I’m sitting in the Regenstein, working on all of the various and sundry projects that need to be worked on at the moment. On the fifth floor, you can see all the way to downtown on a clear day. Today it’s really hazy and gray, though, so instead the world seems to end at the edge of Hyde Park. Everything here is unfamiliar, foreign, and temporary — not a part of me and not belonging to me in any way. I feel the same way I felt the first time I visited this campus in March of 2003, early in the morning, the cab driver having dropped me off in front of this very building. It’s like I just got here all over again.
It seems like everything on this campus is unfamiliar today. It’s like I’ve been visiting for a short while, and now in a moment it’ll be time to go back to my “real” life — my real, confusing, meandering life — the one I don’t know what to do with. The University of Chicago and anything that happened here will be a kind of mystery to me forever, something I’ll dream about every now and then as I’m out there watching the years go by.
It’s all really brief and bewildering. I feel like I wanna yell “Wait for me!” at the top of my lungs, but I don’t know what that would accomplish.