Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rolling Down Glenwood Ave

“Roll to Me” by Del Amitri

With fingers caked in Ricotta cheese, I fumble while trying to jam the cheese and sausage mixture into manicotti noodles without ripping the slimy sticky noodle. Meanwhile, Iron & Wine “Boy with a Coin” gives way to Del Amitri’s “Roll to Me.” All bets are off. I rip the open the noodle; wrap it around the gooey mixture so I can turn up the music. 

This song is about as short as my freshman year at the College of St. Francis, which only lasted a semester. It also was the soundtrack during my morning commute. Like most morning shows, Eric and Kathy on 101.9 in Chicago had a predictable format, and managed to play this song everyday while I was cruising down Glenwood Avenue. That is right. I was a commuter right out of high school. So instead of roommates and keggers, I was concerned with prime parking spots and daily traffic patterns. My grades were incredible. My work ethic was admirable. My dedication to my major was that of disinterest and completely lacking of any passion. My connection to the school and my peers was nonexistent.

I lacked passion for any course of study. I was entertained by my classes, and even learned a thing or two. But for the most part, I could not see a unified vision for where all of this was going to take me. Because I commuted I couldn't get lost in the college life and stop thinking about it all so deeply.

I was looking at my future with a smudgy and out of focus lens that everyone else had been touching and fiddling with but I hadn’t stepped up and put into focus. Not once did I consider I may be taking all of this way to seriously, which is now something I would tell my 18 year old self. I was trying to be sensible and practical at a time in my life it would have been o.k. to dabble and maybe even go to a kegger. My reality, however, was a 27 minute drive covering the 13.5 miles from my parent’s house to the college, being confronted with these words: 

Look into your heart pretty baby,
Is it aching with some nameless need.
Is there something wrong and you can't put your finger on it
Right then, roll to me 

So, when I rolled back to my home town, I spent all of my time with my boyfriend. He was a commuter at a school even further away. His grades were incredible. His work ethic was admirable. His dedication to chemistry was pure passion.  He proved to me passion is vital, so I married him. He inspired me, and still inspires me to step outside of the commuter rut and into my life. (Wait, did I just hear Billy Ocean.) Now, when I hear this song I realize I first have to turn it up fast because it will be over very quickly. Secondly, it is important to find your own voice. Even if it is in the kitchen covered in manicotti.

4 comments:

Bill said...

It is very interesting to hear your perspective on those days now that we're older and have been through so much together! Brings back memories of Joliet too...

brandy said...

I think it's funny that you went to St. Francis to get a history degree and didn't have the passion for it. I went to St. Francis with no passion and, thanks to their history department, discovered my passion for, and got a degree in, history :)

While I love the post, I can't stand the song, haha! I can definitely relate to not knowing what direction to go in.

Dawn Malone said...

Thanks for the comments!

Brandy, I am sure Michael Buble will come up :) It is funny the paths we take. There is something eerie about the history department at St. Francis that makes you question your passion.

Bill, it has been one long, strange trip that just keeps getting better.

Mark Malone35 said...

Ahh, the 27-minute commute. Oddly enough, it was one my favorite memories of USF. For me, it was like a form of therapy. That sounds strange, looking back, considering it was the likes of Eminem, Trick Daddy and Kid Rock who were giving me inspiration. It also is probably the reason Brandy thinks I'm going deaf. :)