“Proletariat Incursion” from “Remembering Eternity”

“People like Isabella, Melvin, Soyala, and Skylar had been invited to the Prince’s ball all right, but as wallflowers, strays, and stags.  The newcomers, like adjunct lecturers alive with dazzle and flair, had a real but short-lived effect on the University.  The interlopers appeared on campus like vibrant and unusual posters for a theatre production: ephemerally delightful but soon papered over.  Skylar knew himself to be a guest, someone granted temporary lodging at the great institution, whereas the sons and daughters of the social aristocracy were its natural denizens.  These clear-skinned and well-coiffed fortunates, in their Topsiders and bronze corduroy trousers, their crew-necked sweaters, fine-napped pants, and sheeny pumps, symbolized the ivy that grew into the very mortar of the old buildings and the patina whose accretion painted brass fixtures with mint-green ferns and transformed copper downspouts into works of jade.  Skylar and his ilk may have been fragrant and colorful annuals in blossom, but the children of the upper class rose tall like the oaks, elms, and plane trees rooted deep in the campus ground, which had watched over the school for centuries.”