Start your engines, Ladies and Gentlemen! The 2005-2006 academic year has started!
Which means my erstwhile twice-weekly summer limo ride in the express bus to UBC has been downgraded to simply a commute. That’s right. No longer will I be the only person in my section of the bendy B-line as my driver Gus (I call him that, he looks like a Gus) cruises serenely along in the sunshine, past the rolling downs of the golf course and through the flickering glades of the endowment lands. Now, I’ll hang on to a sticky overhead bar (Why is this so sticky? I kind of want to smell my fingers out of curiosity, but I also really don’t want to know) and listen to the snippets of strangers’ conversations, and observe the young academics, some of whom are travelling to UBC’s hallowed halls for the very first time.
Predictions for my fellow passengers:
Girl putting special German balm on her cracked, Teva’ed feet: You’re currently doing Women’s Studies and will go on to become a successful divorce lawyer. When you pass the bar exam, you’ll decide you have to take out your lip ring. You’ll also dig comfortable footwear all your life. See, you learn a lot in school.
Girl with three inches of tanned stomach showing: Y’know, it’s like, so cool to really be here with you! You’re taking, like, Psych and a Women’s Study course, among others. You’ll get into the sorority of your dreams! I’m SoooOooo excited for you, because you’ll meet a guy at the Phi Delt mixer, and, like, you’ll be totally in love.
He will fuck a hooker in October and you’ll break up over Christmas because he gave you crabs. Sorry, but it’s for the best. Your next boyfriend will write you bad haikus and make you spaghetti dinners. You’ll get some self-esteem and wonder why you joined the sorority, then go on and become a Katimavik leader in the summer of your third year. It will be incredibly rewarding and you’ll realize that you want to work helping underpriviledged children. You’ll eventually join the UN and throw out Christmas cards from your old sorority sisters without reading them.
Boy with the Japanese/English dictionary: Here’s my card, I can help.
Guy with the half-concealed t-shirt with the ironic slogan on it: Hey, it’s okay, University is the place for irony. No one will push you down the stairs or call you a geek for reading here, buddy. This is your place now. Sadly, when you get that secondhand black leather trench coat in third year, you won’t understand how ironic it is that you’re wearing it. You’ll just think you look hot and angsty. I know you’ll look dumb. But your roommate’s cat will spray on it sometime in April of 2009, and you’ll be mad, but that hot guy from your Physics lab will notice you’ve been working out, ( ’cause you’re not wearng that jacket) and he’ll ask you to coffee. Excellent! You’ll live in molecular bliss all your days.
Girl with the faux-Chanel sunglasses: Even I can tell they’re fake. I bet you scraped out a Bonne Bell lip smacker and put it in that little Prada lippie case, too. That’s okay. Your shallow ways will dog your steps for all four years of University. You’ll go to the London School of Economics to do your Masters, take one good, wide-eyed look around, and realize that you look like a diehard tryhard compared to everyone around you. You’ll get some cool jeans (drainpipes will be de rigeur by then) and hang out in Camden Town with people from all over the world. You’ll marry a South African pizza shop owner in Whitechapel and your kids will have to dress from Oxfam. You all won’t mind much because you’ll become a dab hand at alterations and the kids will look like they’re wearing runway originals. See? We all want a better life for our children.
Lady with the pearlescrent lipstick on: Bad call. Here’s a tissue.
Girl with the bad hair: Why would you do that? From what I can tell, it’s lovely, healthy, long, toffee-coloured hair. So why is it all scraped mercilessly back except the precise-yet-wispy bangs that are too short for your forehead? The rest of your outfit and your demeanour tell me you are not from 1990. Why is your hair stuck there? You will major in Anthropology and by the time you graduate, will be fluent in Coast Salish. You’ll break your arm in an unfortunate Spirit Bear canoe race incident, but all will be well, and you’ll become the department head of Canadian Studies at the University of Alberta. Sadly, I predict that you’ll have that hairstyle until you are 60 years old. Sorry.
As the bus pulled up and the multitudes piled out, I exchanged amused glances about my fellow travellers with Gus. Or maybe he just had gas.