A Knox County Almanac


Jayne Gelman
October 20, 2020

Today, I woke up craving something. I thought about it as I brushed my teeth, as I unloaded the dishwasher. I daydreamed about it during my remote class (Sorry, Professor!), and the thought of it distracted me as I attempted to do my reading. All day long, like a woodpecker against my brain, I could not stop thinking about Middle Path.

I miss a lot of things about being on campus. I miss sticky old-side tables in Peirce, too-small Ascension desks, and especially the K-Card scanners greeting me with a “beep!” as I enter Gund Commons. But today, I miss the perfect early fall morning on Middle Path, temperatures teasing to drop, but holding out with sunshine for a few more weeks. I want nothing more than to walk through the Gates of Hell, saying hi to someone with their headphones in who won’t hear me. What I would give to look around uncomfortably and hope no one saw that.

I miss the rainy, cold Middle Path on a February morning. Those Ohio winters where it feels like you haven’t seen the sun in weeks. When Middle Path is covered by ice sheets, snow, puddles, and abandoned mittens. I miss laughing with friends and strangers as we try to avoid slipping, and watching as someone else’s new white sneakers fall victim to the elements. Been there.

I miss those days that middle path makes you feel like the most popular person alive. Where face after face greets you with a smile and a wave. What perfect timing that all 15 of the people I know here are walking back from class at the same time!

I wish I was at school, running to the Science Quad after foolishly trying to squeeze in a quick nap between classes. I wish I was looking at the latest art (graffiti?) on the wall around the library construction. I wish I was walking to class, not logging onto another Zoom meeting.

Most of all, I crave being on Middle Path alone on a Friday afternoon in autumn. I can see it so clearly: I’m alone, the setting sun is dancing through the yellow leaves, and the gravel is crackling under my boots. The sound of footsteps to relax me into a meditative state. Being a remote student is lonely, but somehow the only thing I want today is to be alone, there, on that path.