daily preciousness

Thursday, May 10, 2001

brie and thunder

For lunch, we went to the student union. I got my tomato, cucumber and brie sandwich. Don brought a banana.

We sat outside, on a sad wooden picnic table. It had rusty, rough nails sticking out of it, just waiting for a lawsuit.

The afternoon sun was mild and we talked and laughed. I gazed into his uncommonly blue eyes and knew, during that instant, that he was the only one for me. He looked at me and informed me that I had some cucumber stuck in my teeth.

It was the very picture of misguided romantic delusion. I smiled and drank in his presence until a few cool drops of rain fell down. We quickly gathered the food and moved over to the portecochere at the far end of the courtyard.

It was an impressive summer storm. Golfball-sized drops made impressive smacking sounds as they bombed against the concrete. Great billowing clouds of mist swirled in the courtyard, tossed about in an argument of winds. The mists showered us on the picnic table, as though we were at the base of an impressive waterfall. Three near-parallel lines of lightening formed, electric arcs from sky to earth. Then the sound came. I jumped a little as the sky-ripping noise crescendoed to a magnificent, earth-shaking thunderclap.

We watched it together. My glasses, sitting upside-down on the table, were misted over completely. I was pretty wet, too. Don's sweetly receding, newly cropped hair was matted with rain and mist. I wanted to play with it, but quickly decided against it.

We waited in the bookstore for 5 minutes, hoping that the rain would end. It didn't. So we made a run for it. I was soaked and extremely slip-proned, with my no-traction suede shoes that soaked my feet inside and out with the 5-inch deep water in the streets and sidewalks on the way back to work. It was fairly miserable with my feet wet and making little cold, damp squishy sounds as I plodded along. "It's just a little rain," Don remarked, as he stood there in his (surely waterproof) sneakers, his tan musclar legs glistening with little drops of rain.

If this is our last lunch together, it was a pleasant one. I'll look back on our lunches in front of the waterfountain, to the sculpture garden and this, our last rain-soaked picnic, with a wide grin of secret delight.

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

super hero?

I bought my cap, gown and sash yesterday from the bookstore. It's packaged in a little shrink-wrap bag. The flimsy flame-retardant fabric, just about the texture of a trash bag, looks like it will be just about the hottest thing that I could wear on a mid-May afternoon in South Louisiana.

Still, I have to admit, it will feel nice (at least psychologically) to wear that little cap, gown and sash on that day.

Looking at the shrink-wrapped package and eyeing the flimsy fabric, the $45 get-up reminded me of some really expensive halloween costume. I could clearly imagine it being one. I wondered, bemusedly, if there would be a little picture of me on the chest, furiously writing a paper or perhaps raising my hand expectantly in class, just like children's costumes often have illustrations of the hero. Would my image be screen-printed in five colors, my many exploits summed up in a few artful lines? Would the other graduates be jealous of my artistic talents? Or would they have their pictures on their gowns as well?

Well, all these questions will be answered May 18th, when I will make that walk -- perhaps the final walk -- of my academic career. And Dean Paskoff, my trusted mentor and advisor, will be there to hand me that prized piece of paper.