Wednesday waked me with a weary twilight lit room. I think I've overslept and throw off my bed covers. I still feel groggy after my shower and from last night but I can't think about yesterday. Today was still mine, at least the morning was so far. I get dressed and walked out into the hallway to find unfilled trash bags next to trash and overflowing trash bags in the kitchen. Across the window sill in the common area was a row of empty, green Dos Equis beer bottles, hidden behind the shades and on display anyone outside this side of the building.
I walked out of the apartment to where the sun peaked through the low-hanging clouds while the ghost moon stained a cloudless, orphan blue sky above. The campus landscapers had already cut the grass and foliage and sat in the shade of their manicured lawn. Work rewarded work with quiet completeness. That's why I like the mornings; the process of having work to do and having it done to make the rest of the day yours. This and to leave the dorm behind.
I had been walking to class the usual route and it's long but the mornings are great practice for taking your time. Next to the trail I walked in the parking lot were two groundskeepers collecting trash bags near the still dormant dormitories. I don't make eye contact usually when I'm walking out in public, but one of them decided to. He was portly and had the furrows of a totem pole head and a ponytail a horse might mistake for his own. He caught me off guard and said, "Good morning," and after a brief pause continued with, "You look like you have the whole world under control," or something to that effect.
I don't remember the exact phrasing but I then replied, "Good morning" back with the answer "I think so," somewhat with a smile and carried on. I had been carrying my Oxford edition of John Milton's works in one hand and walking with a straight posture and good stride. I wonder if that caught his gaze and made him infer further in an innocent way.
Working in a university, you're bound to have that conversation when everyone is practically a student and more or less crossing each other's paths. It could have been my tense lips contrasted with my squinted eyes and brows. I had the tunnel vision of a person on a treadmill, not thinking of anything out of motion. I needed to work, I needed the moment to myself but it was shared instead with a stranger who saw right through me.
The night before was spent with my roommates, me behind my door, them yelling and banging on my door. The more I mention them, the more immortalized they become. They are no more mates than they are room for improvement. I've kept reminding myself that they are insignificant boys without sensibilities. They care for none and God help whatever and whoever they do care about. I know better than to give them free real estate but here is the exception.
That morning, even if it felt out of place, made me feel good because I was doing the right thing: being a student. Before any roommates came into the picture and left soon after, I was never to blame for them or their behavior towards me. I was grateful for the recognition of that moment with the groundskeeper who helped me remember I belonged and that there are three types of days everyone has. Yesterday is one less day to worry about, tomorrow needs no worry because tomorrow doesn't exist yet, and today is all I have and what I do now matters because I matter. To paraphrase Mark Twain, if you do the right thing, you'll never be wrong.