Your hands and feet have been abused. They are exhausted. For a full week, they’ve restlessly scouted the very edges of campus, where opportune land feeds social seeds.
You went to camp. You pitched tents in rooms shrouded in mahogany or cheap wood. You lit campfires and sang songs of upperclassmen reunions and awkward freshmen introductions. You chased away bestial ex-lovers and clearly incompatible acquaintances, within moments of arriving at Yale.
Your hands. they’ve spent time swinging bottlenecks, ravenously massaging their glass veins. They’ve caressed cigarette filters and wrapped themselves around the waists of wiry women and moldy men. They’ve dropped all pretenses and given palmy hugs to strangers.
Your feet. They’ve beaten grass into submission, trekking from one Dionysian feast to another. They’ve floated intermittently in the air above the warbling waves of a heavy bass track. They’ve tickled the toes of that pretty one whose eyes seemed sullenly locked on yours at a midnight hour.
We have spent the week evaluating and reevaluating the shoulders and arms and fingers and nails of those we once found close. Summers have passed sailing, screeching, island-hopping, working, wilding, hoarding, pissing, packing. And after so much unstable action, all we need is a little traction.
We, thirsty for touch, come to camp early, hoping to paddle desperate oars through the rapids of the God Quad and SAE, Sig Chi and DKe — all in one marathon of a night. And then we are so drunk with the tactile, that we abuse our hands and feet again — and again. We grasp the fluffy faces of the beloved, or the to-be-loved. We act like salesmen, hiking door to door on Lynwood or edgewood or Crown or High. We practice heliolatry, leaving the savannahs of our backs and “flat” stomachs exposed as sacrifice to the sun’s greedy eyes.
And then, we unzip bags and straighten sheets and, suddenly, as spots seem to float around the start of our mornings and end of our nights, we find camp has become home. The bears will hibernate; the trees will sigh; the sky will grey.
We will look at ourselves in a few weeks. We will be students, again. Our reading glasses perched on oleaginous noses, overpriced textbooks under paling arms, scarves wrapped regretfully around shivering neck trunks. We will trudge, begrudgingly. We will trudge and stomp and stamp and tantrum oxymoronically over courses we’ve picked ourselves. Our eyes will glaze in class; our heads will sink against concave chair backs; our tongues will roll out of our mouths like an offensive odor.
We will forget where our bed is. We will forget where our head is. We will rhyme and rant, we will want and wilt. We will. We will want to relive risk.
We’ve had our grace period. For a full campy week, eyes have been averted to the illegal. Red cup parades halted traffic. We had paradise. We will look on it like Beelzebub, while we toil and burn; the sweat of the very effort and persistence that got us here licks the folds of our foreheads. We should just remember. We should smile. We should chuckle and giggle and never cry. We are champions.
And, we always have the weekend.