.

11.02, Durham

Alvinesa: 'She mistook the heat of my determination for warmth between us."

Grover180: he wants sex?

Alvinesa: no, not he. she, and it's about quantifying someone. an impersonal, calculated--hold on

Grover180: Sex.

Alvinesa: you haven't read even read the book!

Grover180: i don't have to. it's all sex--you know Ferenczi?

11.02, Durham

In my interview I will talk about how I (she sips her glass of Merlot pretending the loss for words is just a pause for quenching) am dropping the class because I want time to process and then time to reflect on that processing, and then time to escape from that processing and then time to return to it in discussion with other people which will expand it. I want time to sit. And sit. And sit. And write like I am now about the circumstances of a prestigious university where students drink and push their minds and want to have sex all at once because they think it will take them home.


I hear a string quartet play Carmen's theme and then I move to where fountains splash the notes together so that I can still hear Carmen in the next piece. Rain makes the music only as mortal as my ability to hear beauty in chaos.

My grandma was determined to fight cancer and then she did for a while and then she died. At her funeral I heard the music of her life in the words and tears of my father and she was not dead. Mozart said he searched for two notes that love each other.


--because they think it will take them home and--

7.02, 11.02

This joy is not of my own creation. I should sing it: This JOY is not of my own creAtion!


And the ultimate question is:

What do you see?

This is the way the world converses.

This is the way the world converses.

Love awaits patiently the whimper:

You know Ferenczi?

Mary Adkins is a Trinity junior. Her column appears every third Tuesday.


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