This place is just full of wonder.
“Oh, look, a deer on campus!” the hipster thought. “My goodness I love wildlife. I’m from the city, so seeing a deer is not a regular occurence for me, but when I see one I really feel like a Native American. I feel like Pocahontas, or Leatherstocking maybe, and I just feel so one with nature. My, my, isn’t life just amazing? That you could see one deer and suddenly be transported to New England in June, stalking your prey in your TOMS…I mean, moccasins? Such a beautiful moment I just had, here, in this place, where it only stops raining when the full moon comes out. Then the squirrels sing their song and my goodness, aren’t I just so appreciative of life and Mother Nature?”
And then he goes to the dining hall and puts a cookie on the dish conveyor belt. Because that’s what it’s for. To convey cookies back to the dishwashers who are slaving away, cleaning spaghetti sauce off of colorful dining hall plates, and my oh my couldn’t they just use a cookie right about now? If only one would come through the conveyor belt and provide that sweet release from the pain of life, just one molasses cookie shaped like a flower, just one, just…
And because they were blessed with that cookie today, they’ll pay it forward to the janitor who cleans the hall bathroom. They’ll go to the store and buy environmentally friendly cleaning products because why not? And Bill the Janitor will walk into the bathroom, mop in hand, and see that the bathroom is already just sparkling clean and he’ll fall to his arthritic knees, crying, “Hallelujah!” because now he can get off work early and go home to his wife, who he has spent the last forty years with but who he hasn’t seen in weeks because he’s been working the night shift and really, for all he knows, she could’ve kicked the bucket by now. But she hasn’t, and when Bill gets home he sits down to a nice, home cooked meal of lamb and spinach (with vinegar, make that extra vinegar, the taste buds have taken a beating in this hard life), and he sits down at the TV for the first time in months and watches the Lehrer Hour on PBS and my goodness, he remembers when McNeil was on that show too, and it was the McNeil Lehrer Hour, which would make sense, and he remembers it before Gwen Eiffel and Judy Woodruff were reporting, and man was the Carter Administration tricky, who would’ve thought a peanut farmer could make it into office, too bad they crucified him. And then he’ll doze off, a book of Wordsworth poetry resting on his belly, and that will be his final night on this earth, but it was a good one because that girl cleaned the bathroom for him.
And his wife, Nadine, will find him so peacefully stretched on the couch, and thank goodness the poison kicked in so quickly, she just couldn’t take it any more, she just wants to move to Jamaica with Rolf, her gardener. She’d been planning it for ages and when Bill came home early tonight, well, she just knew it was the work of Jesus, praise Jesus, Lord a mercy, life is sweet. Bill was a good man, but she just felt so old around him, she needed young love again, so she booked the plane trip and now it’s done, she can leave, no one will ever know.
And Rolf, the college student, sits back and looks at the deer on campus and thinks, “Man, it just doesn’t get any better than this.” He dusts off his TOMS, throws his paper coffee cup in the recycle bin, and walks toward his dorm, into the sunset, where his bags await him and Nadine calls, “Jamaica, Rolf, just think. Jamaica.”
Because that’s what college is all about.