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I’m toey this morning, we’re getting a test back. I was all right or all wrong. I’m early, the first one here. I’m hoping the TA will early-bird and return my test before anyone else gets here. That way, when I run and jump out the 3rd story window, no one else will be traumatized.

I’m trying to have-sac but I’m keyed-up and quivering like a ******. My chair seems all hard angles. I didn’t sleep much. My mind is replaying the test in a loop, resisting the unreliable seduction of hope. I've decided my score depends on one variable in question 3.

This semester I feel like one of those Cirque du sloeil acrobats that spin ten plates on a pole while riding a motorcycle. I realize I’m biting my fingernails and the parental voices that live in my mind spring to life. I shut them down with a shake of my head, they’ll have their say later.

Oh, great, another student’s here, Clint, I think. He’s a stengo from someplace tropical. I’ve never talked to him 1-on-1 but we were in a lab group once, where we had to synthesize a coordination complex and characterize it. He’s smart, polite, and forever chipper. He settles into his seat and slouches like he hasn’t a care in the world. I don’t like him this morning.

If he’s wrong, he’s going to have to throw himself down the stairs, I’ve got dibs on the window.
toey = nervous, edgy
early-bird = arrive early
have-sac = be brave and grow a pair
stengo    = a good looking, exotic guy
Anais Vionet Sep 19
Tuesday lasses
we all have classes
get up and go
there’s no time to waste
join the flow
there’s no reason to wait
everyone’s hustling
coffee guzzling
bus shuttling
paper shuffling
syllabus assessing
apple-watch checking
there’s a fall-like feeling
making things more appealing
file off of the bus
and join the crush
trudging up science hill
thru the doors up the stairs
climbing in pairs,
in class, at last,
setup and relax.
I open my binder
and hand in the assignment
the guy beside me can’t find it.
and the TA moves on
the guy’s upset and I get it
he’s frantic and grim
I pretend I’m not watching him
as he ransacks his rucksack
too late, they’re taking roll
carelessness takes its toll
Heavy Hearted Sep 18
So sometimes, I still double back,
To these little pretty things-
Where I entwine my written words
with depictive new meanings.

Happy birthday, I must first say
To my Albanian commerce kid.
When we met, then when I left, I
always appreciated all you did.
Next comes the apologizes, I'm sure you know what for
The fact that you showed up, for me?
Confirms it even more:

Julia Kruja, you're an incredible person- such a beautiful soul,
Its a blessing to call you 'friend', and remain someone you know.
With unconditional support- unwavering sincerity
whichever way things go.
Despite my lack of clarity, selfishness and pain- you're always there to meet with me, make plans again and again.

You instill this worth back in my soul, by treating me the same- removing judgement from your heart,
Regifting hope inside my brain.

Happy Belated Birthday my friend
Happy Birthday
Anais Vionet Sep 13
There’s a feeling called
the drifting force
that makes you want
to shift your course
and find a better vector
on boring study nights.

They’re so many things
a girl starts missing,
like hugging, dancing
and oh, yes kissing,
when she lets a dry syllabus
control her life.

After several hours
of intensive reading,
your intuition is that
what you’re needing,
is something we’ll
politely call ‘delights’.

But you make the almost
painful choice
and factor out your inner voice
and you pick up yet another book
and not a boy,
because, you see - it’s really
a necessity, not a choice.
Anais Vionet Sep 11
They say we’ll get a hurricane,
that they’re calling hurricane Lee.
Probably later this week,
and it’s a category 9 at least.

Some are saying prayers, but I say:
Why’s God sending it here?
Someone must be sinning a LOT.
Hey, don’t look at me - I’m not.

You’d think that would affect our classes,
that maybe we’d get hazzard passes,
for assignments that are due,
but nope, it isn’t true.

“I don’t want to hear excuses,”
my chem professor said,
“the only acceptable excuse is,
that you’re dead.”
Anais Vionet Jul 18
When I was little, my stepfather and I would be outside, coloring the driveway with chalk or throwing a frisbee and he’d stop and say, “I’m gonna go stir your mama up.”

He’d go in the house, coming out minutes later with my mom hot on his heels, waving her arms and haranguing his retreating back. She couldn’t see the big grin on his face as he approached me, “It’s good for her heart,” he’d say, chuckling and resuming whatever we were doing, “We’ve got to keep her on her toes.” He’s a master of dolorous mischief.

Flash forward to a cold, dark, Yale, winter evening in 2023. Peter and I are in the suite’s common room. Four dorm rooms share this ‘living room’ area but we’re alone, which was rare.

