haibuns

I was walking back to my car out of the library, and it was drizzling just a little bit, so I put my sweatshirt back on. I am thinking about how I don’t like to drive in the dark, but I don’t mind the rain so much. It isn’t very wet yet; the drizzle is pleasant.

the rain comes as if
we are in a cozy world
where things make some sense

I am walking past the parking garage and it is getting worse. I’m wearing an inch of platforms on my Converse and I’m beginning to feel them get seriously wet. There are lights up ahead and lights behind me. I wish I had gone to a different library and gotten hot vending machine coffee instead.

the sound of the past
pass-ing, cars, raindrops, but I
am alone; here I am.

The student center is still open. It’s only seven, seven thirty. Last Thursday I looked up the sunset time – 7:50 – so that I could find out how long I had to fast – and I thought I had more time.

tomorrow is the first
day of autumn; the equinox
equal on either side

There are still people studying here, but the Starbucks is closed. It was vending machine coffee I wanted anyway, made by a robot, a machine. The humans at Starbucks don’t come close. I like to get the vanilla mocha at the library coffee vending machine; half vanilla mocha, half hot cocoa. Ninety cents, or one dollar with credit card.

I always pay with
card; I don’t carry cash, I’m
not your dad, okay?

There is a janitor just leaving out the other side. I feel instantly bad, coming in here with wet shoes. But there’s no choice in the matter, is there? They’re gonna be wet for a while. Coming out the other side of the student center, the wind picks up, and I am walking into it.

Rain on my glasses
unclear, unknown, unwound, uncharted
I get a little lost

I think a lot about how I am an anxious person who can’t drive in the dark or the rain, how I need to plan for every possibility, how I am stranded at night on EMU’s campus and look here’s the public safety office, what are the chances that they’ll drive me to my car? Washtenaw Community College, where I was last year, had evening “we’ll drive you to your car” patrols of cops, if they had cops at all, but ACAB, baby, I guess, because the office is lit up but the door is locked. I stand on the porch of the building, slightly protected by the awning. It’s a slight in my book, for sure.

I see you, hijabi cop,
you’re a disappointment to
everyone I’ve ever met.

I ask Google Maps where I’ve parked. Face ID, that little surveillance state that lives in my phone and I carry around with me everywhere, recognizes me on the first try. Finally good for something, I guess, because the phone itself is too wet to hold a candle. When I get to my car I can barely open my eyes; I am soaked to the bone.

I sit in my car
and wipe my face with my soft
mid-fall jacket, cold.

I wipe off my phone. I check my texts. Moss has sent me a photo of a whole basket’s worth of acorns and chestnuts. It’s acorn mast season, she says.

Part of the appeal
Is that these are from four or
Five different trees

You know what
A blossom is – fragile
Dainty. Pastel. Alive.

an acorn? that’s a
whole different ballgame; these are
seeds, new life, expectations

I asked Jude if he would bring me a towel when I got home, and I stripped out of my wet clothes in the mudroom, wrapped myself in the towel, and pulled out all the cozy stops. We got the matcha chocolate, the little silicone coaster, the giant mug, the honey spoon. We watch some terrible television, and I stay up too late again.

why did I put on shorts?
you were kind of going through a
lot, jude tells me. Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah. And now I’m home. Here I am.

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