By: Ama Toure Ban D

My return to Ohio, despite being grounded by four-wheel drive, was quite turbulent. It started with me, a bum-esque jobless 22 year old living in my mother’s basement, used to sleeping in however long the hangover from the previous night required, waking up at 6 a.m. on the day of my long dreaded trip to Wooster to start checking off an old and lengthy list of to-do’s that I had not done. This list included breaking down a number of cardboard boxes, cleaning the dishes (which included an ungodly smelling pan with mystery gunk stuck on it), washing ALL my clothes, packing, sweeping and many other trivial and time consuming tasks.

As a master procrastinator, I was fully prepared for the challenge. In fact, I pride myself on my ability to do inhuman amounts of work in little to no time at all, but deep deep down something about the 10 a.m. departure time unsettled me.

It must have thrown me off my game.

I was told that time flies when you’re having fun. I assure you that I was not having fun, yet time seemed to elude me. The first hour was entirely spent by laundry and waking up. The second raced by with half assed cleaning/disposal of all mementos of me for my lonely mother’s sake. In the third hour, panic mode kicked in and I hid dirty dishes and smashed un-broken-down boxes into already cramped trash cans. Whatever I had to do to finish on time.

This was the life that I had lived for so long and the life that awaited me at school when I would return. A consistent “schedule” of stretching myself too thin mixed in with unhealthy levels of procrastination and sleep deprivation—all justified by the fact that I could and still can finish on time.

In the fourth hour, I got my shit done and left for Wooster. The only issue—I had blacked out in my rush and for some reason, taken all the keys to my house, effectively stranding my single mother, leaving her for the wolves on the south side of Chicago.

Being halfway through the drive, it was too late to turn back, so I did what I could and silently but dramatically moped. It killed the groove of the remainder of the drive for sure.

A year ago, my return to spring semester college meant me hopping off a plane in always sunny Madrid. This time I was stepping out of my freshman teammate’s dad’s minivan to the gray and rainy midwest, having just caused my poor mother a panic attack.

(She was fine. Had spare keys and everything already. Huge over-reaction from her really. We still haven’t spoken.)

I had made it to my second home. Back to the routine I told myself… and just as I had begun to accept the fact that my ways were just that, my roommate put on the song “Murder on The Dancefloor,” and it changed my life.