"You can't go home again," said the Dean when we returned to the States from our respective study abroads.
We, the returned, sat in the back row at the re-entry meeting, passing notes, glances, whispering, trying to contain our hilarity without leaving the room, ignoring the lecture on reverse culture shock. Your voicemail greeting - "I've been in another country for a year, so please be kind." - spoke for the lot of us.
There was a black boombox at your feet; you'd been carrying it about since you returned, quoting lyrics. I said, "That sounds all well and good but I can't actually discern the words, how do I know you're not making it up?" You answered, "Your English will get better, after all, you've only been in the country two decades so far," and curtsied with the eyelashes of your left eye.
Outside Hamilton, the statue of John Jay balanced an apple on his foot. John Jay, the dining hall, still carried only three kinds of fruit: bananas, red apples, and green apples. We had not missed its wretched kitchen; we'd given only passing thought to the mad knaves who, in our absence, paced their rooms overlooking the Quad or the Plaza, rehearsing scenes in which they snapped.
We let the Dean leave first, and while we filed out with the rest of the returned, you said, "I like to think we drove her out."