Last night I dreamt about Proust. I am not kidding, nor am I inventing this story as a casual segway back into our beloved blog which we have neglected for a month now. I awoke this morning, more serenely than usual (though it was 5:45!), looked around my still-dim room, and shook my head, perplexed. In my dream, which I remember vividly, I was walking down Bleeker street, a copy of Within a Budding Grove in hand, with Nora. We were about to walk down into the Subway when we ran into several other students from our Comp. Lit. senior seminar, Lexi and Andre, both of whom live in New York as well. We exchanged the usual greetings, and Andre asked Nora and I about our blog, telling us he had been a faithful reader until a few weeks ago, when we had suddenly stopped writing. I promised him we were not finished, that we were still reading and would keep writing, and with that, I awoke.
In reality, this dream was both a manifestation of my subconscious guilt (it has, after all, been over a month since one of us has posted!), and the imagination of a reality we had pondered before beginning this project. Andre, who was a Comp. Lit. major with Nora and I and a friend through the Writing Center, teased us in May about our blog plans. He had taken Peter’s Proust class at Hamilton and doubted we would get through the entire thing on our own. You will get halfway through the first volume, he held, write a post or two, and then forget about it for a while, write one more post out of guilt, and then give up. Well, we would most certainly not do that, Nora and I promised ourselves. And here we are six months later, lamentably behind on reading and blogging, but determined to go on.
The past month has been full to the brim with adventures and chaos, both personal and professional, and we will undoubtedly devote another post to a recollection of our adventures during Hurricane Sandy (Nora and I were both located below the power outage line, and I spent an eventful week fleeing from my apartment to Nick and Sam’s, up to Harlem to stay with a family friend when the boys lost power, and then down to Baltimore for the weekend!). The floodwaters receded, the boys and I returned to New York, and I took a crowded and overfilled M train to an office with no heat Monday morning, and stood around in a circle with the rest of the magazine staff, clad in gloves and bundled up in scarves and thought I had never felt more like a New Yorker. Somehow getting through a minor crisis (and for we who were lucky enough not to suffer any damage, it was the most minor of crises) and all huddling together, in the cold, on this waterlogged island we absurdly call home, forged a sort of camaraderie I had not yet felt with my new city. At some point during the storm, my father called to check in on me and told me I should consider coming back before the power went out. “Things are going to get ugly up there,” he warned, “you are going to get sick of it and want to come home.” “This is my home now,” I stubbornly replied. And in that moment, I realized it was.
Thanksgiving came and went, with journeys home to our families and a potluck friends-only Thanksgiving I held a few nights before going back. I roasted my first turkey (with much panicked texting to Nick, who walked me through the process), got a case of cava from a family friend who owns a restaurant on the Upper West Side, and invited over friends, each of whom brought a side dish, and did not leave until twelve or one that night. I have wanted to host such an event for years, and the satisfaction of being able to have a party, to cook a meal, that felt so very adult, overcame my stress at entertaining and baking a seventeen-pound bird. At the end of the night we went around in a circle, full of three different kinds of pumpkin dessert and countless glasses of cava, and said what it was that we were thankful for.
Amanda cited the internet, her source of entertainment, news, and connection to far-away friends. Nick was thankful for four more years (something which, in a state of post-election relief, we all felt); Sam was thankful for the Q-train (the love of his daily commute and the subject of much subway-conversation!); Liz for unexpected opportunities; her boyfriend Matt for the hurricane and how it made him reassess his priorities. Looking around the room filled with some of my very favorite people, overwhelmed by friendship and cava and turkey, I said I was thankful for friends who feel like family. And this, along with so many others, is one of the wonderful realizations of this chaotic time of our early adult lives.
So to our faithful readers: we are terribly sorry for the delay. We are still here, still reading, and still living our lives to the fullest (too much, sometimes, to stop and write about them!). We promise to be more diligent from now on, and to make the next post more Proust-centered.
But for now, know that the torch is still lit, our books still open, and that we will make it to the end, come hell or high floodwaters.