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Monday, May 02, 2005

Arrival, Again

Now that I'm no longer sick (a nice graduation present) I can do a better job of description, I think.

Looking back on it now, there was something oddly wonderful about arriving at Antioch at 2AM for the bonfire. The bonfire was occurring on the Golf Course, a pathetic piece of open land next to the campus, claimed by the college but used for virtually nothing and only maintained in the vaguest of senses. It is there that, when the weather warms slightly, Antioch students attempt to have a bonfire party, and usually fail. It was shocking to see it a success, with a hundred people there at two in the morning, music playing, and of course, moonshine.

The fires lit the ground, serving to make the light green and yellow grass look even less healthy than it probably was. It probably did no aesthetic favors to the Antioch students, either. I didn't recognize most of them personally, of course, but there was always the recognition that they were, pale, poorly fed, poorly bathed, and dressed in castoffs, that they were my people.

That's the main memory I have of my week away - wandering into the bonfire, being accosted by people surprised to see me, or doing accosting of my own. My conversations that night were largely mundane - I spent way too long arguing with someone who didn't consider the Bay Area to be Northern California - but what of it? Antioch was always about the mundane conversations, detached any sort of decent housing, or technology. Not that its students are terribly natural, the bonfire was hardly a pagan earth goddess ritual, but in the end, the only thing that it has are mundane conversations with people you might be happy to see, or not. I hear the moonshine was pretty hit or miss.
- Rowan Kaiser, 3:36 PM
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