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Davis, California

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Flock of arboretum couples make runner uncomfortable

UC Davis students feels alone, sad and gross 

Last Tuesday, first-year communications major Brian Greene decided to head for a run in the arboretum after consuming 1,188 calories worth of double-chunk chocolate DC cookies. Blasting “The Real Slim Shady” in his airpods, Greene optimistically began his journey.

As he rounded the lake, he noticed a cluster of bodies perched both on benches and on the grass. Upon closer examination, the bodies were revealed to be overlapping and contorting in alien embraces. Two grad students were making out in a post-modern fashion that included licking cheeks and chins. Nervous freshmen were attempting over-the-bra action next to a family of ducks. An artsy pair with matching nose rings were reading Nietzsche into each other’s mouths. 

Clammy with pheromones, reeking of Axe and seasonally appropriate Bath and Body Works sprays, partners clawed for inches of available skin. Older couples gazed lovingly at each other, only breaking away to give Greene a disapproving glance.

This scenario made Greene overly aware of himself — from the gray t-shirt he was wearing that revealed damp underarms, the loud breathing that broadcasted his lack of fitness and the fact that he was completely and utterly alone. 

Turning off Eminem, he was now forced to confront his depressing romantic life. He thought about Brianna on his dorm floor and whether or not she would break up with that douchebag Kevin. He thought about his hot TA who looked gorgeously studious in her reading glasses and the pornographic teacher-student fantasies that fueled him through 7 p.m. discussions. He then thought about how neither of them seemed to be interested in him at all. He questioned whether or not he was worthy of being loved.

Maybe this is why I’m single, he thought to himself as he attempted to blast past the couples. A few romantic picnics were cock-blocked by his escape. Baguettes and cartons of organic Trader Joe’s strawberries were tossed about by his aggressive footsteps, leaving blurry judgmental looks in his wake. His embarrassment propelled him forward into a 7-minute-mile pace as he headed back to Tercero with a mission to disappear into his room. He intended not to re-surface until he was cuffed, scolding himself for being ignorant of freshman year sexual politics.

He foolishly thought himself free from the onslaught of romantic images as he began running on the sidewalk until he noticed a couple heading out of Visitor Parking Lot 47 —  and they were right in front of him. The couple locked hands and overtook the entire sidewalk.

Now forced to run on the road in order to pass the couple, Greene thought he heard a slight scoff shared between the two lovers. He had a feeling they were judging him for being alone, sad and gross. Greene reportedly dropped out of UC Davis following this tragic event. 

Written by: Kelsey Stewart — kcstewart@ucdavis.edu 


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