Thursday, August 4, 2011

Knox

I stare out the window, waiting eagerly for the appearance of green grass and manicured flower beds and academic-looking buildings. I keep referring to the map in hand, trying to figure out where we are, and where we're supposed to be going. We cross some streets with inventive names like Main and Cherry before finding the correct one.

I step out of the car into the heavy air. I try to tell myself I'm used to it by now.

I'm lying.

There are more tall trees, unfamiliar to me, the Coloradan, and cicadas abound.

I leave the map in the car, wanting instead to figure it out for myself. I strike out in a promising direction, my parents a few steps behind. I cross the street, heading for a sidewalk that leads to the most prominent building in sight. Its large frame and old stonework give it the appearance of extreme age. But instead of seeming imposing or regal, it just looks tired. Like it needs a long nap, and maybe a face-lift.

All the doors are locked, but I'm not surprised. The campus seems dead. I haven't seen so much as the shadow of another person; we are clearly the only people here. I wander around the building, and reach its front doors. Plaques on either side of the entrance proclaim its status as one of the oldest buildings in town, as well as the historical debate that was held here.

The sidewalk dead ends the way I was going, so I turn around and head back. I run into construction tape and dirt when I try to turn left, so instead I turn right.

More brick buildings stand silently in front of me. Their faces are impassive. They've seen too many young, eager students to be impressed by my presence.

I turn and stop, waiting for my parents to reach me. They have stopped to read more plaques that are mounted by an old bell tower.

As they reach me, I indicate that I am ready to head back to the car. They nod, and we make the detour together around more construction. Back at the car, I give the campus another searching look. I can't articulate, even to myself, what I'm looking for, but I don't find it.

I return my gaze to the car, and settle myself in for the drive.

1 comment:

Annabelle said...

Yikes, let down much?

Bless your heart.