COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING—This friday, after completing her 10 python programming assignments, Catey Winthrop (ENG ‘20) became dumbfounded. She never thought any sort of break from schoolwork would ever come her way. In what seemed like a flash, she was transported from her hellish pit of sorrow to a mirage of childlike wonder.
For a fleeting moment, in the latter stages of her penultimate year at Boston University as an engineering student, an unfamiliar sense of joy overcame her. That moment of life enjoyment and near ego-death is one she would never forget.
She remembered exiting the Mugar library and basking in the sunlight of a near-perfect day. On a normal day, she would stare angrily at the wispy tree branches, swaying in the wind without a care in the world. Or she would feel a strong disgust and resentment towards the sunflowers whose only requisite for vitality was pure sunlight. But with the weight off her shoulders, Winthrop seemed content with their existence. Only having been outside for five minutes, the grandeur of the surrounding plants was sufficient to soothe her senses that had been throbbing with stress and anguish for years prior.
But for this moment, she could ignore life’s worries and soak in every halcyon characteristic of the nature surrounding her. Walking towards a red tupelo tree, it appeared to her more than just a tree. Stroking her hand against it, she felt as though she was petting the mane of a soft, tamed lion. And as Winthrop leaned in to smell between the cracks of the tree, it was as sweet as a Ponderosa, filling her body with sheer ecstasy and bliss as she quivered from the sensations.
Standing in the middle of Marsh Chapel, she watched as a hoard of students walked past her on Commonwealth Avenue. In her head, she laughed, thinking their responsibilities had enslaved them to a life of toil and conformity. Though she was in a similar boat for a short while, she could scoff at them for a while. Then out of the corner of her eye, she noticed her CS professor casually walking towards her direction. She distinctly remembered glancing at him with her head tilted back and her eyes wide, shaking her finger at him as though she was Gandalf saying “You have no power over me.”
The next day, she awoke a refreshed, rejuvenated student. Her ephemeral period of serenity had expired, but the memory would not soon be lost.
Yet her celebration was curtailed by a notice she had received via email. It turned out that “red tupelo” tree was actually a student wearing a Canada Goose jacket who had just filed a restraining order against her for sniffing him, embracing him and stroking his jacket. She now realized why it felt as soft as lion’s fur.
Just then, Winthrop recalled taking a tab of LSD that day, leaving her to wonder what other ungodly things she might have done.