At the end of the Week Four Shift another phenomenon tends to occur: the English Nerd blues. As difficult it is to believe, life on the Mountain is not immune to the summertime blues. English Nerds get lonely too. They miss their friends and family. They miss their sweethearts, too. You think that just because someone likes reading books and writing about them and then sitting in a meadow to watch the sun drift leisurely behind a stunning mountain-kissed landscaped means they don't have feelings? Pishaw.
The English Nerd Blues are serious business, mister. You see it all the time on campus. Overworked men and women dressed in rags, the concept of personal hygiene long forgotten, shuffling around in a daze after dinner, hunched under the weight of an overstuffed backpack mumbling to themselves with sarcastic joy, "Gotta read my Chaucer, Oh boy! Gotta Chaucer read my Chaucer, yay! Can't wait."
|Oh, there's a three-hour lecture that goes until 10 pm? On Proust? Awesome.|
Truth be told there's only one cure for the English Nerd Blues: a nice long walk down west Rt. 125. Or as I like to call it, "The Road Sparsely Travelled." That's an allusion, folks. English Nerds eat that stuff for breakfast up here. They're like Allusion Ninjas. Heck, one spotted it before I wrote it.
Our destination is Homer Noble Farm. "What's Homer Noble farm?" you ask. Homer Noble is the name of the kindly farmer who gave Robert Frost total use of his backwoods cabin, free of charge, to use as his personal one-man writer colony. In return, Robert Frost religiously slept with Homer Noble's wife. Quid pro quo, Clarice.
The important thing is not to dwell on Robert Frost's moral failings. The point is that walking to his den of sin in the woods is a great way for overworked English Nerds to let off steam before they take some poor library hostage.
|Give me the Chaucer, and nobody gets hurt.|
As you foot it down Rt. 125 be mindful of your surroundings. There are many wonderful things to see along the way to the Frost Cabin.
|Moose are everywhere along Rt. 125. Moose are crepuscular, which means they only emerge at dusk or dawn. Or it might mean they suffer from terrible acne. I can't remember.|
|If you stand in the middle of this road and say out loud in a poetic manner: "Whose woods these are I know..." the disembodied voice of Robert Frost will whisper in your ear, "mine, bitch."|
The path to the cabin isn't long but bring bug spray. Don't forget. Use it. The bugs are vicious. I don't like to sound preachy but in 1983, Bread Loafer Carl Weathershack tried to walk the 50 feet to the cabin without using bug spray. Tragically, he never made it. The mosquitoes picked him clean. The bones were left as a warning.
And the cabin itself! This is where Robert Frost schemed his next conquest of Mrs. Noble and then wrote poems about being good neighbors.
|The actual Frost Cabin.|
As you can plainly see, the cabin is locked because 68% of all people who visit are English Nerds who turn psychotic whenever in the presence of Robert Frost paraphernalia. Luckily, as a Front Desk Maven, and as someone who holds a sterling reputation for responsible, level-headed behavior, I was allowed special access to the cabin. I'm happy to report folks, that, eventually after the proper authorities were consulted, everything turned out juuust fine.
|The Stove. Boiling Water. For those Frosty nights. On a roll, today.|
|The Foreman Grill.|
|Literary history: where Frost did some of his best work. |
Sorry, that was just cheap. I couldn't help it. I'm better than that. Right?
And that's the walk to the Frost Cabin. So the next time you find yourself on a Mountain in Vermont reading one too many Victorian novels, or having one too many late nights, or seeing too many familiar faces eating the same food day in and day out, don't fret. Don't let the English Nerd blues get you down. Take a deep breath and head down the road sparsely traveled. It'll do you some good.
Christian Patrick Clarke
Front Desk Novitiate, 2012
Hic et Ubique