Segment 17: When a Third World Came West

            I left my linguistics class to go over to the Liberal Arts meeting which was up two flights of white painted wooden stairs, across campus, on the other side of the fountain in Lovett Hall.  The room must have been the old office of the dean of students at one time because it was huge and had rows and rows of polished wooden bookcases filled with probably dusty volumes of old red leather bound Britannica encyclopedias mixed with dusty paper weight globes with our school’s emblem crested into their translucent bulbs.  Elaine, (she liked us to call her that) was really Ms. Levenforth who was a tall history teacher with grey hair, a vegetarian who wore slight pink lipstick had cropped grey hair and who lived with an aloof yet extremely down-to-earth science professor and who slept with him, her husband, on a futon mattress on her wooden floors of a wooden bungalow house because she’d said she didn’t need a lot of room.  That was back when I went places high in awe of the jamboree green plastic tower toys that were littered across an Asian rug for their daughter’s illegitimate children, in front of a fireplace made from different shades of grey and green limestone.

            Right now we were crossing off our lists of speakers that we shouldn’t invite to our school either because of expense or either because as a whole we didn’t agree on them.  The libertarian of the group, Michael, who voiced being a libertarian and who ran for things around campus voted on Star Jones as his top favorite and no one was speaking up disagreeing, but rather rechecking our other options.  That was Rob’s job.  He was a short red-head with a girlfriend who looked sort of similar and who followed him around double checking his English essays and correcting him when he didn’t need to be corrected about the Liberal Arts Forum’s budget and or about scheduling the speaker’s dinners in the auditorium’s hall.

            I came back walking in my JCrew brown clogs that I’d gotten four years ago as a ninth grader depressed and scared to across town to my new high school, and they’d faded year by year and the strap on the left one had come loose, making me walk with a slower gait towards home.  Home.  It was a mess when I finally got there.  They were into it- Sam and Skye.  Something about Sam making marks on the kitchen’s laminate floor with his new black rubber shoes, not bothering to clean them up.  It was heated.  I walked towards the kitchen ignoring their back-and-forth and did see the entire floor marked up with black rubber dress shoe scuffs, under the table and by the sink as if someone had really gotten down and danced in there or had tried hard to make his mark.  I turned around towards the yelling and tried to ask what was going on but when that didn’t work I tried to take Sam by the arm to go outside on the porch to talk about it but he butted my elbow away and defended himself against Skye who had claimed Sam stole his Hugo Boss cologne off his dresser.  Skye said that he kept the door to his room shut up everyday so he didn’t see how he could have misplaced it other than someone going into his room without permission and taking it for himself.  I slipped past the two of them and once in my room by the short closet doors, rifled through Sam’s duffle bag searching through folded and cleaned white V-neck shirts, clean jeans, a pair of white tennis shoes that he had the day before stuck in between the washer and dryer and then I saw the Hugo Boss cologne.  I took out, walked into the hallway where at the end, in the living room, they were almost giving up arguing and I opened Skye’s door to his bedroom and slipped the cologne under his bed.  Then I walked back out and asked Skye if he’d checked everywhere.  I said to him, “Maybe it’s in your closet somewhere or maybe it fell.  It could be underneath your dresser stuck behind the baseboard of your dresser, because that’d happened to me one time.  Or it could even be under your bed, but you ought to check, just see maybe you did misplace it.”

            Skye didn’t talk to me for three days and he started moving stuff in weird ways, his clothes, his laundry, his items in the living room, piling them up as if he were determining something or making a choice.  I was sitting reading a Biology magazine I’d found piled up in Catherine Newsome’s lab rocking my restless legs and clogs against the partition of the left side of Skye’s couch recliner.  Skye was at work right now and I’d been home an hour since school.  Sam I knew would be home any minute and I wanted to speak with him.


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