maple tree

Our dorms at Ramapo were originally named after trees (before donors came in and ruined everything). My freshman year, I lived in Maple, Oak was the Honors dorm, and then there was Pine. Maple rooms had an occupancy of 3, Oak, 2, and Pine 6; 6 suitemates, 2 roommates per room. One bathroom. I always felt blessed that I got put in Maple. Maple was renamed Mackin, Oak was renamed Bischoff, and I think Pine might’ve stayed Pine. There was also Laurel, which was for juniors, that I don’t think got renamed either. My time at Ramapo during those dorm years seems like a wild watercolor that isn’t quite my life. It’s as if someone else’s memories were given to me by a girl who looks just like me. So distant and removed I am from that time, yet so connected to it. I suppose that’s what time does.

I think sugar maple’s are the ones that give sap. I remember when Dad went to Vermont on a business trip and he brought me back a Vermont Teddy Bear baseball cap (which I think we still have – might be in John’s room), and a tray of maple syrup sugar candies. I remember how sweet they were, absolutely saccharine. One was definitely more than enough. They were pale squares in plastic moulding. I would love to have one now, just to better remember the taste and the time of being young. I must’ve been 8 or 9 maybe.

Maple trees have interesting leaves. I believe the maple leaf is on Canada’s flag. And/or their hockey team? The leafs are so recognizable, as is the taste of maple syrup. Pancake breakfast. I can’t stand the imposter syrups that are not the real, natural thing. For so many years I’m sure I ate that, not knowing better. The brown, sticky liquid in the Mrs. Butterworth or Aunt Jemima bottle. So easy to make yourself sick and pour empty calories on your shortstack. I would love some hot pancakes right about now. Fluffy, warm comfort food. When the time of being a kid had no calories. Body image wasn’t even a phrase in our vocabulary. That is the drug we all crave.

Author: Roe

30. she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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