You will develop an intuition.
That is, you’ll learn to check Fusion first for pasta (unless you’re gluten free; then you stride to the private fridge). Then Vegetarian because they have what’s at International, but with more zucchini and cauliflower. International is hit or miss, and the lines are almost always long. If nothing looks good to you, there’s always cold cuts and salad and cereal. You’ll learn what you like. Peirce is good to us.
The space was overwhelmingly grand. The Great Hall, or Old Side, as it’s called, looked like it required a small arboreal massacre in order to be built. Handsome dark wood gleamed under dim lighting. The stained-glass windows made breakfast feel sacred.
And then, New Side. Airy: light-wood paneling doused with sunshine flooding through the yawning windows. When it rained, water pounded against the glass. During a good storm, the room rumbled with thunder, hunger, grumbling, grunting, crunching, and students hunched over, munching on lunch.
Neither compared to the Servery. Kenyon’s culinary locale possessed many hours of each student’s life and attention. The air buzzed with noise, snatches of conversation whizzing by, gentle brushes and bumps of students on respective trajectories, myriad staff clad in black and green as they barreled through with fresh plates, cups, utensils, pizzas, 2% milk, Mallo-Oats, baby spinach, cucumber slices, deep fryers full of steaming pasta. The room a euphony of “Alfredo, please,” and “Excuse me,” and “What’s at International?” and “Ugh, no forks again?” and “Thank you,” “Thanks,” “Have a nice day.”
“Excuse me,” I said as I slid around a first year’s bulging backpack. Setting down my mug (“I [heart] DC,” it read), I reached for two slices of whole wheat bread from the plastic cabinet. Then, with a surgeon’s precision and a parent’s tenderness, I laid them on the toaster’s conveyor belt.
Still, infinite precision and tenderness may not prevent the worst.
The bread flamed up before my eyes. Embers winked at me from the toaster’s infernal mouth. There was nothing I could do, so I did nothing. No amount of whipped butter or Yoder’s seedless blackberry jam could redeem this blackened breakfast.
This cake is in-credible.
Please pass the pepper.
Shut up, asshole.
Hi, sorry, can I take this chair?
Should I get some?
I’m getting water. Do you guys want anything?
I’m doing work, but sure, you can sit with me.
I have a 1:10.
I’m getting seconds.
That’s the bitch from the other night.
He has the most gorgeous mouth.
Would you say you’re a sub or a dom?
Dude, I’m drunk right now.
How’s your day going?
Such fucking good cake.
Brain freeze isn’t a real thing.
A little undercooked, but it’s fine.
Wait, come with me to the Servery.
Eggplant parm night was a boon. Some days in Peirce the line wrapped around the front entrance: fish tacos, grilled cheese, pirogis. But eggplant parm night beckoned for seconds no matter what.
“What took so long?” griped my friend once I reached our table (New Side, square table against the wall, mid way between the Servery and Dish Return).
I gestured at my full plate. “Super long line.” And well fucking worth it. I sat down and grabbed two napkins from the dispenser, beginning the ritual. The eggplant crunched as my blunt knife sliced its crispy breaded exterior. Spaghetti tangled in the tines of my fork, marinara sauce leaving orange smudges on the plate. I was prepared for the saltiness. For the greasy warmth. For the slight tang of mozzarella and tomato. For the familiar comfort. Savory, begging to be relished.
“How’s the parm?” my friend asked.
I washed the first bite down with root beer. Too-sweetness complemented the salinity. “It’s perfect,” I said.
“Excuse me,” a waif-like young woman muttered as she slid in front of me. After momentarily bisecting the omelette line, she padded toward the deli station. I sighed and took a decisive step toward the person in front of me in line. Am I so submissive that everyone just cuts in front of me?
As I absently watched the willowy woman muse over the multitude of meats, I saw my Old Kenyon hookup from the other night. There, just ahead of me. She was reading Emily Dickinson. Red matte painted her plump lips. I wanted to say, I never heard from you, and, I want to see you again, and, I love you, but what I actually said is, “How are you?”
That’s not true. I said, “Hey.”
Okay. That didn’t happen either. I tried to nod at her but she wasn’t looking so I left the line and walked out silently, eyes on the ground.
My friend suggested we do cocaine in a bathroom stall downstairs. “No thanks,” I said, “I have a 9:40.”
Do you know if she likes women? I want to ask her out.
I was so drunk at Deb Ball.
Did you see my Snap Story?
Seminar feels like a slow march toward death.
I just want to stay in and work this weekend.
I just want hash brown triangles and nothing else.
Are you going to Rite Aid later?
Denver is a fucking great city.
The Mather Pipe Cats made my day.
Could you get me blue Powerade?
Let’s go to the VI for dinner.