November 20th, 1976

Because the month of November, 1976, was so significant, I would like to write some brief essays about it, beginning with Saturday, November 20th.  

The first term of my freshman undergraduate year was winding down.  Classes had ended on the 19th, and the 20th was the first day of final exams week.  Only one of my classes required a final---that was Political Science 101, and that final was given on the 20th.  My roommate and I had been assigned to that class; but, havng been told by him, some ten weeks before, that although we were roommates, we were not friends and my company was not wanted by him or his new circle of friends, we neither walked to the exam site together nor sat together for the exam.

I don't know what he did the rest of the day; and, just as on that day, so now I don't give a damn about it, or him.  I was surprised to find that the bookstore was open on a Saturday, so I sauntered in, browsed a bit, and purchased a paperback copy of Boris Pasternak's novel, Doctor Zhivago, which I began to read that afternoon.

I think I purchased that novel, one of the longest I have ever read, to distract me from the conflicting thoughts that were running constantly through my mind.  I did not look forward to returning to the home of my parents, Lloyd and Betty, and placing myself under their authority for the six weeks of the Holiday Break (classes resumed on January 3rd, 1977).  But by returning to my home, I would get to see J-Wave and my cocker spaniel Monica, both of whom I was so very loathe to leave on Thursday, September 9th.  But I was also terrified that J-Wave might no longer cherish our friendship; or that the community of c.b. channel 22 had forgotten me; or, worst case scenario. my c.b. handle, Starwatcher, had been stolen or appropriated by someone else (that happened to some people during long absences).

When I spoke to my parents by phone that afternoon, I informed them that my only final exam had been completed, and I had no further academic obligation to attend anything else that term.  They informed me that they would not be able to bring me home until the evening of Tuesday, November 23rd.  Thus, for the intervening time, I was torn between great anticipation (returning to J-Wave, channel 22, and Monica) and great anxiety (no longer loved by J-Wave, and forgotten by channel 22; only Monica's love, I knew, was beyond question for me).  

So I distracted myself with the beauty of Pasternak's poetic prose, and his account of the Russian Revolution and the tremendous tragedies that it made of so many lives.  Reading that, I did not feel so distraught about my own situation.



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