Sunday, May 19, 2013

one day in ithaca

thursday was the great ithaca write in.

this is the entry i sent in:

i have only just left ithaca. i'm sixteen years old and i had to catch a ride to get there for an audition at the college and it was cold and the kind of january morning when all the streets that go up and down get right of way because there's no other way to do it but i'm used to the cold and i hope i will come to school there.

i have only just left ithaca. my mom and i are on our way home from freshman orientation and we are in dryden and there are seven and a half hours ahead of us in the car and we only have one cassette tape to listen to. i am terrified.

i have only just left ithaca. i am twenty-one years old and i don't yet have a job but i am young and talented and everything seems possible. i am going to be a music teacher and i hope i will get a job in northern vermont, which is where i'm from. i realize that ithaca is the only place on earth besides my home for which i can be homesick.

i have only just left ithaca. i am thirty-five years old and i have been teaching music in the same school in northern vermont ever since i graduated but every year i take a personal day and come out to ithaca for a weekend and every year when i spill over triphammer road and see the city appear beneath me i turn off the car radio and have a moment of silence and catch my breath to see it and i shout woo-hoo! and i try to remember to change lanes in time on route 13 so i don't end up halfway to elmira just caught in traffic. leaving the same way i cry a little every year and i know that someday when i leave ithaca i will not be coming back.

i have only just left ithaca. i'm almost fifty, and in may or october each year i pack my car and leave home and i travel without plan or itinerary but i keep ending up in ithaca. it is beautiful, stunningly, spinningly beautiful and i know how to get through the octopus in the late afternoons and i know the back roads and tiny parks much better than i did when i was in ithaca most of the time.

i have only just left ithaca. i am on my way to get a pizza in trumansburg and then on to a campsite in hector and i MEANT to go somewhere else but it is springtime and in ithaca i can remember what it felt like to be young and talented and have everything still be possible. you wouldn't notice me passing through because a car with out of state plates doesn't look out of place, and my bikes don't look out of place. it's hard to look out of place in ithaca.

i have only just left ithaca. this morning i woke up on a campsite in hector and realized i was ready to go home so i drove into town to say my goodbye and to buy some things to take back with me and right now i am stopped in a parking lot in the adirondacks. i am halfway home and already thinking that soon i will want to come back to ithaca because even though this morning i was ready to leave, i am just as ready to return.

i have only just left ithaca.

i have only just left ithaca.

i have only just left ithaca.


cookie said...


Beth said...

Loved this: somehow I seem to have missed the fact that we both went to school in Ithaca. I grew up not far from there - a couple valleys to the east, in Chenango County - and as much as I loved Ithaca, I rarely go back. But I dream about it all the time.

flask said...

oh, well then.

stay tuned, beth, because there are a lot of posts coming about ithaca, trumansburg and the areas surrounding.


Related Posts with Thumbnails