The walking conditions were getting peskier as I trudged my way through some bumps and holes in the freshly soaked grass. My vision of the surrounding directions was impeded by thick trees and the moonlight’s density. My ears where sharp and focused to any potential rumbling or shake of grass as I began to worry that I might encounter some rabid animal in these woods, but I doubt animal control would allow any dangerous dogs or others to roam so near to the city, especially considering there doesn’t seem to be any wildlife they could feed off of in this terrain. I had simply turned a corner from the street pavement, vaulting over some bushes and navigating past an almost connected wall of trees to get here, hoping I could take a shortcut and cut some time, now I simply have to trudge straight forward, it shouldn’t be long until I reach the other side. I shimmied down some more bumps and grass piles coming upon to my surprise a stream of water, except it wasn’t running, simply a still stream calmly tucked away in this secret area of the woods, now id have to get my sneakers wet as I pass through it, I began pulling my jean legs up to not get soaked as something strange came to my mind. The sun had already fully gone down and it had to be nearing almost midnight, but it’s not pitch black out here, it’s not like I’m walking in the middle of the city where no matter what time it’d be there would be plenty of light sources to provide illumination. It reminds me of growing up on my family’s farm during night hours, even with the strongest moonlight there shouldn’t be this much visibility, you’d be engulfed in an endless shroud of darkness. The wilds aren’t like suburbia or urban living, it’s supposed to be pure natural encapsulation with all of its downsides and worries. I pulled out my phone hoping to check on the time and see if I had wasted too much time, but to my surprise it wont turn on no matter how much I try pressing or holding the home button, I took the battery out and reinserted it but still the phone stays off. I know that the battery should be fully charged since I had it charging when I had just left home not even twenty minutes ago, but now my head wanders to another location as I try and think where I was going. I know I left the house, and took this shortcut to get somewhere as I was running late, but my mind cannot recall where I was going. I shuffle thoughts in my head, was I going to work? No that can’t be its already past midnight, but how true can that be considering that there is still so much visibility as if it’s clear daytime. Maybe I was going to work, but now I wonder where I worked, and what my job is. I start breathing heavily and a thousand thoughts race through my mind as I try to piece together what is happening. I can’t think straight, my mind is pacing back and forth trying to piece together any kind of coherent history. I move close to the stream to splash some water in my face, trying to reinvigorate and calm myself down. As I lower my hands into the stream to grasp some clear refreshing water I look at my own reflection, as clear as a mirror. My own image seems to be the only thing I can still recognize. I raise my body feeling calmer, my thoughts now cleared and I look towards the left where the stream flows down and the forest continues seemingly endlessly. I decide to follow the water, it makes me feel comfort in all this loneliness. I’m sure if I follow it there will be something or someone I come upon. I’ve continued the stroll for what seems like an endless parade. Now I cant even see a point where I wasn’t following the stream, where it will take me i don’t know, or if it will even let me debark at all.
Professor: Jessica Penner
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 AM – 1 PM. I’ll be available through Zoom and will send an invitation via email that you should keep all semester. Try to join my meeting at the start of the hour, not at the end—since I may be talking to other students or have another appointment after the hour is up. If those times don’t work with your schedule, we can schedule a different time. This means you’ll have to schedule an appointment in advance via email. I suggest you have multiple times in mind, since your schedule may not mesh with mine!
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