By Tuesday I had received my feedback on my second paper for Jeff, a snarky essay on our use of Facebook and Instagram, through the lens of an essay called “Movies on Television.” By Wednesday, I had wrapped up my final revisions on my portfolio for nonfiction. On Thursday morning, I turned in 31 pages of my original work. The rest of the week, between classes, I held Katelynn and packed up the computer lab in about equal parts. When I said goodbye to Katelynn Thursday morning, I hadn’t realized it was goodbye for the summer, but I’m glad it was like that. We’d spent enough tears in the previous four days and I’d have been a mess had I known.
By Thursday night, I was ready to party. We cleaned up the camper, got all the leftover burgers and brats from the ranger freezer, and prepared a fire for guests. First came Jeff Nunokawa, who had told me several times in the last couple years that he’d be coming up to Hyde for a visit. He actually came! To a state park! In the woods! Suffice it to say that Jeff is not into camping. He marveled at our site’s beauty, we hiked to the top of the hill, and talked about how quiet it was here in SF compared to NYC. It was a privilege to have him here.
Next came a carload of people, arms loaded with food and booze that we’re still trying to finish. More cars. More people. Bo, Louise, and the much-anticipated Bentley (yet another poodle mix) arrived. Aubry came with a crew of lovely folks. The only tragedy was that my directions didn’t get to the warmest of warm, Sarah Kiyak, who wandered around Hyde for 30 minutes looking for me to no avail. I kept looking up hoping she’d arrived. :-(
Tonight was the last hurrah before goodbyes began. It was the most incredible year of Bread Loaf yet. I feel like I bonded closely with more people (or more since that first year with the crew, at least). Even before Rich’s death, Katelynn and I were thick as thieves. I’m not sure I can make it a whole 10 months to see her again. Some of the most brilliant, warm, and hilarious women (Amber, Kara, Sara, plus Alex Perkins) were about to graduate, so we all gathered around the campfire, listened to Dan and Tim play music, and before they got going, we listened to the aforementioned trio of “first time” songs. I laughed until I cried, people ate muchas burgers, corn, brats, chips, salsa, and smores. After everyone left, Bryan said, “I’ve never heard you be that loud before. I thought Allison’s dad was going to have to come kick out “Meryl the Peril”‘ (long story from 5th grade, ask another time). I’m going to take it as a compliment because I had a damn good time and everyone else appeared to too. If they didn’t, they can just go straight to hell. JK. Sort of.