I’m not sure why my memories of that summer are so vivid. As time has passed, my memories have faded. But for some reason, I have a lot of memories from that summer, from living in the Granary Apartments. It was four months. It was the first time I had my own room at college. It was the last terms of college for me where I’d be taking classes before teaching them.
The Granary apartments were brand new apartments, right across the street from the hill on the South side of campus. I first saw them with Spencer. Maybe that was part of why I moved there. I liked them. But I remember he liked them when he first saw them that night, wished he could live there, but it turned out they were for girls.
I wanted to live somewhere nice for a change. I was tired of the basement of a house. I wanted air conditioning, a window I could see out of. Everything was changing. Relationships were coming to an end. Friends were moving. I needed a change. I moved in with one friend. It was just for the spring and summer terms, then I’d be moving to another place to do my student teaching. Then I’d be running away, home to California.
What I remember most is my room was so clean. I think it was the first time since I left home for college that everything I owned fit (and it hasn’t since). It was a big room with a big closet and storage under the bed, shelves in the closet and an awesome desk. And I had a nice view out my window, the wooded hill that went up to campus. I remember vacuumed floors. I don’t know why, I’m sure I didn’t vacuum that much. And it was pink carpet. Not pale pink, like a baby’s room, but sort of a mix between mauve and burgundy. And I remember having my cute bookshelf filled with all the books I’d acquired and being so proud. I remember being able to have the blinds open, or the window open and I could just sit on my bed and read.
But it’s not just that room I remember. I remember that whole summer differently. I remember Angela worked as a lifeguard at the pool in the dorms. It seems like I spent that whole summer at her pool reading. What’s funny is that I don’t think I went to her pool more than once or twice. I even remember which books I read that summer; The Cider House Rules, Memoirs of a Geisha, and spending an entire night and day reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire after buying it at midnight. I read a couple of times at the pool that our complex shared with the one next door, or maybe I just borrowed it. I got a horrible sunburn on my shoulders and neck that are documented in a picture of me with my friend Gloria and the other two random roommates I had that summer as I blew out the candles on my birthday cake. I was 22 years old.
I remember the music of that summer. I must have listened to No Doubt’s "Return of Saturn" a million times. And NSYNC’s "No Strings Attached." And I imagined all sorts of stories I could write about a Gwen Stefani – like character hooking up with a Justin Timberlake like character. Even thinking about that reminds me of the parking garage, under the apartment complex, that I hadn’t even remembered until now.
I remember gold fish baby-sitting with Gloria, trying to scoop that fish out with a spoon so we could clean out it’s bowl and that fish squirming with Gloria and I about to puke. I still think of that experience each time I consider buying my daughter a fish. We still have no pets. I remember when Gloria’s best friend went out of town and her husband convinced Gloria to dye his hair. And Gloria, wanting to be innocent, convinced me that it would be best if I did it. So I dyed Jason’s hair that summer.
Maybe it’s so vivid because it was the last four months that I was officially a student at BYU, reporting to campus every day, or at least most days. I ran into a roommate from my freshman year that I hadn’t seen since. I ran into Kenric, having an old boyfriend console you from the broken heart you have from another is odd. He even came over and invited us hot-tubbing. Would he ever change?
It was living here that I got to talk to Tiffany for the first time in a year and a half after she came home from her mission. It was here that it seemed that none of my friends remembered my birthday, only to come home from eating at TGIFridays three times in two days (for my birthday) to discover that not only did my brother call, but so did an anonymous boy. I assumed it was Spencer. Or maybe I hoped. It seems like he did call me, the next day, or the day after. He was excited about an NSYNC concert he had gone to, or would be going to. And it was here that my husband emailed me. For the first time in years, it appeared as though we were speaking again. He emailed me to wish me a happy birthday. These emails would continue over the course of my student teaching and would paramount on New Year’s Eve... 6 ½ months later, when we would kiss. We were married the following April. Less than a year after that birthday email.
Maybe I remember it all because it was such a short, easily documented period of time in my life. My years living at the Arch House had all blended together to the point that I didn’t know how many roommates I’d had and who had lived there when. How could I possibly remember all the details, all the fun. But at The Granary it seems as if I remember it all.