I had to run away from home tonight. Nothing too dramatic. I am a mother, after all. We ate dinner, sang a few songs and I dished up bowls of ice cream. Riley and Margaret colored in the front room while Viola slept. The house was clean and bed times so near. It didn't matter.
Riley, I am going out.
I took myself and my computer and drove a little over 2000 feet to our university's library. Not the most glorious escape, perhaps. But I sit here in the quiet and feel so much further from home than I have ever been. Not much has changed in the past seven years. When I walked into the lobby, five freshman boys ran through on a scavenger hunt. After their third lap, they were duly admonished by a small security guard with a big belt. I think they would have taken poor Mr. Guard more seriously if his voice hadn't cracked while he was yelling. The air smells like dust and books and cleaner. I breathe deeply and let it fill the empty places. My light wood table is still in my plain little corner. Now that the five merry boys are gone, the building is nearly quiet. The only sounds are whispers and paper against paper and my breathing in and out and in.
I spent the better part of a year hiding here in my early twenties. I hid from roommates and ice cream parties and the need to talk. Ducked down the stairs to avoid the boys that noticed me and the boys that never knew I was there. This was the place I went to take cover from expectations and uncertainty. Once deep within my sanctuary, I buried myself in books and my own nonsensical writing. And every time I emerged calmer and brighter. For just this moment, I am that same girl seeking a safe place. For just this moment, it is as if I never left.
I think I will stay awhile.