Campus Fountain

by Jonah

Well, darn. I can’t believe they drained the fountain the day we were
planning to jump in. I was looking forward to taking a running start and
doing a cannonball, but I probably would have slipped and cracked my head
open instead. Give the nursing students some practical experience. I
learned the hard way why you don’t run at the swimming pool a couple of years
ago. My brother was chasing me, and as I rounded a corner, my feet slipped
on the stone like concrete (you know, like they have everywhere at UM, those
little rock things that get really slippery on the side walk?) and I fell
down, ripping part of my thigh off and feeling a chunk off the side of my
foot get peeled off by the pavement. It was not a pleasant memory, and the
wounds took the dickens of a time to heal. And then my grandmother died, but
I got her car, so I guess there was a happy ending after all. Even though
the Braves lost the World Series for the first time.

Anyway, Nathan waited for me outside once 2 pm rolled around. I joined him
and sat forlornly waiting till Cris Hyatt and Chad Sides got out of class.
Then I made a mad dash for the edge and jumped in, my shoes making a pitiful
splash from the remains of the water. We climbed on the figure, and then
Cris got the bright idea of sticking the orange cone (that once failed to
serve the bricks from being stepped on) on top of the statue (or whatever it
is). Neither one of us was tall enough to reach that high, but Nathan came
to our rescue and tossed it up top. It fell down, so he tried repeatedly but
without success to get the cone back up. About then we heard someone honking
and yelling. “Maintenance man approaching,” I alerted Cris, who had picked
up where Nathan abruptly left off. Across the quad came a black man with the
sleeves rolled up on his uniform walking casually but purposeful
toward us. We all sat down on the edge of the fountain. I got up and put
the cone back where it was before.

“Uh, what cone?” said Cris, laughingly rehearsing what she’d say. “Haven’t
seen a bright orange cone,” added Nathan. The man reached us. “So you’re
the ones who put soap in my fountain!” he said. “No sir, not us.” He picked
up the cone and started to leave. “Oh, come on,” pleaded Cris, “We want to
put it on top.” “I’ll just have to go up there and get it after you do,”
he pointed out. “Will you fill the fountain back up before school is out?” I
asked. “Probably,” he shrugged, “We we’re just gonna clean it out.” After
he left, Nathan amused himself by throwing coins up into the “collection
plate.”

If what he says comes true and there is water in the fountain next Friday,
I’m going to jump in after my Russian History final to celebrate my
transition into upperclassmanship. My test is at one, so I don’t know how
late it will be.

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