Sam's Little Larks

by Sam Van Wetter | 4/26/16 5:03pm

FULFILL SAM and SAM STILL are bent over their senior spring bucket list.

FULFILL SAM: Maybe we should hike Franconia this weekend.

SAM STILL: It’s the opening weekend for that farm in Woodstock.

FULFILL: Thursday?

STILL: I have a 2A.

FULFILL: Do you have to go?

STILL: I mean, probably.

FULFILL: Just skip this one. Tell them you have an interview.

STILL: No. That’s totally doable but why would I? I’m having fun in my classes for once. I’m not really trying to fritter away my last days in a Dartmouth classroom.

FULFILL: But the bucket list!

STILL: We can find another time. I could do Friday?

FULFILL: Farm Fresh, though.

STILL: That was last week.

FULFILL: I could do Friday.

STILL: When are we gonna go to SkyZone?

FULFILL: Is that the indoor skiing place?

STILL: That’s SkiZone.

FULFILL: Oh yeah, didn’t Apple manufacture SkiZone?

STILL: That would be skyPhone.

FULFILL: Oh, I know ­­— it’s the company that lends you alcohol.

STILL: No, that’s Whi-skyLoan. SkyZone is the trampoline place.

FULFILL: Oh, right.

STILL: What, you aren’t stoked on the idea?

FULFILL: No! It could be cool.

STILL: Could be? It will be. It is already.

FULFILL: Probably.

STILL: What’s the issue?

FULFILL: It just seems like our bucket lists should be more about New Hampshire, you know? Being in the place. Not going into some weird warehouse full of tramps.

STILL: Tramps are people too.

FULFILL: I know. I’ll go if we find time.

STILL: I wish we could be here for summer.

FULFILL: I know.

STILL: Spring at Dartmouth is such a tease. It’s beautiful — but you have work. You get to wear shorts — to the library. You run this town — because you’re about to abandon it.

FULFILL: You know what could really ruin a summer? A 6A.

STILL: A sexay what? Cuz a sexay dude could really help —

FULFILL: A 6A, horndog.

STILL: I’m afraid to ask. — a.m. or p.m.?

FULFILL: Oh, p.m. P.m., of course. But that’s even worse, maybe. Six a.m. is an aggro but responsible time to start your class day. Six p.m.— no, 7 p.m. is an aggro but absurd time to end it.

STILL: So let’s stay and not take classes.

FULFILL: And do what? Get a job? Frat haunt like the irrelevant ghosts we will be?

STILL: We on the farm.

FULFILL: Are you scared to leave?

STILL: I don’t know.

FULFILL: Seriously.

STILL: Probably! A little!

FULFILL: Or a lot.

STILL: I mainly think I’ll be lonely. I already have trouble waking up if I don’t have breakfast plans. What will happen if I don’t have any plans?

FULFILL: You’ll make them.

STILL: Won’t be planning Franconia hikes.

FULFILL: No, probably not.

STILL: Can we talk about something else?

FULFILL: Please.

STILL: When does the farmer’s market start?

FULFILL: It’s gotta be soon.

STILL: Can we go to Whippi Dip?

FULFILL: I’m not sure if it’s open yet.

STILL: It’s gotta be soon.

FULFILL: Skinny Pancake will be nice.

STILL: When is that opening?

FULFILL: I heard there’s gonna be a soft opening.

STILL: Is Ledyard open yet?

FULFILL: There were kayaks and canoes out this weekend but I think it was kind of a free-for-all.

STILL: Soft opening. But it’s gotta be soon.

FULFILL: How about Moosilauke?

STILL: I think it’s probably still crazy icy.

FULFILL: But the Lodge? It’s gotta be —

STILL: Soon?

FULFILL: The present is a fickle thing, isn’t she?

STILL: Fickle at best.

They are quiet for a long time, thinking about time that has passed and that has still to come and the moments they live in each zooming by, unstoppable. They wonder if it’s enough to seek stillness or if they will ever find it. They think of the statue of Robert Frost on his perch above the BEMA and all the sunrises he’s seen break through trees and all the sunsets he’s turned his back on. They wonder if he’s found stillness or just stagnancy. They wonder if there’s a difference. They think of the river that has cradled them for the last four years. They think of the paths they’ve walked, the seats they’ve occupied, the sun they’ve felt, the words they’ve written. They want a job and a boyfriend and a dog and a future. They want Whippi Dip to open. They want it to stay warm. They want it to stay. But it won’t.

After a long pause:

FULFILL: We’ll hike next week?

STILL: I’d love to.