Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The last day of April

Today is the last day of April.

 In 1998, I was still in school at UWM.  There was this boy I liked a lot and one night he invited me to hang out in his room with him to read his poetry.  College girl's dream, right?  Anyway, one of the poems he read me was called
The last day of April
And after that day, I noticed that in many of my journals I have written out "The last day of April" on April 30th.

 Part of the reason I know this is because I'm working on something of a written nature right now and for research I pulled out some old journals.  For fun I looked through for all the entries on this date.

Last day of April 1998
Journal Entry for Saturday May 1st, 1998 is entitled "The last day of April" and is about this night with the boy and the poetry.  My twenty-three year old self's journal entry that day was filled with phrases such as  "now everything has changed" (It hadn't), "maybe love?" (It wasn't), and "I can't wait until he calls me" (He didn't.) Ah, but that's the stuff of college, is it not?

Last day of April 2000

Exactly 14 years ago on the last day of April, I put this doodle at the end of my journal entry:

It was one month before I was to leave for the Peace Corps in Estonia.  I was struggling, obviously, with what to pack.  I had received news that I was leaving for Estonia only six weeks before my flight would be.  I remember saying to Tad (who at that point was my dear friend and downstairs neighbor) "It's so soon!  I only have May left before I go!"
And Tad putting his reassuring hand on my shoulder and saying with a smile "Well...look out, May."

Last day of April 2001

I spent the morning of Sunday April 30th, 2001 on a four-hour bus ride from Tallinn (the Capital of Estonia) to Kuressaare-The town on the island of Saaremaa where I lived.  I spent that bus ride listening to music and writing about the night before which was one of the drunkest, strangest and most memorable nights out with my Peace Corps friends.

One volunteer ended up in hospital with a nearly burst appendix and we all visited him and tried to translate his needs to the Estonian-speaking nurses.  Then we all went to a bar called Nimeta (bar without a name) and I watched my friends drink shot after shot.  One volunteer passed out in the bathroom and was unceremoniously dumped in the street by people who he described as "impolite ladies".  Another volunteer who'd just found out about a death in her family was crying in the bathroom while I rubbed her back.  A group of Russian women burst in, upon hearing her and yelled out in English "Don't cry, pretty lady! Men are SHIT!"  A group of us, hung out in an alleyway on the way back to the hotel as one of our party threw up into a plastic bag.  My darling friend Christina worked some kind of magic as three drunk Estonians walked by and she yelled out to them "WAITER! We need water!" And they actually went to a kiosk and bought us some.  The night ended with Harald and I, the last ones awake laughing together until it was time to sleep.

The last day of April 2002

 I wrote this journal entry from a hotel in Washington DC where I was after my tumor removal ear surgery.  All the Peace Corps volunteers who were "medically evacuated" stayed there.  Tad called it the Malady Inn.

All I knew at that moment, was that I would soon be on my way home to Tad who, by then, was no longer just my good friend and neighbor but the man I was in love with. 

The last day of April 2003

I wrote about finding out via ultrasound that the baby I was carrying was a boy.

The last day of April 2005  

I  wrote about a moment that night before I went to bed. And in the moment, eighteen month old Coen climbed off his Grandpa's lap, toddled over to the floor where I was sitting, climbed into my lap and hugged me hard around the neck.  And then he toddled back over to his grandpa and got back in his lap.  "I got tears in my eyes" I wrote, "but I didn't let anyone see."

The last day of April 2014 
I haven't written a journal entry yet today but if I did I guess I would say that Tad's camping with his students and Coen and Lucy are in bed and even though it's cold and windy and rainy and nothing at all like you'd want the last day of April to feel, that I feel....good.

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