The Lost Umbrella

It is difficult to complain about Amherst College when one is bombarded by the ridiculous shrapnel of US government failings every morn upon awakening. Today I am mad at the government because: its website(s) SUCKS, its employees are technologically illiterate (this seems to be a requirement to join the greatest of great institutions), and because it refuses to give me a chance to join in the fight for libertyandjusticeforall. But, I will suffer and endure on so that one day I may call myself a government employee, so that one day I may lobby in secret for a website bailout, and make sure that every session of congress is well stocked with actual barrels of pork.


But no matter,  today is a day to complain about the second greatest (because Williams does a better job) of great educational (OR SO WE THINK?!) institutions. There are many places that I would like to begin, many frustratingly fond moments of clarity I experience while waiting in line at Val for Poop Glazed Cod Nugs. There are moments when Tony Marx’s lacquered smile melts in the heat of day and I can see beneath his paint the scaly skin of a Flesh-Eating Subterranean Bog-Monster from the Center of the Earth. There are, entirely too frequently, those pained interactions with personnel (especially the woman at the front desk of the health center and especially on days when it is raining and I am sick with Ebola or Something Similar), the agonizing uphill battles with the mountainous path behind the gym, punishingly droll lectures orated by ambivalent professors who haven’t prepared for class in ten years, and, most distressing of all, there is the realization that AAS elections are entirely pointless because, as in the time of the very first Easter, when computers didn’t exist but foot-roasting was popular, our second greatest of the great institutions is controlled by a bunch of skinny old men and women (not in the first Easter) who write pretentious books about academic things that aren’t interesting, or who work for the GOVERNMENT.




In light of these and other things, I will be writing a weekly column about the Amherst College policies, faculty, and facilities that annoy me the most. This is not just a rant (though it is mostly that), but an attempt to enlighten the Amherst population, so that when you become older and skinnier (and trustees), you can make better decisions regarding our finances. But today, I would like to complain about one of you, a member of the Amherst College student community, and how you are an asshole.


Allow me to more accurately caricature my suspect. It was someone specific, but someone as-of-yet unknown. It was someone who was awake and about around 1am last Sunday morning. It was someone on the prowl in Mayo-Smith. It was someone….someone…who stooped so low as to strip me of my dignity, to strangle from my soul the last ounce of comfort and warmth on that turbulent, tumultuously rainy day. It was someone…it was a downpour…it was safety…it was alone..wet..loss…….despair..hope/lessness. it was wet and soggy but not in a good way. It was someone who stooped so low as to take from another being her daily bread, her given right to snugness, her premeditated relief…..


It was someone, a he, maybe a her or a sHe,

Who on that blustery night took what was dearest to me.

Because what, oh what!, is more dear,

Than the promise of warmth to a belly of beer,

To a girl with no cloak,

Thought I, “it’s a joke”!

I tread through the rain,

But my gallantness waned.

I was wet, I was sad but YOU,

The sniveling, persnickety, nefarious you,

You were dry

And probably drunker than I.


Maybe you were raised in a place where the sun always shines,

But so was I, SO WAS I!

Yet I knew to bring my trick to the party,

I knew my parasol would be expected by all.

And it was expected by me.

To be waiting there–

For me…

But he was taken.

Like a tod at the fair,

Taken back to the despicable’s lair,

And hopefully there he doesn’t hurt much,

Hopefully there he awaits my soft touch,

My longing caress,

My rooted-ness.

He wants to see the world,

But he sits, twisted and curled,

With the dust and your sock.

And he cries as he looks at the clock.


Across the glass the rain’s song calls to my dear umbrella. My loneliness mixes with the swirling clouds and the crunching grass and creates a smoothie of sadness that I drink every day at 8am when I wake up to the hole in my heart. My umbrella is a he. He was given to me in Russia by Tatyana Mikhailevna. He was purchased for 300 rubles at the udelnaya riinok on November 23, 2010. He is fourth in a line of four. He shielded me from snow over the Neva river. He protected me from drunken Russian men. He was a hand to hold when I hadn’t seen the sun in 24 days. He paints a vista of an egalitarian socialist city across his brow, in golds, garnets, and greys. He was a bridge between me and the world and then between me and the sky.



Dear thief, please return my umbrella because I love him. You’re an asshole. I would understand if you had stolen my ipod or my laptop or my phone. But if you had dressed poorly and come into Val shivering and wet, would you really steal someone else’s coat? Would you steal an infants coat?!? Would you steal the skin off of someone’s back?!!? Do you not realize that some people’s things (AND THEIR SKIN) are important to them? I am all about stealing from THE MAN (or THE ENTITY since we are trying not to stereotype genders here at she-bomb), and I often steal things from Walmart and Chick-Fil-A because I hate Walmart and Chick-Fil-A. If you had stolen my umbrella because you hate me or my capitalist bloodthirst, I would understand, but I am hoping that isn’t so. Which means you go around on Saturday nights with a belligerent disregard for your fellow humans, stealing people’s belongings. SHAME. SHAME on you. Amherst College, I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but it is not. We need to get our shit together and decide not to do such despicable things. We all know how the little bits of evil horribleness can really be the last straw for some people. Sometimes when I pull that long black hair out of the cheese on my burger in Val I just want to use it to strangle myself—we have enough to fight against without adding to our own daily pain, our stress, our applications and our workload. So lets make an effort to keep out of this blog from now on. Amherst College is sometimes a poop in the pants, but the student body is not.







* Thanks for the feature image!