Happy Valentine’s Day, Lawrence

Erik Wyse

Valentine’s Day is nearly here, and with that in mind I’d like to direct my energy towards love and the appreciation of those who inspire love within me. Love is the most powerful drug. It can drive men mad; it can make women swoon. I know personally it’s been both wonderful and very painful at times. I’d like to focus on the wonderful part just now. If you want the painful part you can consult any number of pop songs. With that said, let’s talk about love, my forest friends.
Women of Lawrence, I love you. There, I said it. I’d ask you all out on a date but then I don’t think we could find a table to fit us all – maybe a booth, but I’m not paying for all of you. You distract me from my studies, my yoga practice and nearly anything else I try to focus on.
I find it hard to talk in your presence sometimes – I don’t know what to do. My mind feels numb but maybe that’s just the cold weather. Words don’t come out. When I pass you by, I have to turn my face away and pick up the pace of my walking. Maybe I pretend that that tree over there has caught my attention, but who am I kidding?
So what happens now? I can’t keep pretending you don’t drive me crazy. I’m not a man of science; I sleep in Main Hall seven nights a week! It’s a little cold and lonely. I’m an English and religious studies major; I just can’t quell the romantic in me.
Did I mention that I am a man of high class? I enjoy a good meal at the Olive Garden – I’ve never been to Italy but I sure have eaten the tour of Italy! Peruse my record collection and you’ll find at least one Tijuana Brass album. Such classics as “Panama,” “Thanks for the Memory” and “Talk to the Animals” are among the sounds that purify the air space of my room. I wouldn’t bore you with talk of everyday menial tasks because I know nothing of the sort – I’m unprepared for the real world.
I can think of so many great things we could do together. We can start by holding hands. After that I figured we could eat some ice cream, which means we are done holding hands – but don’t fret, I eat my ice cream fast! We can look at pictures of sunsets and wish we were there. Just don’t expect me to get a real job; I need time to write my romance novels – of course you’ll be the inspiration.
I may be imperfect, but damnit, I’m just a man! A man who enjoys long walks through the grocery store and thinks the puppy bowl is a better spectacle than the super bowl. Faults? Yeah, I’ve got faults, but those are for you to find out and for me to hide. Did Grizzly Adams have a beard? Did Jefferson Davis make his own terrible mayonnaise that he force-fed to Union troops? Okay, Jefferson Davis may not have done this but hey, that’s just one of my faults, elaborate lying.
I love you, women of Lawrence. I’m going to miss you. Some of you I hope to continue to be entranced by for the coming years. Now I’d like to close, as I’ve done before, with a poem – a love poem, that is.Greet me in the morning light
Greet me in the after dark
Share a simple wish with me
Where do we start?

I’ve traveled through desert
I’ve fought through jungle
if only to find
I don’t want to wear
these dirty clothes anymore