I left the study room at 1am feeling nauseated. 4 more days and I will be done with my 2nd year. People told me: “You’re halfway there.” Halfway there and I’m already burned, exhausted, and cold. I couldn’t bear going back to my room so I just wandered around campus. This reminds me of something I wrote two years ago, on the day I arrived on campus. How things have changed!
Around midnight, I was walking around campus to show my parents on Skype how the campus looked like at night when a man in a Scottish kilt, a furry collar, and a leather bagpipe stopped in front of me.
“Excuse me, do you know how to head West?”
Of course, I did not know–what am I? Boy scout?–so I opened Google maps. He leaned in closer to take a look. That was when I realized he was reeking of weeds.
“Did you just smoke?” I asked.
“Oh no,” he said. “I’m still smoking now. Do you want some?”
He took out a half-smoked joint from his pocket and offered it to me. I thought about it for a second, then remembered Mom told me to never take drugs from strangers.
“No, thank you,” I said.
One minute, two minutes, then three minutes had passed and he was still staring at my phone.
“Have you figured out the West yet? If not, maybe you can tell me where you want to go and I can look it up for you.”
“Oh,” he said, as if he had forgotten about it. “I can’t read this map. I think I have to go somewhere called Santa something.”
“Yes yes, that’s the one. Santa Teresa.”
“Well, then you just need to turn right here, then turn left, then turn right again.”
“Thank you, kind stranger,” he bowed and then looked at me. “Are you sure you don’t want to smoke?”
“I’m sure. Thank you,” I smiled and waved at him goodbye. “Enjoy your Scottish reunion.”
“Scottish? I’m not Scottish,” he said. “This is just how I dress.”
Then he cycled off in the dark. I didn’t know where he was going, but I sure hoped that he’d get there all right.