LTE: I Paid For This Mulch So I Am Taking Some Just For Me
For a tuition of some seventy thousand dollars a year, there isn’t very much I ask in return. A handful of classes. Some decent professors. Access to the fifth floor of O’Neill. The occasional ride on the Comm Ave Direct. Maybe a bagel.
Perhaps . . . two bagels.
But, in the spring, I don’t think twice to assert my claim over a luxury that is rightfully mine. It’s when the warmth of the rising dew mixes with a heavenly aroma — an earthy, peppery, enveloping waft of pure euphoria. When the mounds of mulch arrive on campus, I know it from a mile away. And I take some. In my hand, to my house. Just for me.
It’s not that I need the mulch. I’m not digging for salvation in the tender, cool embrace of freshly-laid bark strippings. But to see so many fellow students out frolicing in the magic dirt, hurling the happy black tree stew across the quad, reveling in the fruits of our $4,800 tuition hike, I can’t help but think that some of it needs to be mine, and mine alone. I want it so.
It takes the weight of the world off my shoulders, the pungent piles of happy soft filth. Lo, the grace with which they slope and slide across the grass, effortless. I’ll never forget the first time they appeared, hiding in their scattered chips a blind craze of ecstasy. Suddenly, Boston College was ranked #4 in the nation by U.S. News and World Reports— we topped the mulch charts.
Now, with mulch on our backs and stuck to all our little white socks, the Heights have found new lifeblood. For dinner, I’ll sauce my own mulch; tonight, I’ll stop by CAB’s Mulch Grab-N-Gos; tomorrow, Mulch Sunday service at St. Ignatius; even Chester himself put a sprinkle of mulch at the foot of my bed last night. But best of all is this mulch right here, sliding between my fingers, worth every single penny. It belongs to me.