>My Wheel-assisted Stroll Through Campus

>I Will

I will keep going past no outlet signs,
I will continue when these people stop,
I will press on when the rest of them quit,
I will not end this ‘til I’m on my top.

I will have fires under wide open skies,
I will scream out when they are lull,
I will have more than houses and boats,
I will not be arrogant, pompous or dull.

I will help more than just myself,
I will look right, left, up and down,
I will not take what I do not need,
I will love this land when they’re not around.

I will not be bitter when they laugh at me,
I will not be sad when they call me names,
I will not mind when this place is gone,
I will not tell them that they are to blame.

They’ll know.

I took Red Rocket 5 (my bike) onto campus today for the first time since she came into my life. Yeah, it took a little extra prep time in the morning and I risked my life crossing South College Road since some true Einstein decided it was in the city’s best interest to remove the pedestrian stop light from where Randall crosses the six-lane highway, but I never regretted doing so for a second. I was energized when I entered my 9 a.m. class (getting the blood flowing at that hour of the day has always done wonders for my overall psyche – I highly recommend it and Chuck Norris does, too), refreshed and proud of myself for leaving Black Cat 7 (my car) parked. Her six proud cylinders – despite their raw power and being the backbone of the machine’s nimble agility and outlandish towing capability – put out a lot of juice and pollution. There’s no reason to ride those wild horses a mere quarter mile if I can at all avoid it. Pedaling Red Rocket 5 this morning added an extra sense of satisfaction to my already jovial state of mind.

Of course, moving through campus on a bike instead of by foot triggered a new element of observation on my part. I took a different route than my usual park-at-Hardee’s-and-trudge-through-the-creepy-little-trail-through-garbage-filled-woods-and-onto-the-worn-out-grass-along-Randall-until-there’s-a-break-in-the-traffic-of-BMWs-and-Land-Rovers and was able to see things I’d generally overlooked. First of all, why the Hell don’t students know how to car pool? This is Wilmington and they’re college students – the stunning majority live in little shithole communities with names like “Candle Wick” and “Cape Cottages” that are no more than two miles away along with a dirty whore’s genital sore count worth of fellow students. I live in Mill Creek (oh no – now people know where I live! The things they could do to me!) where I know about five other UNCW students who live there. There is no reason for every damn fair weather sports fan from North Carolina (oh wait- that applies to all of them) to be driving to each of their classes. Take a bus, hitch a ride with someone else, get a bike … just don’t be stupid and try not to be lazy. I know it’s hard because Mommy and Daddy taught you that cartoons like “Captain Planet” were ploys by the liberal members of congress to make you think we should care about the environment, but geeze, give it your best shot. Put a Jesus fish and a sticker that says “stop global whining” on your bike if it makes you feel better.

I’m too tired to write anymore. Don’t worry – you’re not really missing out on much. The point I’m trying to make here is that I saw a lot of shit on UNCW’s campus that made me realize how little people around here appreciate something for its “non-cemented” beauty. The architecture of all these new buildings really is a site to behold (though as a personal preference, I still prefer the older ones in the original part of campus), but come on … leave more foliage than three shrubs, pine mulch and a far-too-neatly-pruned tree standing around them. This whole notion of appreciating the natural beauty of an area goes back to my “difference in definitions” theory. What I call beautiful, other people call “on the way out.” They call new, well-lit buildings a symbol of the times getting better while I call them reminders that Western New York will only exist in, well, Western New York.

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