My Old Alpha Delta Home

My Old Alpha Delta Home

My Old Alpha Delta Home

1 flask of Lagavulin 16 Year Single Malt Scotch
Maudlin folk music

I parked across the street, behind a minivan and in front of a beat-up old car that resembled the one I had driven on that very road, so many years ago. With no cars approaching, I quickly walked across the street, standing on a patch of dying grass that separated the sidewalk from the crumbling curb. The lawn was well-kept, free from the over-abundance of cans and junk that had characterized it in my day. Everything was clean, like it was supposed to be on homecoming. This was different, though. The orderly house and grounds were devoid of the pride, the spirit that should have accompanied the effort that so clearly went into making them presentable.

A no trespassing sign glared back at me from the lawn. I had not noticed it at first, and its presence startled me. I should have expected that there would be one, but I suppose that memory took over… or maybe wishful thinking.  I lowered me eyelids and rested on my cane. I could see through the windows a crowd of people: drinking, talking smiling. I felt my flask, filled with Juan Carlos’s illicit Scotch, weigh heavy in my blazer pocket. I squeezed the Indian head finial, and opened my eyes to the drawn blinds.

With a brisk about-face, I turned to walk up East Wheelock Street into the gathering dusk. From far away I could hear the parade of freshmen making their way towards the Green. I arrived there before they had completed their journey, so I sat down on a bench across from the Hopkins Center to close my eyes: this was far past my bedtime.

I don’t know how long I slept, but I awoke to the sight of a blazing pillar of fire and the cries of thousands of young men and woman. As I watched, mesmerized by the flames licking at the numbers, a commotion erupted. The policemen surrounding the Green seemed to converge on the edge of the crowd nearest Pankhurst. At that moment, a young man in a Class of 2019 jersey broke through the spectators and ran past me towards the Hood Museum- for an instant, our eyes locked.

Less than a minute latter, three Hanover policemen ran over to me, and politely asked if I had seen a student flee the scene. I reached into my blazer pocket and took a sip from my flask. “Gentlemen, I do believe I saw a young man run in the direction of Bartlett Tower.” They thanked me and were off in an instant. My eyes turned back to the fire, and I do believe I may have cracked a slight smile. Or maybe it was the liquor.

The Hon. John Blutarsky ‘63