I meet students in The HUB.
The HUB is musty, keyboards gunky. It feels forgotten.
My student Karen has a list of dates when she will miss class to play We
Will Rock You on the trumpet for university staff and local at-risk
The football team is all heart, no talent.
Behind us sits a cleaning lady in a blue armchair. I've heard this
cleaning lady speak with the cleaning man with the gold hoop earring
who sits in here sometimes. They talk about what Steve says about this
and that, and I assume Steve is Steve Harvey from the radio.
Legend has it this building went up right after the Kent State
shooting. The faculty offices are tabernacled inside. The classrooms
surround them like air bags. There is hammering going on somewhere
inside the building's cavity, a cavity that must exist only because the
noise has to come from somewhere.
Sometimes the Kent State connection is brought up in conversation.
Whoever has been at the university longest gives a look: Not this
We are in Birmingham, Alabama.
If you can smell barbecue, it's going to rain.
The cleaning woman makes Karen uncomfortable. Her hands stay with her
band excuse, and her eyes dart from the cleaning lady to me. The
cleaning lady hums a little too loudly, a gospel melody swelling.
I try a smile to say it's cool. She's doing her thing.
We're doing ours.
- - -
Read DT's "Fishing with Wilcox."
W i g l e a f