Corvallis Bound (Part 1)

Senior year in high school, Lindsay had a boyfriend who was a freshman at Oregon State University. He was Marine Corps bound and difficult to decipher. The ins and outs of their long-distance relationship dominated many late night coffee shops talks between Lindsay and I.

Our favorite spot was down on Northwest 23rd avenue (now called “trendythird” by old school Portlanders who despise gentrification) under the misty light of the Coffee People awnings. Coffee People is a local Portland chain whose slogan is “Good Coffee, No Backtalk.” On 23rd they are camped right across the street from Starf**ks so our anti-corporate egos often swelled with delight over our excellent taste.

One night Lindsay lamented that she hadn’t seen Jeff in over six weeks. It was time for some nookie. It was also time for the ultimate skip day. Two months from graduation, senioritis was as contagious as herpes. Lindsay and I were both accepted into our top colleges, no major exams or papers were slated for the next day, and both of us were off work. I sipped my double-tall-Mindsweeper slowly and dared to suggest a scheme for what later went down in our history book as Super Skip Day.

“Do you think we could get to Corvallis and back between second and seventh periods?”

Lindsay slammed down her double-tall-Irish-Cream-mocha and glared at me in anticipation. She took a long drag off her Marlboro Red then slowly let the corners of her mouth turn upwards.

“Holy shit. Yes. YES!”

There were a lot of details to work out, not the least of which was what our excuse would be if we got pulled over by a State Trooper (speeding was necessary in order to get back in time for seventh period). Would we surprise Jeff? Whose care would we take? Where would we meet? Which tapes should we bring?

By 8:55 a.m. the next morning we were screeched around the onramp and cruised onto I-5 South. Within sixty minutes were had made the ninety mile drive and pulled up along side the Sig House. This would be the first time either of us had set foot in a fraternity house, and as high school seniors rearing to go to college, we felt we were walking into our future lives as college freshman. What would it be like inside?…(to be continued)

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