The memory of the cold cement stairwells of Jester still haunts me when I walk the University of Texas at Austin campus. Of all the good times I recall — sitting on the lawn reading favorite Shakespeare plays aloud in a circle of fellow passionate English geeks, devouring crispy fried rice from my favorite Chinese restaurant on “The Drag,” and late Thursday nights at the Wesley Foundation, eating Sam’s-bought lasagna — the one sad memory that stands alone refuses to make its way out of my imagination. It stands to remind me of how alone, Lonely feels.
That night, sitting on the edge of the steps connecting the 13th and 12th floors of Jester dormitory, I tucked my knees in and cried the boohoo kind of ugly cry you pray no one else can hear. My heart was fearful for the change I was about to embark upon, but the desolation of the walls echoed my cries back to me just loud enough that I could hear myself. I could hear me saying to me, “This is enough. Pick yourself up and walk all the way down these stairs, and stop being so scared. Someone will be there at the end of all of this.”