By Jonah Kondro
Classes at RDC have resumed for the fall term. My summer spent burning premium fuel, enrolling in careless and repetitive bourbon taste tasting, and travel shenanigans were over; moreover, a new breed of fun will be conceived in the halls of RDC.
There was no possibility of overlapping motorcycle travel habits and academic study. I needed to find a routine to survive a full-schedule load of classes. Like a fake Rolex watch, the gear work of my day needed to be synchronized for optimum performance. Within the first week back in class and under the rising pressure of the textbooks, I was already falling into some sort of daily school cycle. It came easier than expected after a summer of gallivanting, although. I still haven’t found that good place to nap in the library yet.
The reminder of the summer season has some sensory benefits. Part of my daily school routine is when my boots pass a small collection of fruit bearing crab apple trees on the RDC campus. I have yet to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge; but, the temptation surges when I pass under the tree boughs—the aroma from the apple trees was quite delightful.
During the beginning and the end of my school day, I ensured that my habits would take me past that group of crab apples trees. In passing under the trees, I used the brief moment spent in the aroma to find a little respite from the day’s stressors. I try to find little moments throughout my waking hours to find balance. Light and shadow coexist, as does good and evil, or stress and happiness. It will be an ongoing struggle to continue to find some of nature’s gifts once the snow freezes our countryside.
Upon leaving the school one afternoon, my little path beside the apple trees was violently violated with the most noxious of pollutants — some serpent was smoking a cigarette under the apples trees. The second hand smoke cast a foul blanket over the apple aroma I was expecting as I passed by. I felt like an ignorant cancer was thrust into the moment in which I sought to find balance.
My displeasure was quietly dissolved when I remembered that I smoked enough Marlboro reds on my summer motorcycle trip to give seven people emphysema. As soon as I crossed the border back into Canada (nearing the end of my trip), the strange allure of those cigarettes wasn’t allowed to follow me home — as per my health conscience and desire to live forever.
The second-hand smoke that was cast throughout those apple trees on the RDC campus was embraced when I dropped my hypocritical anger. Flavoured tobacco was quickly becoming an item of the past—like lead paint, parachute pants, and thalidomide. While under those apple trees, I inhaled a deep breath and enjoyed the apple flavoured tobacco smoke — then I coughed aggressively and was served a harsh reminder that any sort of smoking was bad.