I’d been reading for about an hour and I was only half done. A chemistry PSet was next. I closed my Chinese language studies book and looked up. Peter was there, sitting on the floor, leaning back on the far end of the red corduroy couch where I was sitting. His long lanky frame was curled around the book he was reading, like an awkward python.

As I watched, he plucked a mint-chocolate milkshake off the white coffee table, bringing the straw to his lips without ever taking his eyes off his book. Homework, homework, homework.
I was bored and wanted a little attention, a little fun.

“Was I your first choice?” I asked him, as he noisily slurped at the last of his milkshake.
“First choice for what?” He asked.
“To be your girlfriend,” I clarified, emphasizing the last word.

He thought for a moment, “No, I had salty love-jones for Ivy Waters in second grade. Why?”
“I don’t know, It just occurred to me to ask,” I confided. “so, why did you choose me then?”
“Well,” he said, raising his eyebrows in all, fake sincerity, “you know all the best jokes,” and with that, he went back to his milkshake (argh!).

“I know, you’re finishing your doctorate,” I said, “but you could be a flight attendant!”
Peter stopped trying to stir the last of his milkshake into a slurpable lump and froze in thought. “It’s TRUE,” I continued, “Really - you need to be flexible in your planning. I read that most physicists slave away in povertude.”

“Povertude, huh?’ He said, and resumed his mint-chocolate work - his straw making a loud “ssssuuuuusssssskkkkkkkkkk,” empty-cup air-******* sound.
“AI isn’t going to replace **** flight attendants,” I offered, as my last argument in the matter.

After a moment he asked, “You really think I could carry it off?” Putting his palm on his hip and wiggling his shoulders in a provocative shimmy.

“I KNEW you’d leave me at the FIRST opportunity,” I said, turning sharply away, pretending to ignore him - the universal cap of girlfriends everywhere - with a condensed absence of attention that, I hoped, spoke unspoken things.

Setting his milkshake down, he gave me a lecherous smile, which made me giggle, and began crawling in my direction.

“Eeek!” I shrieked, laughing, as he climbed up on the couch, “I still have homework!”
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Dolorous: "causing grief."

PSet = problem set (homework).
salty = mad
love jones = crush
provertude = the state of lifelong poverty
cap = playful insult
Anais Vionet May 7
We’re shape-shifting, my roommates and I. Transitioning mentally from freshmen and sophomores (nobodies) into juniors (somebodies). We’ve been around, we’re not the new kids anymore. We’re being seen and appreciated. It’s a mindbang.

There was a coolike girl, Kathleen, who was a senior when I was a freshman. I had a mad, mad envy-crush on her. She was everything I wanted to be when I was scared and unsure about things. Kathleen was perfect., an example of success that, like a fulcrum, lifted our confidence.

When she was around, I’d watch her, discreetly. She had this unconscious habit of touching her chin, with her index finger, when she was thinking. I swear, I found myself copying her, until Leong saw me do it once and said “Kathleen!” I was embarrassed. You can’t get away with anything around here.

Kathleen graduated last year. I saw her once, in her graduation gown, from afar. I got emotional. Part of me wanted to rush over, give her a huge, congratulatory hug and tell her what a role model she’d been for me - even though we’d never even talked, but I was afraid she’d think I was a stalker.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Fulcrum: a support that lifts

mindbang = a shifting in a well-established paradigm.
coolike = a really awesome person you admire
perfect. = (the period has to be there)  an amazing, flawless role model
Anais Vionet May 2
Final exams start Thursday,
and it’s giving us all the feels.

Finals have a gravity of their own.
Are the papers worse than exams? Maybe.
The tension can be relentless and heavy.
“It’s finals week, see you on the other side.”

As for me, I’m almost packed up.
Time is an odd and unpredictable beast.
It’s hard to believe that in two weeks, I'll be a junior.
It’s an unimaginable prospect.

To work, for a long time at something that seemed impossible
- head down in concentration - then suddenly, like a passing,
cotton cloud somehow became a bunny - everything came into focus.

I’m halfway done. I’m going to make it. I got a chill.

I wanted to throw my lattice windows wide open and scream for joy
- but it might’ve been taken wrong. I’ve no time to give mental health advisors.

Next week might be a more plausible time for wooting.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Plausible "workable, appearing worthy of belief."

