Listen, My Children...

Every Little Helps

Thursday, May 15, 2003

On Primal Scream


Harvard students like to scream. Primally.

Freshman year, spring semester, I recall leaning out my window (we had taken off the screens; now they're screwed on much more securely so I don't leap out the sixteenth floor in a fit of desperation) and releasing a bloodcurdling scream at midnight the night before exams. Freshman winter, I remember going out to watch people run around naked. Apart from European and Brasilian topless beaches, German late-night television, and a few live instances, I had little experience of naked people. None whatsoever of naked people running. Even less of naked people running over and falling in heaps upon ice floes planted by sadistic freshman armed with buckets of water and assisted by below-freezing weather. It was interesting.

Ironic side-note: my best friend from home, who came to Harvard with me, ran freshman winter. I went into his dorm afterwards, to talk with my towel-wearing friend and express my sentiments, and we were interrupted by a girl saying, "______ ________, I have just seen more of you than I ever want to see."

They're getting married next month.

Anyhow. This year, I knew which of my friends had habits of running, so I was (for better or for worse) prepared to see them, and therefore looking for them. So, I identified them far off, so then could see all of them up close. It was... interesting. The Jewish Boyfriend ran, but neither I nor his Beekeeper girlfriend identified him (much to her relief, I believe).

So, why do people of politically and occasionally morally conservative bents choose to be at such events? I don't know. Repression? Curiosity? Boredom? Eagerness to pat ourselves on our philistine backs for being better than those we are watching?

Personally, I'd say a mix of the middle two, but then again, I'm not exactly as morally rigid as some of my co-religionists would like me to be. Much more so than many of my friends, but not exactly a prude.

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