Wow, the reality of my pending graduation and last term is beginning to seriously sink in. It's a wonderful, somewhat daunting reality and I'm certain when the end finally comes the experience will be very surreal to me.
There are several surreal moments in time that stand out for me, while attending the Fine Art program at Mount Allison. These moments in time covered the gambit from fantastic to freaky, frustrating, funny to plain silly. Suffice to say, certainly far from the bottom of the list, was stress. I admit I had a melt down or two out on my "highway of dreams".
There have been challenges that would perhaps boggle some folks minds. Frankly it boggles my mind, when I contemplate hitchhiking back and forth, from home to school and back home again, an hour and fifteen minutes away, for seven months. I did that. Some of these "rides" were like out of a page from a Stephen King novel. The very peculiar , 50 something woman, who picked me up at 9 o'clock in the morning. Considering I grew up in the sixties, nothing quite prepared me for seeing her holding a joint in a long extended roach clip, asking if it would bother me if she lite this up. I thought, she must be smoking that rolled smoke in order to keep her fingers from getting brown with tobacco. I told her I was allergic, maybe she could put the window down, it was her car, so go ahead. At this point, I still hadn't clued in it was a doobie, until she stated she wouldn't light it up at the bridge where the road crew was working, because she was afraid someone would call the cops on her.
As we motored along, she eventually lite up and the familiar aroma reminiscent of my fringe-hippie days gone by, wafted up my nostrils. I had a meeting that morning with my Professor. Then I thought, oh God, I am going to reek of dope and he is going to think I've been indulging. Fortunately she didn't smoke the whole thing and soon put it out, and I wasn't able to get to my appointment on time. On the way, she began to explain the details about how she was actually a twin, but her twin didn't survive and was some how, now growing out of her neck and her ribs. She then described how her ex-husband had abused her and caused her to loose the use of her eye. It was three weeks she said, until she could get to a doctor, she would pop her eye in and out of it's socket and would wash her eyeball and pop in back in. Needless to say I was glad to get out of that car.
There are many lessons learned here and many weren't at University, they were, on the road.
"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh..."
Jack Kerouac, On The Road