Friday, September 9, 2005

"thoughts are things!"

So there I am in the university bookstore, finally come to the end of the line after waiting a good 45 minutes. This isn't just a straight line, either...the line curves up and down aisles, around, loops into itself and back again. If it were seen from above, without movement, it would seem a great heap of young people just decided to stand in a crowd in the aisles of the bookstore. I'm holding my books (some of the English texts, and the Sociology ones; I decided to leave the Philosophy one behind because it is big and thick and I had a long walk home), and chatting to the women around me. One is older, my parents' generation, and she's doing a Poli Sci major at UNB. The one behind me is in my Women Writers class, a buxom blond in a stretchy white shirt and heavy eye makeup.

This is, I realize, the craziest time to go the bookstore and try and get things done quickly. Luckily I have lots of time on my hands. My second day back went well--Sociology with Michael Clow was the first class, and I think it's going to be a hilarious trip. He's a short, stocky man with a ponytail, who basically endeavoured to scare the shit (his words, not mine) out of the first year students. "We make it all up as we go along!!" He ranted, alternately scowling and smiling, both kind of scary faces. "Society is our own creation!" Wonderful. I'm going to have such fun!

Then I run to Philosophy and sit next to a girl who is saying how her last professor was longwinded and kept her after time--"Oh, did you have Clow too?" I ask. "Yes!" She says. Before we have a chance to compare notes, Barry Craig (professor of Philosophy) comes in and has us rearrange the desks, and there I am lifting one with him over people's heads. Good fun. Later in the day I find out he is a priest, which makes sense with his image (he reminds me of a Lego Man, with the clip-on hair), but not with the occasional swear word that pops out. I love how the St. Thomas religious faculty members don't adhere to set images of, say, religious faculty members.

After this I happily run into Janice, and we sit on the lawn and collect a few friends as they walk by. (I suppose it's more of a "green" than a "lawn", being in the middle of university campus and all). And then it's off to English 2006 (the required second-year level English class, if one is going to Major in English) with David Ingham, who is exactly as Jan described: dashing, geeky. So far I've been lucky enough to discover a friend in each class that I didn't know was going to be there, and this time it was Bethany, a friend from last year, looking great and ready to get into her studies. (Hello, Bethany!!)

So that brings us to the bookstore. And me, at the end of the line, and then called to one of the 8 or so cash registers. It's a young man, who looks strikingly like Rufus Wainwright and acts a lot like how you think Rufus would act. (Campy, a little feminine.) We chat about the usual--double-bagging my plastic bags, a long way to walk, etc. Then he looks at me and in a stage whisper, says:

"Have you ever seen the movie The Matrix?"

"Yes, yes I have," I say, taking one of the bags from him.

"Sometimes, I feel like we're in there, plugged into a bunch of wires," his eyes bugging a little, eyebrows raised. I look behind me and see a long line of despondent, bored, glazed-eyed uni students holding piles of books, shuffling forward as indicated.

"Yeah really..." I say, "You gotta wonder what's in some of their heads."

"But seriously," he went on, "They say we create it as we go, the world, you know. If you ever sit and think about that--" And his eyes really bug out. I take my second bag from him. I laugh, and ask him what he's studying.

"Religion, and philosophy. I'm going to make a hybrid!" He looks at me like a conspirator in some evil plan. I laugh and tell him to have a nice day.

"Thoughts are things!" He says cheerily, and sends me on my way. I walk home, swinging double-bagged plastic bags, feeling the sun, missing folks, happy to be in my own creation, if that's what it really is.

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