Hell, if creepy mannequins can graduate, what's my excuse?
Talk about surreal...
I just got back from my first day of college in 10+ years and I start working part time at a grocery store on Tuesday. That's right, 35 1/2 years on this planet and I'm livin' the life of some 19 year old idiot. While deep down I know it's the right thing to do, boy friggin' howdy does this feel odd. Sure, it's easy enough to sit around and SAY that the last decade didn't amount to much, but to actually go the extra mile and step back in time is just fucking bizarre.
Until I transfer to a legit school in the spring, I'm going to Laney, which is a community college in downtown Oakland, so if you need to find me, just look for the white guy. Actually, there's a few of us scattered around campus, giving each other the 'white man's nod' as we pass each other (something I perfected while living at the Parkchester projects...er... Apartments in Bronx, NY). It's always fun to be such a minority that you feel as though you HAVE to acknowledge it when you see someone else remotely like yourself.
So there I am, big giant bookbag in front of me, sitting at a table in the half-assed 'quad' of Laney College. I haven't gotten the bus timing down yet, so I'm pretty early. I settle in for a smoke and some people watching.
I've been told I have a 'helpful face', which in practice means I'm a magnet for all things batshit crazy. I'd been seated for all of about 2 minutes when I accidentally catch someone's eye and send them hurtling across the campus to ask me something. A polite way to descibe this woman would be 'vaguely homeless looking', a more honest way would be to say that she carried herself like the victim of a recent auto accident. You know, like Sherilyn Fenn in Wild at Heart, running her fingers through her hair wondering what the 'sticky stuff' is before she passes out and dies from a massive head injury.
Anywho, here's the ver batum conversation we had;
"Excuse me. Do you know where I'm supposed to go. I never got a print out."
"Did you try Admissions, they can probably print one up for you there."
"They're closed. Everywhere's closed. (This while I'm sitting in the middle of a quad of open buildings with students rushing in and out of them. One of them being admissions).
"I'm not sure what to tell you then. I, uh, don't know."
"Could a computer print them out?"
(Desperate to shoo her off somewhere) "Yeah, maybe the library would have one of those."
"Is this your first semester here?"
"(proudly) It's my second semester here. So brace yourself, this is what you're in for."
(At this point I'm just nodding and trying to look in another direction while secretly wondering if this woman actually exists at all or is just some psychotic manisfestation of my own shit-scared reservations about what I'm about to do). Then she says;
"You're probably more organized than me. And probably have more money too!"
And with that, she walked away.
What?! How did that happen? Perhaps if I were sitting in the quad in an Armani Tux sipping a mojito before class this would've made sense. I look down to make sure I didn't accidentally wear spats and an old tymey pocket watch, but I didn't. For chrissakes, I'm wearing no name jeans from some big and fat guy's catalog. I'm fairly certain that I wasn't giving off a 'snobby vibe'.
Anyway, I had my man-servant beat her to death and hopped in the Hummer limo waiting to take me to my Tex-Mex cooking class.