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All good things...
19 April, 2002 :: 5:40 a.m.

Boston was...WOW! I had a fan-fucking-tastic time. By far one of the best experiences of my college life. I discovered that my worry about not liking anyone on the trip was not something that I should have wasted time worrying about. There were some great people on the trip and only one cocksucker that I wanted to punch whenever he opened his mouth...unfortunately he opened his mouth a lot...but still, everything weighed, the trip was superb.

It started at 4 a.m. Friday morning...I'm doing my usual last minute running around trying to make sure I have everything I need for the trip. After deciding that I'm fairly certain that I have what I need Emily runs me up to Laurel so that I can jump in the van. To my surprise the group is there but the van isn't. I figured for sure that I would be the one everyone was waiting on.

One small problem...all of the sudden I feel sick to my stomach. I even have a couple of false alarm stomach heaves. I'm thinking, "yeah, that's the way to start the trip--vomit in front of everyone." But it passed and Dr. Koloski pulled up in the van and within a few minutes we were packed and on the road.

Next obstacle to enjoying the trip...I'm sitting shotgun in the van and suddenly I start to feel sick. I haven't gotten sick riding in a car other than when I'm drunk for years--and I'm not drunk. I had one drink at the bar while doing laundry and that was several hours ago. We're on a really windy road and that isn't helping. Hell, maybe it's the cause, but this really sucks. I don't want to tell Dr. K that he needs to pull over every 15 minutes so I can puke. I actually debate telling him to just drop me off so I can call Emily and have her come pick me up and take me home so that I don't ruin everyone else's trip. Luckily I didn't have to do that. I managed to fall asleep for a couple hours and when I woke I felt fine.

Our first stop was Amherst and I still didn't know anyone so I was kind of unsure what to do when we broke up into groups to explore. I debated just going off by myself because I noticed a book store and a used music store, but I forced myself to stay in a group. We walked around one of the college campuses up there for a bit and I made a little small talk. Then we broke up into different groups for lunch. Most of them went to an Italian place but I wasn't feeling Italian, so I fell in with another group--Amy, Jordan and Lloyd--by default. Lucky for me. They ended up being really cool.

Jordan is a great big guy that I thought was a dumb jock type, but actually he's got a history-English double major thing going on and he's damn intelligent. See where my snap judgements of people would get me if I didn't let myself go further? Lloyd is the wisecracking member of the group who always has something funny to say about anything--kinda like Pat. And he hates the Yankees--kinda like Pat. So that was cool. Amy looks like the "I-know-I'm-attractive-therefore-I-can-be-dumb-as-a-head-of-lettuce" type, but she's actually down-to-earth and intelligent. So they were definitely the best three for me to fall in with and I ended up spending the majority of my time with them, including rooming with Jordan and Lloyd. Three people that I never expected to like ended up making for some great times.

That night we headed to Harvard square and the group again split up. This after driving the van around for half an hour trying to find a place near the subway to park. My first image of Boston after coming out of the subway--two guys in tuxedos talking on cell phones standing next to a growing pile of trash bags...hmm, interesting place already. I went with the Dr. K. group. Dr. K was supposed to be my "buddy" meaning make sure that before the group moves on that I'm there and not lost somewhere. He's a great guy, one of my favorite professors, but he's a little scatterbrained. I could be standing right next to him and he'd ask, "okay, are we all here? Is Matt here?" So Jordan, Amy and Lloyd adopted me into their group yet again and from that point on I did pretty much everything with at least one of them.

Dr. K took us to his favorite bookstore--The Coop. Very nice. Not the biggest bookstore I've ever been in, but three levels and lots of books. It was way easy to spend an hour there just looking through everything. I couldn't make a decision, however, and didn't buy anything. I was the only one in the group that didn't walk out with something. I get overloaded when I have too many options sometimes.

We headed off to dinner and happened to pick the same place as the other group--Joe's group. Joe is so great. He's this middle-aged gay guy who believes in having fun as much as possible. He made his group order dessert first which I thought was an excellent idea...although our group didn't do this ourselves.

Outside the restaurant was a guy playing his acoustic guitar and singing "All Along the Watchtower"--I love that song. And he did a great job with it--thankfully not trying to imitate Hendrix's guitar...that really wouldn't have worked well with an acoustic guitar, I don't think. Right across from him next to the street was an amazing sight. This woman (I think--one of those androgenous people) dressed like an angel! She was standing on this platform wearing a long silver gown that covered the platform she was on. White gloves, huge feathered wings and a face painted white...really, really different from anything I'd ever seen before. She just stood there making slight movements. For a few moments I was almost convinced it was an animatronic angel and not a real person, but no, she was indeed a street performer. People would just stop and watch her for a few moments and then maybe drop a dollar in her glass vase (which was very full of money) and move along. She would maybe bend down and say something to the person dropping money in and then go back to standing tall and just slightly moving again. So, so different--but in a good, wow-I-know-I'm-in-a-large-city type of way. Then it was back on the train and back to the hotel...

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