Before Another Breakdown

by Christopher Cocca

I edited the opinion section at Wildhaus College on the third floor of St. Gall Hall in nowhere Pennsylvania when Joy would come like sex in blue jeans just to visit. It was musty there beneath the north tower, tucked away and haunted, people said, but also always breathing. In the spring we'd open up the windows and campus would grow a little, with yellow balls of pollen rolling like tumbleweed toward Main Street and the red clay dirt of campus wet and on your khakis. Late afternoon cut campus like a chessboard with long shadow lines and walkways and from there we'd see the stragglers, one or two of fifteen hundred when the hour finished ringing. Next year are the reunions for classes ending in 2 and 7 but I don't know if I'll go back. The art on campus is different and there are dorms now where my friends should be, where they should be laying in the front lawn under sky that covers nowhere and no one else can see.


Christopher Cocca, author of Rain Dance, lives in Allentown, PA and stays up way too late. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Elimae, Boston Literary Magazine, Geez Magazine, Brevity, and The Lantern (the literary journal of Ursinus College).


Jp said...

You hit that feeling right on the nose. It makes me think of the song from Avenue Q, "I wish I could go back to college." It's a funny song, but at the same time it really isn't because the more you hear, the more you recognize of yourself. This 6 doesn't aim for humor, but it has the same element of universal truth.

"like sex in blue jeans" is also a great line. This has been a good day for phrases.

Anonymous said...

As always, very well written. Ditto "like sex in blue jeans"...I could see her in pants so tight like she was poured into them.

José said...

Perfect. You captured Wildhaus College, just as I remember it and captured my exact sentiments about visiting it. I suppose next year is the 4s and 9s. Scary thought.