February 28, 2002

A Journey to the Other Side of the Tracks

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So, two weeks ago was Valentine’s Day. Are you keeping it real? Are you sticking with it two weeks later? Cornell crew is finally back on Cayuga Lake after a three-month hiatus. Consider it Valentine’s Day take two.

Anyway, you know what people say about the “other side of the tracks” — how it is usually trouble, right? On the way to the Collyer boathouse, one must cross a set of railroad tracks. Instead of separating affluence and poverty, these tracks distinguish between work and play.

Imagine coming home (boathouse) after a long day at work (atop the hill), and finding pink, red, and white flower petals (Cornell’s rowing trophies and memorabilia) and smelling spicy scents emanating from candles (smell of the water) that lead you to the bedroom (Cayuga Lake).

Shutting that door behind you, immediately your eyes are arrested by her (boat). Slowly and confidently you delve further into the living room (boat bay) and take soft, but firm, steps toward her slumbering body. Pressing your heels into the wood paneled floor (concrete), you deliberately roll each foot along its arch, all the way up to your toes (stretching).

She lies on the couch (boat racks) having fallen asleep waiting for you. This allows you to stand back and appreciate her radiant beauty. She lies slim, sleek, and slender, but nonetheless strong. You begin to recall how you have been through hell and high water with her. Through thick and thin, she is your rock, undaunted and resilient (repaired from boat crashes). The sight of her alone is an emotional experience as your heart begins to pound (warming up).

You jaunt toward her ends as you gently lay your hands underneath her body and begin to curl her against your chest (lifting the boat off the racks). Still sleeping, she lies motionless, only moving her chest back and forth as she silently breathes. There is a sense of warmth emanating from her soul — a pounding pulse.

Her body lies in the grasp of your strong dependable arms, and you carry her across the threshold of the living room and up the staircase (walking out of the boat bay and down the dock), just like the first day when you moved into your first house and upon entrance to your honeymoon suite.

The two of you parade to the bedroom and you set her down gently (placing the boat into the water). She gently repositions herself upon the initial sensation of the cold cotton sheets against her skin (the unsettled rocking of the boat in the water).

You’ve done this before, but you’re a bit rusty and slowly sit down beside her. You begin to caress her hair and move down her body (placing the oars into the oar locks). She begins to slowly arise from her dream and greets you with a soft smile (coxswains command to push the boat off the dock). One thing leads to another and off you go working your magic once again (commence rowing).

This renewed love affair with Lady Cayuga has begun again for Cornell crew. She had turned a cold shoulder to us (frozen), but has come around to opening up to us once again.

Oh God, I think I just vomited in my mouth.

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