Wedging my shoe to keep the door slightly open, I positioned myself in the hallway on the sixth floor of south quad. The clock read 2:43 a.m. , notifying me that I had been awake for twenty hours. Shrugging off the alarming realization, I reached for the binder in my bag, and dove into the pile of homework in front of me. My eyelids lie heavy on my face, fluttering to stay open, chewing on a pen cap, my face flushed and dreary, my body began to rebel against me. Scribble, scratch, tear, throw away, scribble, trace over, trace over again, move on; attempting to finish homework, schedule my next two days, and make a list of people to contact- exhaustion, ocd, and hunger consumed me. As the hand on the clock proceeded to the number five, my mind shifted to survival mode. I half crawled, half walked back into Blake’s room. Tottering around in the dark searching for something to use as a pillow, I settled for a found sweatshirt and my winter jacket as a blanket. Deadlines and To-Do Lists danced around in my head as my body fell into an anxious sleep.
Three hours later, shuffling behind Blake to the dinning hall, we are both silent, for it is far too early for spoken words. The silence isn’t uncomfortable, it is fitting. Breakfast continued without words, the silence giving both Blake’s and my mind space to wake up. Unprepared for the hike to his first morning class, I quickly learned that Blake’s walk was equivalent to my run. Effortlessly making it across campus in seven minutes, (yes, I kept track), Blake then ventured up two flights of stairs to the last row in the lecture hall. Wrongly assuming I could do the same, my legs gave out mid stair climb, prompting an embarrassing descend.
Managing to stay on my feet the rest of the day, I felt as I was living the life of Blake. Inattentive to my own needs, subsiding for the time being, exhaustion and hunger were kind; allowing me to do what I needed to do. Beginning to fill the pauses with his autobiography, Blake mindlessly described his family, his home and words his father said. Indifferent about responding, subconsciously honing my listening skills, I was attentive to his surroundings more so than my own.
Successfully escaping Blake’s consciousness for a slight second, when asked “Who is that?” Blake honestly had forgotten that I was there. Quickly glancing at me and then turning to his teammate, he gently shrugged, and responded, “I fell asleep to shutter clicks, I woke up to shutter clicks.” Meeting his teammate’s puzzled stare with a content grin; giggling, I snapped a picture of his teammate, turned around in my seat, and waited for class to end.
Reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned so far with Blake is that there is something to be said about the trust and confidence you gain when you sleep on someone’s dorm floor.