Freshly Skinned Bunnies! Good Eatins!

This was the sign I saw outside of Strattanville, PA as I drove to State College to settle myself in for school…and a new life…again. I took Hwy 322 out of Meadville and meandered my way down because I felt like taking a road less traveled, and damn, if that sign didn’t exemplify that sentiment.

I expect no small amount of weirdness out of central PA: the barn advertising tobacco chew; the beautiful, charming, historic town where I heard no less than 3 racial slurs while grabbing a cup of coffee; or the area just north of here called “Snowshoe” which is oddly enough the name of Samoyed dog my parents rescued when I was 10.

I take it all in. Slightly amused, a little annoyed, and completely mystified as to what I have gotten myself into. And by into, I mean the 600 sqft apartment I find all Sailor’s and my stuff crammed into. I haven’t lived in an apartment in 20 years. The neighbor above wears stilettos. The hallway is a weird amalgamation of smells from the cooking by the various ethnicities of its occupants.I have to swipe a card key to get into the building and use a real key on the apartment door. I haven’t lived with a locked door in the same amount of time since I last lived in an apartment.

A cozy little downtown with nearly everything one needs is within comfortable walking distance. The football stadium, thankfully, is on the exact opposite side of campus. Apparently beer pong begins on the front porches promptly at 5pm. College kids shuffle along in their chewed up flip-flops which they manage to walk on despite half the foot not even remotely touching the foam bed. And everywhere here: rabbits, squirrels, and rabid ducks! There’s no lakes, no ponds, no river that I have seen, so where the hell do these vicious little water fowl come from?

I’m keeping to myself here. I have a bike and walking trail just outside my door. Within 50 yards I can be outside of campus proper and spend an hour or two bouncing around like I am in a pinball machine which my current view of living on the valley. Too much outside of town is farmland where people, quite literally, are only functionally literate and those freshly skinned bunnies are being served for supper.

Sailor is in Chicago this weekend. He wants me to escape and come visit. As much as I would love to, I have meetings with my advisor, another meeting with a professor whose research I am interested in, and no less than 400 pages of journal articles to read before classes next week. In the valley I shall stay.

Stranger in a strange land. Visitor from another planet. As I type this, I’m looking out my window and on the lawn is a full upright rabbit staring me down.