Newsroom director Alison Krug
In three months, someone else will be living in my apartment.
They’ll be figuring out how to unjam the door knob that still catches me off guard on some sleepy, early mornings. They’ll be learning just how thin the walls are and just how much the next-door neighbor likes to play Alanis Morissette songs from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. They’ll wake up to the dulcet tones of neighbors rattling up and down the fire escape.
If they’re as lucky as I have been, they’ll find the time to spend a few lazy, rainy mornings sitting under the bedroom window, watching the pane dew up, listening to soft music, trying to ignore my neighbor’s Alanis Morissette music, cross stitching and sneaking in a few chapters of a goofy romance novel or a nonfiction book about pirates (I’ll try to stuff both in the bathroom cupboard so the next tenants have choices).
In three months, someone new will be calling my home of two years a home of their own.
With so little time left to spend calling the hardwood floors or the tall closets or the in-unit washer and dryer mine, it’s hard not to dwell on this upcoming transition and to wonder if the tenants over the last five years, whose mail we still receive on a concerningly frequent basis, felt the same.
God, I’ll miss that in-unit washer and dryer.
And I’ll miss most of Chapel Hill.
When I pass the coffee shop I frequented junior year or the Coker Arboretum bench where I took a nap to celebrate every work-related success sophomore year or the fifth-floor Davis Library desk I claimed as a first-year, it pulls my heart a little to see someone else already there, setting their own claim to the town I’ve spent four years getting accustomed to and am about to depart from.
When I walk through campus, I can’t help but wonder if my feet ever line up with those of students before me.
With the footsteps of a student on Franklin Street in 1966 as they watched Frank Wilkinson speak from just off campus under the Speaker Ban Law or the footsteps of a student on the quad in the 1810s buying a poem from George Moses Horton or even the weary, weary footsteps of Hinton James after he arrived in 1795, blissfully unaware that he would one day be the namesake of the most dreadfully distant dorm on campus.
I don’t assume that 100 years from now (once I’ve left this campus and my deeply dearly beloved in-unit washer and dryer) students will be looking for my footsteps.
I mean, maybe one day a historian will say, “This is where Alison Krug once cried on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus,” and then another historian will say, “No, THIS is where Alison Krug once cried on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus,” and then they’ll call in the heir to my estate to clarify that, “No, Alison Krug cried EVERYWHERE on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus.”
Even if I’m no longer living in my little apartment, I could live with that.