you can drink bad beer when it’s free, you can’t cram for finals on caffeine alone, you can watch Star Trek episodes for the nth time, you can make spaghetti sauce out of ketchup, Naval ROTC cadets make great radio engineers, even the news director gets free LPs, mescaline is not advised for exam pep, 0.98 GPA requires negotiation to remain, English can be an accidental major.
A short list of my college missed learning:
fail calculus if you never go to class formal organic chemistry, not self-applied, not reading any Chaucer before writing the final paper grad schools look at GPA, not just GRE, sleeping through morning classes not a good strategy, Medieval history is boring, Symbolic logic is anything but.
Conclusion: Got the diploma so parents money well invested.classes
She walks slowly, the streets she once knew well, so much changed by time and memory released into the fog. It is hard going back when back is no longer there, where the store you owned, a place where you spent countless hours is now a sandwich shop, and so many others gone altogether for modern brick, concrete and glass. Still there is a T-shirt which she will wear as a badge of what was, a play she will never forget, as I remember the park in Salt Lake City were mescaline and blotter acid made the maples float above the ground and we sat in the summer rain and imagined golden butterflies but that too is gone as are all of the coconuts that once filled this grove.
They have a youth that you think should make you envious, poured into clothing that would be a second skin, if skin were silk and polyester, patterned tights hair ironed straight, colored highlights and you still recall when this what a fascinated you, when you would have found it alluring. You probe the corners of your memory knowing the trigger is there, unable to find it in the vague images of velvet, flowing and draping, colors more vibrant in the acid fog, knowing it would all crash down too soon, that the cocktails they hold should be cheap jug wine in plastic cups to prolong the slow descent back into the real world from which the blotter paper and cactus provided a welcomed escape.
It is far past time that I went on a pilgrimage. I’m not at all sure just what sort of a pilgrim I’d likely be. As a now Buddhist child of the late 60’s, the Plymouth Colony model clearly isn’t workable. And in my own late 60’s, now with a fused spine and creaky knees and shoulders, foreign travel looks less and less of an option. I’ve long since given up acid and mescaline, and I never got the hang of astral projection, so perhaps I need to think smaller and just wander over to my local wine shop for a couple of bottles of a decent Rioja and Galicia and dreams of the Camino de Santiago.