I think I should delete Mumford and Sons off of my computer, out of my phone, and hide the cd away in my Europe box with my other memories. Some people love the band so much, and I won't lie and say I don't think they're an amazingly talented band with great tunes. But I will say that I have too many memories attached with that music, and right now I need not remember them. Sometimes music can alternate your mood so much, that it affects you for days. I'll listen to some country tunes and feel ramped and happy, but I'll turn on The Weepies and wonder why I even bother. I think bands are ruined when I share them with other people. Some of my favorite songs used to make me smile and now I have to skip over them in my playlist.
One year ago, I went to England. It's about the one year anniversary to the Fresher's Ball. There's a picture of me and my two French friends, such great and wonderfully goodhearted girls. And now they are living in France, and I am here. Laicia loved Mumford, and so did practically all of our friends.
There was someone I dated briefly, before or in between when I was seeing my Irish boy (I don't always like to talk about the Irish one, it's a very long story on its own). I'm almost ashamed to bring it up, because this English one really was such a nice guy, but I wasn't ready for nice. He played guitar at the church, big buff blue eyed blonde, and on our first date he bought me the Mumford & Sons cd. I had never heard of them, and according to him, that was unacceptable. I really got into them, and was very impressed that he played guitar so well because he played a few of their songs almost to a tee. He didn't take our split very well. A part of me wishes I had gotten along better with him, but life can't be about what-ifs. Maybe I just wish I could apologize. Or maybe the music is messing with my head. Oh goodness, my church friends I miss entirely too much as well.
This week has been especially hard because not only have I been wishing I could go back, but I've been dreaming about my friends and hanging out with them in our kitchen, drinking cheap wine and getting terrible Domino's pizza, laughing about playing "Never Have I Ever..." with bad English. We told secrets, shared stories, laughed, cried, fought, got drunk, had goodnight kisses at the back door, did homework, avoided homework, cooked, people-watched, and squeezed as many people as we could into this little tiny kitchen of our flat that had no livingroom and a couch.
That was what I dreamed about twice this week, at least. Our awful, bare, cheap kitchen, that ended up being our favorite room in the house. We'd knock on the back door and enter each other's flats through these kitchens in the complex of Park Wood, making faces through the window until someone came to answer. We had a Thanksgiving dinner with what may have been almost 30 people, and multiple goodbye parties the last couple weeks of school. I remember my first cup of tea at the table was with Auggy, and I felt so grownup talking about our new friends over a cup of tea. Many cups of tea were poured over discussions and one-on-one sitdowns. That was our social life outside of the pub, gathering in all of our kitchens, maybe bringing a guitar and keeping the back door open for all the smoking and drinking that would go on outside. The table saw every kind of cheap alcohol, roasted birds, pancake and egg suppers, and more junk food and baked goods than we needed to take note of. And it was ours. Our little kitchen.
I hope I don't dream tonight. My friends are living all over the planet, and I don't know why I miss Kent so much when it's all lost now. Not so lost in our hearts, but we graduated and most of my closest friends are no longer students there, so it would never be the same. A part of my life really is over, so I hope I don't dream about it because my dreams are always so real. As much as I would love to see my friends, I'll wake up and our kitchen will be my bedroom, with no electric kettle, no curry-stained dishtowel, no plexiglass uncomfortable chairs that I miss even though I hated those too, no sink that always seemed to splatter water all over everywhere, and no laughter from those that I wonder if they miss me as I miss them.
They'll never know how much joy they really gave me by being such great friends. And sometimes it's painful to try to stay in touch; who can keep up with schedules 6 hours apart? But really, my sanity was found when I was there. Sure I missed home, and I was sad for it around the holidays, but I'll say it again I found out what a real friend is when I got away. I had support for all my acting shows, hugs and kisses and tea when I was crying over a boy, motivation and cookies when we all had ten or twenty page papers, and everything in between.
I had fun and friends at UMass, but looking back at Kent I know exactly how my friends felt when they were sad at graduation. I won't miss Amherst like I miss Canterbury. I was free at that college, and not shut up in a cage with no growth in my skills in school or begging for friends like a lost puppy in a meaningless house. I mean at least the few friends I did make at UMass I still have here, because if they were thousands of miles away I would have absolutely noone.
God, I hope I don't dream tonight.