The intended message of this post would be diluted by the inclusion of a real description about my interest in and developing passion for Faulkner’s work. The only reason I mention it here is to explain my enrollment in the class Faulkner and the Legacy of Slavery, which, itself, explains why I happened to be reading Absalom, Absalom! instead of napping after I had finished my midterm exam in Retail Design and Merchandising.
As my stubbornly droopy eyes progressed nevertheless determinedly through the eighth chapter amidst the temptation of napping bodies of my fellow early-finishing classmates to reach the two hundred and fortieth page of the novel, I came across these lines:
“There was something curious in the way they looked at one another, curious and quiet and profoundly intent, not at all as two young men might look at each other but almost as a youth and a very young girl might out of virginity itself–a sort of hushed and naked searching, each look burdened with youth’s immemorial obsession not with time’s dragging weight which the old live with but with its fluidity: the bright heels of all the lost moments of fifteen and sixteen.”
This description of two college students, aged nineteen and twenty, was so apt it horrified me. Somehow, its identification of the burden that accompanies youth, the fact that it was able to ignore the common connotation that youth is the one thing that signifies purity, possibility, joy simultaneously terrified and electrified me with its perspicuous assessment of my own condition.
There I was, sitting in a Retail Design and Merchandising class that I had taken not because it is related in any way to my English major but instead to fulfill the aspirations of design and culture that I had when I was fifteen and sixteen. Those visions of a Devil-Wears-Prada-with-a-happier-ending life in New York that combined with my inner craftiness to encourage me to join the costume department at my high school. A now dead part of my life which had constantly been on my mind because of the endless stream of statuses, tweets, pic stitches about the fall musical, reminding me of the Saturdays spent taking measurements and ripping stitches amongst too much pot luck and amplified gossip. All those moments of absolute certainty of what I was destined to do that eight weeks of this single class had eliminated completely, leaving me with a sense of total loss of some part of myself, or, more correctly, a feeling that I was meeting my true self for the first time. That I had been sort of wrong all along about who I was. And even though I’m glad that I finally reached that point… I have no idea where I go next.
The bright heels of all the lost moments of fifteen and sixteen are no joke, kids.