2 min readApr 30, 2022

Ivy-covered walls craft college campuses, dark and rainy just like the day you toured. White inner walls and ceiling, wooden furniture, wooden floors. All you need to complete the picture is a pale boy with dark hair, like Edward Cullen.

It is like the year 2000 which is like the year 1980. You crack your knuckles, bent over a notebook looking for something that feels fresh.

Real estate magazines litter the floor of your dad’s car, you wonder if he keeps them to jerk off to that one pretty real estate lady. Dirty thoughts just feel like curiosity at this point. You wonder what life would be like if you never saw your father again.

At university it’s sort of like that. Hills of grass, tall, green trees whose leaves drip rainwater onto your forehead long after the rain has stopped. Someone stops you on your walk to class to tell you you’re bleeding. When you find a mirror, there’s no trace of blood on you. You lean in and pick at the pimples on your cheek.

The sublime requires fear. In order to be amazed, or astounded, one needs to be afraid of what could happen next. You found the sublime in the ordinary. Darkness was synonymous with light, two sides of the same coin. Neither scared you.

Every day it was the same. Grey, overcast skies, people clothed in dark maroons and forest greens and mustards and navies. Everyone pale, with dark hair. If you drove 20 minutes out from the school, you’d see people who looked different. Farmworkers who harvested tobacco for a living couldn’t be pale when they spent all day in the sun. But the school was perpetually cloudy. There were more umbrellas on campus than there were students.

The rain is often too light to make any noise — you don’t hear a pitter-patter inside the halls of the brick buildings on campus. There are no soothing tin roofs. Inside, students stare out. Outside, students stare in. You begin to wonder what’s wrong with this fucked up town.




Isabella (she/her) writes stories. She graduates with a BA in May 2024 and is going on to pursue her MFA in creative nonfiction at the University of Kentucky.