Flickers of Another Life

It was the age of idealism, of passionately spouting ideas as if they were fresh and new. Of soaking in texts, books, words and feeling an increased sense of importance.

I can still feel the blast of warm air as I walked down the incline into The Den. Queuing patiently for that sweet hit of espresso – ‘A long macchiato, please.’ Assessing the towering mounds of salads and pasta bakes, counting coins in my pocket to see if I could indulge in a hot lunch.

The way the basement computer lab hummed with silence and electricity. That time when I broke up with my boyfriend in strained whispers in that very room, cloaking tears of misunderstanding after he left with hurried blinks, each tap on the keys sounding like a gunshot.

The strangely shaped octagon dome where I swept in with my fishnets and camel coloured coat, unknowingly greeting the mischievous face of the man who was to become my husband. Giggles and guitar music in tiny rooms, catching up with the latest with Zoe when we were meant to be solemnly praying.

I can smell the sizzling of pancakes wafting out over the lawn, flipping on a Tuesday, shivering in the early hours of morning to serve the hungry hordes. Hear the impassioned chants of politics and causes through the blare of a righteous mega horn.

Conversations about Communism and Conservatism on the black leather seats of the Menzies building, looking up to see the towering escalators gliding effortlessly to the faraway upper levels. Invitations to study sessions at the Matheson library that involved little of the intended activity.

Waiting groggily propped against the foyer of the theater, sound muffled and soaking into carpet as we stared at the ground in feigned interest. My undying love for the country of Italy born in that very darkened room as we delved back into its history, comedy and bicycle thieves.

The smell of justice in paper form as I carefully ascended the staircase to the Law Library, feeling both awed and out of place amongst sentences that could fill half a page with pompous prose. Picking up the slack in the group study rooms, silently cursing whoever thought collaborative projects a wise idea.

Being taught to narrow eyes at masculinity, turn up noses at housework and champion fierce womanhood in a shrill voice. Discovering weighty first sentences – ‘Call me Ishmael’ and curious re-tellings of classics. Slipping out of lectures early to race home and catch the 2pm broadcast of ‘Felicity‘.

It was a time of formation. Shedding pieces that felt hollow and seizing others with determination. Connecting with people I scarcely get to see now, and sharing life with the one who changed it all. Who knew that University could be a catalyst for such enormity?

*Disclaimer: This was written in a lot more than five minutes.

This post is part of the #Write31Days challenge that I’m participating in along with a talented community of other writers. We free write for five minutes (or more) guided by a prompt. Today’s prompt is ‘study’. 


For more information on 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, check out Christina Hubbard’s site!


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