The sun continued to beat down and the people went on doing the things they liked doing. When I first got here, the list was up on the notice board. Everyone was looking at it very quickly. They were thinking of rooms and people in them, the way things would work. Large bags and suitcases lined the entrance to blocks. People came in looking lost, looking for rooms with letters and numbers overhead. When I came in, I looked in through the end of the corridor. The dark air was somehow warmer, more heated, than the sunny outside. The corridor looked shadowy and empty, the rooms were unopened. For the first time in years, I was looking for a new place to stay in. Maybe school had been accessible; a place that remained as it was no matter how many times you came to look. I never felt that things ever changed there – the bedrooms were draped in the same unsavoury linen, the doors were always white with deep gashes. The floors were always wet with muddy puddles in places. The paint was always flaking off in places and the door knobs had to be prised out of their sockets. Then, here, nothing felt familiar. The whole place seemed empty, of everything; the most austere I had ever seen.
The trees outside were somehow not the trees that looked like they belonged. Even the trees had a faraway look about them. The walls made the place itself - not lifeless, but just that – walled.
I knew what my parents were thinking. They easily slipped into worry and that worry worsened. The time came for admissions and I knew I wouldn’t be alone in what I did. There was complicity in every thought. I knew that if I had to think of urgent things, the thoughts would not go unnoticed. If I wanted to say something in favour of a course, I would have to say aloud. If I had to say anything, I had to say aloud. It was an unbridled need to hear what was being thought. But thoughts are usually silent, and quiet. They come about inside and preclude voice. That is when I knew my thoughts stopped coming to me. They are like voluntary voices that stop speaking when you demean them. It was unreasonable in some tenuous way, in some individualistic way. The building afterwards became part of the heat and cloistered-ness. I briefly met the person I would soon be sharing quarters with and felt slightly lonelier. It was as if I knew the foreground was terribly unimportant.