Friday, October 15, 2010
I was on campus at my alma mater for work today, I went early to grab a bite and sit by myself and feel weird about being there. At first the place made me itch with phantom urgency; surely I had a fifteen page paper due in three hours that I hadn't started yet. Yet, as I sat on the Oval eating my abysmal "vegan wrap" (cold slimy vegetables, powder-dry white tortilla, nominal shadow of hummos), the place warmed to me. An old man in a newsboy cap sat reading the newspaper (headlines, editorials, obits) aloud into a mic while a crowd gathered. In front of the library, a megaphoned "minister" in clerical collar officiated a marriage ceremony for the University president (an undergrad clad in Mr President's signature bow tie) to corporate greed (a hairy dude in a white gown bearing a crudely spraypainted dollar sign). Also, the sun came out. I couldn't help it - I kinda missed the dump.
I passed by the unremarkable, borderless patch of grass on the southwest corner of the Oval named Jennifer. It was an unofficial meeting point for me and friends between classes, we'd circle our bikes and lay around and decide how best to waste our time. Back then, some of us didn't text message, and it was always such a thrill to spot someone at Jennifer after emerging from some dank, subterranean lecture hall. Like all good things, seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago.