Illustration by Kat Barton

How LC students share the love

*The Backdoor is a “work” of “fiction” and “humor”

By Lauren Keegan

Mmmmmm, smell that? There’s love in the air here at Lewis & Clark! Time to dust off the ol’ emotions from the labyrinthine depths of your cold, unfeeling heart and take them for a spin on this impending day of love. While most LC students aptly celebrate unconditional affection with perishables such as chocolate and flowers, LC students are not most people. With this in mind, I present an account that anyone who has searched for love at LC can relate to.

The blossoming of a beautiful LC relationship is riddled with these subtle, sensual allusions to underlying feelings of love. Staring wistfully at them from across the Bon is a dead giveaway – it’s all they’re able to think about as they sink their teeth into a soy curl taco. When you sneeze, they say “bless you,” even though they’re an atheist and you’re both sitting in the quiet section of Watzek. Soon after, you go to smoke marijuana cigarettes in the rose garden, scoffing at the state of the grounds as Tame Impala blares from an iPhone speaker. The Polaroid you take together becomes the crown jewel of your Instagram. You first kiss at a house party packed with crumpled Pabst cans and 65 drunk teenagers. Both are sticky. The night is magical.

If the basis of their attraction to you isn’t the romanticization of mental illness, you’re off to a great start. They offer to walk you to Evans from South Campus, a clear indication that they’re in it for the long haul. If you’re lucky, they’ll overlook the fact that your parents are capitalist pigs. After all, they’re paying for your summer mindfulness retreat to Thailand.

Your love is original: your couple song is “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers and you glare angrily and unabashedly at passersby while walking across campus hand-in-hand. You spend your days slacklining together and your nights passionately discoursing Trotsky to each other. When your love accused of having fake glasses, you savagely trip the slanderer between classes in Howard in a display of eternal adoration like the Shakespearean devotee that you are. From that moment on, you never again have to request to bum a cigarette.

Saying “I love you” is not exclusive to romantic relationships. You watch a friend’s things in Watzek for them while they chat up a possible love interest, memorize their Maggie’s order, and always tag them first in memes. They wait for you when you run out of breath going up the stairs in Howard and conceal the fact that you still watch Gossip Girl from your peers. They reassure you that you are more than the upvotes on your Reddit post and give you the Sub Pop sticker they got in Seattle while visiting their aunt. It shines, taking center stage on your dusty, dusty Nalgene.

All of these small gestures, every Bon swipe and door hold, every “I like your beanie-overalls combo” and “that Spotify playlist you sent me is so dank,” is a sign that no, love is not dead at LC. It’s just half-dead, like a zombie. It’s sweet if you think about it. Sort of.

Last but not least, the best way LC students convey their love: “I thought love was nonexistent at LC –– until I met you.” Go to that person that makes a dreary Portland rainstorm feel like the blazing glow of the summer sun, and tell them how much they mean to you…indirectly, of course. Why would anyone actually say “I love you?”

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