It’s been raining for two weeks down here. Apparently at one point it rained for sixty hours straight. This is something of a catastrophe in a city built on a desert: lakes form on freeway onramps, drivers lose all sense of reason. The whole area shuts down like it was made of sugar.
Anyway, being a grad student means never lacking for rainy-day activities. Of course I’ve got assignments to grade and poems to read. I’ve got plenty of stuff to do around the apartment, too–I’ve washed the dishes and paid my bills and straightened up the living room. I’ve put up some posters Julie left and put in a couple more chairs and organized my closet. I keep busy. If I don’t keep busy, I slide–I crawl through my homework, I watch my cartoon DVDs, I play videogames. I make very boring dinners. I don’t even watch my Netflix movies. So I try to keep fighting that war against entropy, especially when it rains and I have to occupy myself around the house.
It was raining when Julie was down here, too, but (I realized tonight while doing my laundry) we didn’t have to work to keep busy while she was here. We didn’t get bored, even when we were stuck inside here or at her mom’s house. Whether we were watching a movie or lounging around or getting the apartment ready for a party, we laughed and chatted and had a good time. And the things that needed to get done got done–not just because the quarter hadn’t started yet, or because there were two people to cook and wash the dishes, but because it’s all basically a pleasure. Well, okay, doing the dishes is never a swim in the gumdrop lake, but when Julie’s around I don’t need to force myself; we just go over and do it. Like grownups.
I know this isn’t particularly romantic, or very flattering to me–shouldn’t I be able to live responsibly whether or not I’m alone? (I am getting better, but, of course, I have to work at it.) But it’s one of the things I like, and miss, most about Julie: everything is easy and natural and fun when she’s around. When you’re done with the hugging and kissing and whispering sweet nothings, you still have to go about your day, and being with Julie changes that from a to-do list into a thrill.