The Following is a Work of Fiction

20061011-mcqueen.jpgDon’t come Around Here No Mo or: Steve McQueen Banished From Campus
By Christopher DeArcangelis

It is now nearly sun up as Steve Mc Queen and I pull us to the rocky summit of Mt. Crispus. Steve, clad in hemp poncho and straw hat, eyes gleaming beside a fully formed nose and cheeks for the pinching, cannot help but outshine the sun rising in the East. He pulls himself over the summit, landing on his belly.
“Wasn’t that a mother fucker?? Steve laughs. But then he turns his face to the rising sun and bites his lips, holding back the pain welling up inside his moved soul.
“If only Antioch could see me now.?
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Steve McQueen has only his pride these days as he was stripped of his Antioch citizenship two weeks ago. And why? There is no answer. Steve McQueen has maintained a non-threatening, educational presence as he traversed the many yards of our hollowed campus. Who can forget the good times? Who will forget the jolly chuckles of Mr. Steve McQueen?

In the quest to find answers, you must untangle the great gobs and wads of bureaucratic tape that can block even the healthiest arteries of understanding.
I figured I’d work my way to the heart of the matter and attempted a meeting with “Straw boss? Steve Lawry, El Presidente Guapo de Antioch College.
I approached his door with an air of caution. I was surprised to see his door partially opened, as if he were expecting someone. I raised my hand to knock when Steve’s voice wafted into my ears: “Come In?
I opened the door and greeted “The Man? with a hearty shake and a wink. He told me a few jokes, some a little racy I felt later, but none-the-less the sign of a whip smart welfare capitalist.
After the initial meet and greet, we cut to the shit. I mentioned Steve McQueen and Mr.Lowery’s face turned glum as a plum.
“I do not know of this person you speak of,? he responded.
“What do you mean, Steve? How can you forget? The face? The laugh? Remember when he single-handedly inspired a joyous celebration among those lost in the quagmire of living?? I protested.
I saw the red overtake Steve Lowery’s normally dour face, the beads of sweat swelling. He tilted his head to face his desk, his hands clenching the edge of his black leather throne.
“Get…Out….? he muttered, trembling
“Steve, tell me about Steve McQueen! You know who I’m talking about!? I threw all the papers off of his desk, a justice filled rage of yellow journalist. He shot up to full stature, his towering figure taking up all my space.
“There is no Steve McQueen! Not on this campus! Now, take your fowl and breadcrumbs and stuff it!? His pointer finger twitched as he held it pointed towards the exit.
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I am eating the freshly picked figs and grapes left over from the summer crop at Steve’s ranch as we observe a falcon gliding on steel winds o’er head. As I watch the falcon I think of Steve’s rise from naïve spring to chicken to a big game hen at Antioch College.

“Yes,? Steve laments, “Antioch really brought out the best in what I had given to me at the hour of conception.?
Reflecting on his commentary, I notice his eyes begin to water. Still shaken as his banishment, I feel this must be hard for Steve. Goading him on, I prod:
“ Do you feel like you are the reflection of an ideology??
His face turns to me swiftly. Throwing himself upon his feet he shouts,
“NO! I am no more important than you, or this mountain, or the sun!? His face turns majestically skyward as he basks in the beams of the life giving sun.
“We are all representative of something, and no idea or person is more important or any better than another!? Steve pulls a rock from the ground, overcome with energy, and throws it over the rocky precipice of the mountain’s apex.
“If we are to understand each other, we must laugh! We must forgive! We must hold hands as we stand on the picket lines to protest the dues paid to intolerance and hate!?
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So why did Steve McQueen get kicked out?
“Steve had this sort of natural…panache. He was a gunslinger at heart, but his heart was connected to his mouth. He sort of said what people all knew was true but afraid to hear.? first year Buster Gently relates. “His voice had the eerie quality. Sometimes it took on the shape of a sultry siren, you know, those maidens on the island that sang so mournfully, yet sexily, but sometimes, man, it was a steel nail chiseling a slab of bedrock.? “…I think, the administration feared his very presence. This guy just left blood wherever he went, really.?

“…He was a [charming] fuck. Sometimes I thought he knew about god or some higher shit, But really he was just a hack, I mean, when was the last time you bathed, Steve?? Kolin Pope, past savior of the world says.

“…He told me about this crazy idea he had involving regular foodstuffs. I think the administration got hip to his plans and cut the cowboy off at the pass, if you know what I mean,? Ernie, a first year says.

“I heard when I applied to Antioch that plainspoken folk with a natural flair were on the way out. That’s why I decided to go here,? says Neptune, a First year.
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The more people I talk to, the more it seems the nature of Steve Mc Queens unfortunate removal from Antioch takes on that of an oral tradition. While no one can quite put there finger on what happened, including Steve McQueen, we could all construct our own narratives that hold a deeper meaning than any authoritative folklore can provide. This must be the new face of Antioch. We are reverting to folklore and oral tradition in terms of communication between the administration and its students. Instead of concrete reasoning and iron-fisted bureaucracy, we are treated to an informal but classical rendering of the way societies communicated before the advent of the written language. This neo-classical approach will surely help redefine the face of Antioch.

In the meantime, we are faced with a strange void, the void that was once filled by our true love: Steve McQueen.