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I Traveled, and When I Traveled, I Did Things

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Dear Imaginary Pen Pal,

In the past week, I’ve spent about three full days on some kind of bus. My fucking neck hurts. My ass hurts. My shoulder blades are, I’m pretty sure, lodged in my ribcage somewhere. But I did sleep a lot.

I went to Ithaca College, which was rain-drenched and lovely. I ate at a place called The Waffle Frolic, which, why the fuck aren’t there more of these places? One of my heels broke while I was at a ridiculous bar called Moonshadows, so I danced barefoot and ultimately found myself drunk and shoeless in downtown Ithaca, waiting for a taxi. I presented my paper on depictions of sexual violence in young adult literature to a gaggle of people, including a former professor at my university who I hadn’t seen since I was sixteen. I went over the fifteen-minute time limit while reading my paper; when I saw the student moderator at the back of the room holding a sign that said “STOP,” I audibly muttered “shit,” skipped half a paragraph, and sped through my conclusion. I ate Mediterranean food. I ate Mexican food. On the way home, I ate Denny’s. I dealt with a surly bus driver who just didn’t want to drop my roommate and me off at the Econolodge, regardless of whether it was on his goddamn route. “I’ll drop you girls at the Ramada,” he said, as though we were Ladies of the Ithaca Night, for whom one hotel was as good as another. I matched his surliness well enough that he eventually took us to the correct hotel, claiming that “I was just kidding,” and then he complained about “all those pigs from the Econolodge who bring their food on the bus and leave their plates under the seat.” I also declined an invitation to “room with” a psych major who greatly overestimated the aphrodisiac effect of his Extremely Blue Eyes.

I watched a terrible presentation about C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair, in which a bouncy, bright-eyed undergrad tried to argue that the numerous claims of misogyny in re: Lewis’s writing are totes unfair, because he’s just writing in a literary tradition, and also, at least the mean women in his books are powerful! (Dude, what?) I watched a nervous guy speed read a paper about punk music and William Blake; I suspect it was a good essay, but he read too fast for me to tell for sure. One of my classmates gave a pertinent presentation titled “Do Less Clothes Equal More Tips?: The Effect of Attire on Tipping,” because, that’s important! (Personally, I’m more interested in the effect of misogyny on tipping, but whatever.) Another fellow student, who looked like a blood-starved, pissed-off vampire, slouched around complaining about everything. I listened to a guy who looked like a disturbing amalgam of Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill—not one of my classmates, thank fuck—complain about the spiral staircase leading up to the Ithaca College library, not because he had a disability that made it impossible to ascend stairs (if he had, there was an elevator), but because “I like normal staircases.”

I saw my gramma the morning we were set to leave, but had to cut the visit short due to the capricious time-changing of our faculty accompaniment. (I’m still pissed about that.) My gramma gave me contraband cookies and polish liquor to smuggle on the bus. When the bus finally unloaded, I was in such a rush to get out that I left my mom’s birthday present on my seat, and the guy who found it had to run after me and breathlessly hand it over. I walked home with my massively heavy bags and immediately jumped in the shower, and then I went to Pepper’s house, ate hamburger helper, and made fun of Scott Adams.

And that’s my excuse for not blogging lately.

Love,

Paprika

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About Paprika

Paprika Davis is a perpetually annoyed twenty-something college student waitress who would rather be a squirrel. The lack of commas in the previous sentence bothers her, but her laziness overrides her desire to improve the writing.

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