Post- Magazine

leap year meditations [narrative]

on reliving and reminiscing

next chapters

by Joe Maffa

My brother graduated high school on June 1, 2018. Like all good family memories, photos from the day are immortalized around the house—plastered on Shutterfly mugs and clipped to the refrigerator by aging, but still vibrantly colored, magnets. Every day I’m at home, these photos confront me as if to remind me of a time of unfettered joy and pride—the lasting legacy of my nuclear family, one which only drifts farther apart as the days wind on.

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I look back on this day and feel a tugging in my heart. As a freshman in high school, I looked on from the side of the field, lazily motioning the drags and rolls of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” on the snare drum for an hour as the senior class processed. I remember off-handed remarks that only fifteen-year-olds would trade as the band director glared in our direction, sweating through my button-up and khakis under the wavy heat, dozing off through the speeches of the graduates’ next chapters and new beginnings. It takes on a summery tint in my mind, a time of simplicity and naivety—smiling for the photo, not out of true joy.

I recently saw a graph detailing the time people spend with their family as they age. Since that day, the time we’ve spent together as a family of four has always had a start and an end point. We have reunited, and will continue to, but never in the same simple, continuous way that defined my childhood. 

In my mind, I relive that day under this stipulation. I would hug my brother extra hard for the beginning of the next chapter in our book—not his. I would smile with my family, not for my family. The tugging in my heart transforms to a rich fullness of love and happiness, one that will continue to be reignited when we are all together, but will only be reachable at a moment’s notice within memory.

by the lakefront 

by Kathy Gonzalez

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When I miss my parents most—when it seems like Rhode Island and Florida are drifting farther and farther apart from one another—my mind winds back the clock to Halloween of 2015.

It was our first time visiting Chicago and we were ill-prepared for the rain. After the age-old “pre-teen disagrees with mom over what to wear” spat, I accepted that my Pinterest-inspired combat boots and slouchy beanie would be covered by a red disposable poncho from the CVS around the corner from our hotel. 

We spent the first day hitting most of the classic tourist spots: the Bean, Sears Tower, the Chicago Riverwalk. Each was enjoyable in its own right, but I most fondly remember the in-between places—the coffee shops, storefront awnings, and train stops we sought refuge in as we trekked from one attraction to the next. 

Although proud of our resilience in the face of inclement weather, our adventure culminated in an Uber ride to Navy Pier on the day of Halloween. Call it childlike naivety or sheer delusion, but I genuinely believed that the pier would be fully operational, seeing as the storm had tapered off into an icy drizzle. When we arrived, we joined the cluster of other disappointed tourists inside the main indoor area. After an hour of circling around aimlessly, my dad asked if I wanted to walk around the pier. Thinking that this was another one of his sarcastic remarks to make light of the situation, I played along and said yes. What I didn’t expect was for him to take my hand and pull me outside. In that moment, time froze. We ran around the pier, kicking and splashing puddles of water as the rain pricked at our skin like ice-cold needles. The skyline was obscured by a misty haze, but we stood there alone, numbed hand in hand, looking out at the lakefront. 

I’ve found that most of the memories I cherish dearly become more special over time, as though I need to let them marinate and reinterpret them with insights that only come with age. However, that moment on the pier is the only time in my life where I’ve thought, “I’m going to look back on this forever,” as it was happening. Maybe it’s because we were breaking the rules for once, or because my mom always reminds us that we could’ve gotten hypothermia, but that was the most appreciative I’ve ever felt for simply living. I relive that memory every day to preserve the details from fading over time, and to hold my parents close to my heart regardless of the distance.    

stay positive, test negative <3  

by Tabitha Lynn

In May 2020, I saw my friends for the first time in two months. We had planned the rendezvous of all rendezvouses, desperate for any excuse to leave the house. I laid out my outfit the night before, meticulously packing my bag as if I were in elementary school, daydreaming about the big field trip the next day.

An orange halter, a pair of ripped jeans, a blanket to sit on, and of course, a mask. 

We sat 10 feet apart in a park, the excitement of being close (close enough), making us giddy to the point of delirium. As I lay in the grass with my eyes closed, the sun burning holes into my jeans, the sounds of my friends bubbling around me, it was almost like nothing had changed. Despite all the months apart, here was the sun and the birds and the daffodils—summer threatening to burst through at any moment. Like clockwork, the humidity of D.C. summer was setting in, the air so heavy that I could almost taste it, but for once, I didn’t care. I was reminded of just how much I had to be grateful for.   

It would be more than a year after that meetup before my life would fully begin to pick up again, but that day, for the first time in too long, I felt light.

lana del slay

by Elijah Puente

My feet ached. I was tired of returning every night to a home that was not mine, trying to cleanse myself of the musk from the person compacted beside me on the train. I was ready for it to be over. But the main attraction was right around the corner: Lana Del Rey. 

Last summer, I attended Lollapalooza (or “Lanapalooza,” as I liked to call it). I liked many artists on the lineup, but I was especially looking forward to Lana’s Sunday-night performance. I had seen her once before as a pre-teen with my dad, the original Lana stan. At that time, I had not listened to her as much, and I was excited to experience her show when I was more familiar with her music (she is now my top artist on Spotify).

After three days of continuous concerts, Sunday finally came. I saved my lacy green petite women’s top for this day. My Instagram caption was planned: “Summertime sadness now that Lanapalooza is over.”  After an upbeat performance from A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, I raced to one of the two main stages in an attempt to beat the hoards of fans. I was quickly met with disappointment to see my pace was slower than I thought. However, my height ensured I always had a view. The stage was draped with lacy fabric and flowery vines.

Lights began to glow and the crowd screamed. The bridge to the chorus of “A&W” faded into the air. Lana came on stage and I thought my eardrums would burst from the shrills surrounding me. She sat elegantly on a wooden swing with vines wrapped around the ropes suspending it. Her entire performance was ethereal. My voice was hoarse by the end. 

It’s something I hope I’ll be able to experience again, but it will never be the same as that day. Maybe next time I’ll be the first to use my carefully crafted Instagram caption.

burrito bowl

By Klara Davidson-Schmich 

Sundays have a bad reputation; the end of the weekend, the beginning of the school or work week, they are a day to reflect on the mistakes made that weekend, the time wasted, and the work that is left to be done. It’s easy to understand why the “Sunday Scaries” exist. 

As the weekend wanes, I stumble into Andrews on a Sunday morning, waiting an obscenely long time for a burrito bowl and staring down a long afternoon that will almost certainly be spent at the Hay. I can’t help feeling a sense of deja vu. Pick a Sunday, any Sunday from the past three years, and this is exactly where I’d be, reliving the same day I seem to have found myself living for the past few semesters, if not years. 

It’s a habit formed accidentally, though perhaps born by design by the limited options offered by Brown Dining on the weekend, it’s one I find myself continuing now, stubbornly, doggedly. Out of laziness, or maybe out of habit, I never seem to manage to get there early enough to beat the line, and I never learn to just get a granola bowl instead. 

But despite the line, the struggle to find a table, and the time there were mushrooms and green beans instead of peppers and onions, there’s a reason why I find myself there every weekend. There’s something comforting about constancy, about stability. I’ve had bad days that I wished would end, and I’ve had bad weeks that I couldn’t see the other side of, but I’ve never had a bad Andrews burrito bowl.


Tabitha Lynn

Tabitha Lynn is the Lifestyle managing editor for post- Magazine. She is a junior from Maryland studying Computer Science and IAPA.


Klara Davidson Schmich

Klara Davidson-Schmich is the Feature managing editor for post- Magazine. She is a junior from Miami studying Economics and Urban Studies.

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