Tuesday, August 26, 2008

senses working overtime

  1. I just smelled the pungent yet alluring deep peanut aroma of a wall freshly painted off-white and then, upon rounding the corner was practically penetrated by the vinegar presence of barbecue in a chafing dish - the juices and sterno making for an unholy potpourri that passed through the closed conference room door into the carpeted hall. I predict it will smell like barbecue for longer than the other will like paint.
  2. After tracking down the source and shamelessly gaining entry, I tasted the brisket cooked down to the point of sogginess, plump smoked sausage and some smartly tart cole slaw. It was by no stretch great barbecue, but was nonetheless a brilliant response from the divine to hearing my unspoken plea for something else after I ate that hummus for lunch.
  3. All while this was going on, I listened to a parade of old school reggae: Bob Marley's achingly innocent early gospel ska (The Wailers' 1964 version of "This Train" is definitive in my mind), Horace Andy's perfectly doped-out, just-shy-of-being-dub Pure Ranking and Dennis Brown's sumptuous riddim for swinging lovers on Milk and Honey. With barbeque and this in my headphones, it was a personal Reggae Sunsplash, except in air conditioning, food priced comparably to quality and I could hear it.
  4. Coming down off this, I am to resume the pile of mouse-oriented work before me today and the feeling of the cool gel in this handmedown mousepad - the thermostat in my office is a rare one that responds to input and the AC is thereby cranked - is the wrist-support version of free mediocre barbecue and old reggae.
  5. Right as I was confronted by the smells and tastes and epiphanies, I saw a line of new freshmen looking a little downtrodden to be in my building - as they should be, since I think they are likely in the wrong place, or at least the wrong wing, and this building is a tacked-on ancient academic monstrosity (formerly the campus hotel, and oldest standing building on campus) with two completely different sets of loosely coupled second floors of rooms numbered by an obscure pattern, filled with people who don't know where whatever it is you are looking for is but will let you explain the whole thing before betraying their ignorance - and they look like babies, like not that far off from my daughter's age, which is seven.

    Poor meek things, wandering peanut and brisket smelling hallways of ignorance, just trying to register for a damn class or get a damn parking pass for hours until some learned outposter informs them they are in the wrong place. If they wandered up here, I'd set them straight and instill them with an irie old school reggae calm because I know this campus up and down and am helpful, but they won't come by here. I am on one of the other second floors and any reasonable person would give up before going this far.

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