This amazing poster of cheese hung in the dining room of the house JS shared with two other Art History students. When all three housemates returned from their evening classes, the four of us sat in that dining room, which I remember as a long room with a long table. I keep picturing a picnic table, but that might not be right. Anyway, we sat and talked. What I remember the most of our conversation was how it opened.
They asked me to look at that poster of desserts, which I complimented as thoroughly as I had the poster of cheese, and then told me there was a little "initiation." A little exercise that they asked all houseguests to perform related to that poster of desserts.
"If you had to wear a dress," they asked me, "a dress made out of any one of those desserts, which would it be?"
I loved it. The house, the people, the posters, the dress-dessert question, all of it. I wished my life resembled this more.
We went to bed at a reasonable hour, since all of us were used to waking up early. I had a very realistic nightmare that I had actually broken my oath and told the three women all of the details of trial as well as what I thought of it and whether or not I thought Dr. Kurtz was guilty. The dream was so realistic that for most of the next morning, I felt overwhelming guilt and fear that it had really happened.
JS had to run an errand on campus, which gave me and opportunity to tour it. We visited an art museum on campus; I vaguely remember an exhibit about China. In early 2009, I visited art museums often. I especially liked small museums like this one or like the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick, NJ. As former scholars of Victorian literature and fans of George Eliot, we attempted to have lunch at this place:
Alas, it wasn't open for lunch. Instead, we had lunch in town at a Thai restaurant. I remember Williamstown as cold, icy, peaceful, with a pleasant academic air. The restaurant was colorful and warm in contrast to the white ice outside, but it retained the studious calm I detected throughout the town.
We returned to the farmhouse in mid-afternoon. It was now time to decide where my trip would next take me. I tried to convince JS to go to Canada with me. It was only three hours from her house; we could get there by dinnertime. We could stay at an inexpensive hostel. We could wake up early the next morning and get her back to Williamstown in time for her weekend plans. I'd drive, and she could do homework in the car!
But the date was Friday, February 13. The next day was Valentine's Day, and JS had a boyfriend in Boston to see. I supposed I could have spent the night and driven back to New Jersey the next morning. I could have continued into Vermont, where I knew I'd find a youth hostel that I stayed at in 2003.
JS convinced me to continue the adventure without her. So a little before 3PM, I left her house, heading for Canada.
If you had to wear one of those desserts as a dress, which would you choose?
UPDATE: I love the Internet and how you can use it to find out these little obscure road trip details years later. The Thai restaurant we went to was Sushi Thai Garden and the art museum was the Williams College Museum of Art. The link goes to the list of exhibitions from 2009, when I was there.
Don't forget to share your dessert/dress choice in the comments!