fluroescent office musings

It’s scary to sit in my windowless office at work and realize that July is almost over. Once Christmas was over last year and January came rolling into Maryland, bringing with it gray skies and a perpetual lack of anything relating to snow to cheer us up, I’d been anxiously awaiting the warm, sunny skies and my sudden ability to slip bare feet into flip-flops and just do whatever I wanted — no jacket required.

Of course, I work two jobs and spend the majority of my time under fluorescent lighting, tapping my fingers against keyboards and dodging out occasionally to try and feel the warmth of the sun on my face. I’m not usually too successful — except when I got on lunch breaks. But just knowing that summer is there — a real, tangible thing — is often enough to keep me going. I know when I can no longer feel my toes after suffering in far too much office air conditioning, I can bust past Kelly in the vestibule and take in a zephyr breeze.

The thought of July — wonderful, gorgeous July, full of birthdays and ice-cream and long days — giving way to August — just a filler month before school starts up again — is just a little depressing. Of course, I’m out of college now — I’ve got the huge, heavy degree in storage in my living room to prove it. I won’t be heading to classrooms with energetic professors (or even unenergetic ones), buying new pens and notebooks and messenger bags, or dragging my sister with me to the college bookstore to stock up on $500 worth of textbooks. Now she’s dragging me.

I think it’s really hitting me now — moreso than last year — that I won’t be going back to school at the end of August. And this is pretty sad for me, considering I’ve always been the bookish sort who always got to class early, sat reasonably close to the front row and did all of the assigned reading with a pink highlighter in hand.

I loved cracking open a new notebook for the first time, neatly scrawling the date across the top in clean, blue ink. I loved flipping open a new novel for my English literature classes, transporting myself into the tangled worlds of Philip Roth’s creation or spending the day with Mrs. Dalloway. Now, of course, I still enjoy those things — it’s just that I get to choose the literature adventure myself. But it’s not the same somehow.

It’s growing up — it’s getting older. It’s not the same.