February 13th 2005 Are Those Cloves?

Bucknell University is an interesting place late at night on Fridays and Saturdays, which is why I often wander around the campus at 2 AM on those nights and wait to meet people. I nearly always run into someone interesting, but an exchange with a young woman Saturday night (well, technically, very early Sunday morning) really took the cake.

I was up at my friend Andrew’s room, who lives in Swartz Hall. We stepped outside for a cigarette—or rather, he did, as I don’t smoke, but I joined him anyway. It was really cold and I spent most of the time stamping around with my hands in my pockets (which seems like a trivial detail but becomes more important in a second). While we were talking, a young woman walked by us. She was fumbling with something in her purse, and in the process dropped something on the ground. She picked it up, then stopped by us and, looking directly at me, asked, “Excuse me, is one of you smoking a clove?”

Well, since she addressed the question specifically to me, I felt the need to respond. I was about to say, “Yes, I am, in fact, but it’s cold outside so I put my hands and my cigarette in my pocket to warm it up a bit first.” However, before I had the chance to be an ass, Andrew replied, “Yes, I am.” To which the girl said, “Oh, good. I was just walking by and thought I smelled a clove, and I just wanted to make sure I was smelling okay,” and strode off.

I hope she made it back to her room okay.