It has to be said. I’m in love with these songs!!!  
‘Arizona‘ by ‘Ms. White’
‘Blood in the Cut’ by ‘K.Flay’
‘Time Machine’ by ‘Willow’
‘Relax’ by ‘Vacations’
‘Do the motion’ by ‘BoA’
“Tender as a bomb’ by ‘tennis’
Anais Vionet May 1
Sunday’s an auspicious day to suggest
that you, as a student, take a recess
in order to try and decompress
from our studying and stress

Now, of course, if you’re so possessed,
or some might even say obsessed,
you could study for a test,
we all want to do our best
but some work habits can oppress
and leave one all depressed

Just  take a needed rest
and if your needs are unaddressed
get caressed when you’re undressed
some would have that thought suppressed
or simply left it unexpressed
but under oath I would attest
and to a priest I have confessed
all my roommates acquiesced
that for relaxation it’s the best
and quickest way to get unstressed

there are a hundred things I could suggest
you type “A”s tend to make everything a contest
in this, there are no professors for you to impress
this isn’t a competitive, academic trap, trick or jest
I just know that, on Monday, this girl will be refreshed
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Auspicious: “full of the promise of success”
Anais Vionet Apr 28
It was going to be a beautiful Saturday morning - and the wind was still. Wind mattered because Peter and I had borrowed a friend's lime green Fiat and trekked 30 minutes north to play the Lufbery (frisbee) disc course. We teed-off just after sunrise. It’s a beautiful, wooded course. I used to be a frisbee-golf addict and I’d brought my gear to Yale - but only managed to play twice. I finished 8-under (for 18 holes) and Peter earned a little participation, something or other, to be awarded later.

Peter lives in a doctoral frat-house they call doc-house (the 8 guys who live there are all doctoral students). It’s a typical frat house, remarkably dark and filthy. Every surface seems carpeted and there’s a dizzying cocktail of smells - old beer, dust, pizza, cigars, whisky, popcorn, cigarettes and *** - ugg! Yes, If you need to carouse, this is the house. You hear, “You’re in the DOC-HOWWSE!” (said like dog-house) when a group of new girls show up.

In the basement, there are arm chairs that I’m sure haven’t been cleaned since someone in the class of 1955 spilt beer on them. If I sit on one - and I try not to sit on one - I keep my arms crossed in my lap so they don’t even touch the armrests. Peter’s room is clean - I had a service come to clean it (and the shared 2nd floor bathroom) before he moved in. I got him a new mattress and topper too.

My favorite of his roommates is called “Melon” (His real name is Milton). He’s a big guy, 6’3”~ish and probably 450 pounds. He’s the sweetest guy but a slob in the classic, Chris Farley mold. Peter says he already has two PhDs (One in ‘computational mathematics’, a second in ‘mathematical modeling’) and he’s working on a third in ‘decision sciences.” He owns doc-house, having bought it when the owner hinted at moving to Florida.
“Melon makes a bag-and-a-half consulting,” Peter explained, admiringly.

The house is on a wooded hill and the driveway, about 400 feet long, goes straight uphill. One time, I’d brought a couple of bags of groceries and Melon, as usual, came bounding out of the house to help me. The uber could only get half way up the crowded drive and by the time Melon got to the car he was completely out of breath. I half expected I’d have to give him CPR, but he rallied after a couple of minutes - talking non-stop, all the while - and leaning heavily on the Uber which ran up my bill (I found it endearing).

Back to my story (a lot of that was background). Peter and I were going to Geronimo’s (a Mexican restaurant). I was sweaty from golfing, so I decided to shower. I’m showering away and I hear the bathroom door open (I’d absolutely locked it). So, I assumed it was Peter. The next thing I hear is someone taking a loud ****. Then the guy starts humming - and it wasn’t Peter.

There I was, shower running, behind a flimsy, opaque-plastic, flowered shower curtain. What now? I was thinking. “Occupied!?” I said loudly, like a question - standing stock-still naked.

“Fukk” I hear him say, “Sorry, sorry, SORRY - I thought you were one of the guys!” he said, flushing, dashing out and slamming the door.

I waited a moment, killed the water, wrapped up, climbed out of the shower and wrapped my hair in a second towel while leaning against the door. It had been locked - well, the little *** was pressed in anyway. I picked up my stuff and dashed across the hall to Peter’s room.

Peter was propped up on his bed with his laptop as I rushed in, closed the door and leaned on it. “The lock on the bathroom door doesn’t work,” I said in a rush.
“Did something happen?” he asked, looking up.
“No,” I said - thinking about it, “Not really,” and I started to towel dry my hair.
That’s when I noticed that his index finger was turning back on itself in a “come hither” motion. Then it occurred to me that, wound as I was, in a small white towel, I might look like a loosely wrapped participation trophy.

Sometimes you face an army of desires - without armor.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Carouse: "drink alcohol, make noise, and party.”

Bag-and-a-half = as in a bag of money
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