Black Magic

As seen in 72 hours, I wrapped up the semester as a stressed and delirious about-to-be-senior scrambling to get through finals. On the last day of the year, I woke up at 8:20 for an 8 am final with the realization that I am now the horror story that everyone fears but manages to avoid. I didn’t brush my teeth or my hair—just slipped into sneakers, skipped the socks, grabbed my backpack, and sprinted to campus. The worry was for nothing though; I finished the test with an hour to spare. And with that, I was done.

It was a little anticlimactic to walk back home with a deserted campus to keep me company. I brushed my teeth and sat on my bed for a bit, thinking about all the miscellaneous things on my to-do list, like finding a summer sublet, editing a friend's photos for her upcoming nose job, cleaning out the fridge. I decided it could all wait and slept until 5, only waking up for geranium and cardamom ice cream before dinner.

This semester reached a new level of psychotic in my college career. Having a shoot (or two) every week pushed me to a new kind of busy I hadn’t experienced before. I was living the cyclic timeline of conceptualization to back-and-forth emailing to photoshoot day, every week, after actually staying awake in class and powering through the homework and tests. Looking back, it was worth it. I can quantify that statement with all the amazing people I met, many of which became great friends, and all the art I photographed, painted, and doodled my way through.

So that was my semester. And now it’s summer. 

I’m lying in bed with a freshly opened bag of Cheetos and I’m already, insufferably bored out of my mind. It’s been six days since the semester ended and I’ve somehow tangled myself up in a dire case of the summer-in-suburbia blues, where I incessantly question my existence and repeatedly think when will summer end. I hate sounding like a bag of complaints, but I equally dislike being overloaded with work and then, all of a sudden, having all the time in the world in a place full of grocery stores and elementary schools. 

My friends keep reminding me that the next week or two should be allotted to some healthy TLC: sleeping, being social, sleeping, ignoring the inbox for a bit, catching up on TV shows, more sleep, maybe a good book. Well, I don’t watch TV (haven’t since 8th grade), my friends are sprinkled throughout the country, and two books are on their way from an Amazon warehouse right now. But they're right. The monotony of suburbia shouldn't stop me from enjoying this temporary breather. 

It’s time to conquer the hills behind my house--during golden hour would be nice, commute into the city every other day without my camera, just to roam around and be free and not think of any photographic obligations. And when two weeks of suburban TLC is up, I’ll be back on that shoot grind and life will settle back into the right kind of busy, the kind that keeps the creativity pumping. 

Photography: Aniket Patil | Post-processing, model: Ankur Maniar