I landed on campus at about 10:30. Or a bit before. I didn’t have much time, so I hopped out, ran to the parking permit kiosk. And of course, it didn’t read my card. Or I should say, my card didn’t read.. it wasn’t allowing itself to be read. So, a chance. I should also mention this is after doing near a half lap around campus, driving to the parking lot in back of Rachel Carson Hall. Not sure why I did that, probably looking for a spot closer to Nichols. But all along, I knew I should have turned right, rather than left, when done with the university’s driveway, where I wound up parking anyways, in front of Ives Hall.
I walked, not too quick, as I wanted everything recorded as best I could. Stopped by a man, wanting petitions concerning healthcare signed. I did two out of three, or possibly, more than likely, more. Then to Nichols. I had chilled walking to the building, watching the name on the building’s side, get closer. Closer. Once inside, bottom floor, I saw an empty classroom, one which I’ve hosted two classes total, if memory serves. I took a couple breaths, then left. upstairs, elevator. Dark on third floor.
I walked around, probably two laps around the square. No Kim. No anyone. I stopped at Gillian’s door, my old poetry mentor. And she had her inbox full of papers. Sherril, my old fiction and personal essay professor, too. Read through a couple, or what I could see. Wanted to be respectful and not touch. But I read what I could. I won’t lie, I WAS tempted to take one, or two. But, I couldn’t. I left, inhaling as much as I could of my old floor, in my old building. In the elevator, I noticed that the small metal door to the emergency phone was open, possibly broken. I think it’s always been broken.
Once outside, I walked around the green, as to avoid the petition man. Didn’t want to be rude. The grass, being cut, by a man driving one of those cart-esque mowers. While walking in back of Salazar, if it’s still called so, I thought of how much the campus had changed, how it’s been years, 13 exactly, since my last year. How?
I walked through Ives to get to the parking lot. Soon as I entered, I noticed a lecture in progress, in one of those theatre rooms. Wanted to go in, but I know students would have stared, and the professor would have been distracted, possibly. Disrupted.
Into my car. I left.
While driving to Boudin, for Alice’s and my lunch, I thought about my current stage, its elements– working at the winery, teaching my two classes, and what I truly want; to lecture at the university. Returning to Poe, showing so many sides of his pages, and others that could empower, electrify students for their own advance. And tomorrow, I’m There. Behind that muddy bar. But I’m smiling, just I would urge Jack to do. As it’s meaningless; THAT act. Finished my Rosé, crafted by my friend Blair. Much better than my last visit, which was close to a year ago, I think. Nearly time for night’s cap… And why am I watching Fox News? Seriously, how did the channel land here? TV off. Watching a Poe documentary now.. need push. Did I leave anything out, from SSU visit? Oh, on first lap around campus, or near-half-lap, I looked left, into the first walkway that would lead to the Alicante Village, where my first room was, Junior year. What do I do with this acknowledgement? Time, faster than me, apparently. Now I need a beer. To much recollection has inner rains rolling to spinning pains. I’m aging, nearly 35, and the world only reads quick, puts down the book, moves on. (3/7/14)