Saturday, July 3, 2010

I Hate You, Science and Engineering Library

3:00 AM: I am one of the last people here on the fourth floor of the SEL. I am open to the possibility that I have died and that this is hell. All of the signs are there: nobody speaks; everyone is slaving away; and for some reason I am nearly overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy. I can tell that this is not Hell though for one glorious fact.

There are no spiders.

3:45 AM: I can't help but look over my shoulder every few minutes. Someone is watching me that doesn't want me to know about it. You're clever SEL, like that house from Amityville Horror. You're a Panopticon of terrible surprises and horrors as yet unimagined.

The world outside of the walls of this prison does not seem real anymore. Looking out the window is like looking from the porthole of a submarine out onto some inhospitable, strange and foreign land. I would be afraid of identifying too closely with this abomination if it weren't for the hope that when the sun rises this phantasm would disappear and fade from the face of the Earth. It is almost fitting that the windows are semi-reflective, causing me to be reminded of my ghastly fate every time I look to my right.

4:00 AM: I am cold. Why am I cold? I am next to a heater and the windows are shut tight. My sleeves are down and my coat is on.

4:32 AM: I clearly do not fit in with this crowd: the fellow across the room from me keeps giving me looks which do not seem to be of the amiable nature; a girl is sobbing quietly on the other side of a row of bookcases; one guy is slouched so far in his chair I'm not sure if he's still there behind his laptop screen or if he's sneaking around the back of the bookcases to make some sort of desperate gambit for freedom from his studying and his own personal demons.

4:36 AM: The only thing that is keeping me going is the occasional respite offered to me like a gift from angels in the form of a sip from a caffeinated beverage. After my two coffees and a Coke (because there will always be Buckeyes and there will always be Coca-Cola), I felt that I was taking on a lot of water in the forward compartments.

Before going into the bathroom I stopped myself. What cruel joke did the SEL have in store for me?

Toilets out of order? Too easy.

Toilets overflowing and flooding the bathroom, getting all over me? Would be a walk in the park compared to my existence on the outside.

I gritted my teeth, considered picking up smoking, and turned the handle.

Upon my entering into the men's lavatory I had come to discover a wiry Asian kid who looked to be about five feet six inches tall and probably weighed less than a hundred pounds. I remember this because I was startled to find him in nothing but his boxers (his street clothes were bunched up in the corner) and he was washing himself using water from the sink and soap from the hand soap dispenser. I had caught him in the "hair wash" part of the ritual. He gave me a look, paused... and then put on his cokebottle thick glasses, soap and water be damned.

On any other day that might have seemed strange.

4:45 AM: I have barricaded myself in a corner of the room with tables, chairs, and the two cubicle walls that had appeared when I came back from my journey to Satan's bathroom, as if conjured by some terrible sorcerer to torment me with reminders of my seemingly inevitable future in a soulless, lifeless office.

There is music. I cannot locate its source. The airy melody speaks to me. It wants me to follow it, leading me to more atrocities, sending me further into this madness Ohio State mistakenly labels as a Library. The terrible Siren is ceaseless, rising to a crescendo and then slowly fading back again.

I will not let you take me you roguish hellions!

4:52 AM: A bearded security guard walks past, his immense frame only exceeded by his apparent interest in a large tome nestled against the end of a bookcase. What does it say? Is this a log of all the poor souls to be trapped in this bottomless pit of depression, and this Kharon was here to ferry my fellow inmates and me into the Underworld at the end of his shift? But I have no pennies. How embarrassing would that be if it comes to be my time to get off the boat and I have no pennies to pay the boatman?

5:00 AM: A churning has started. I can feel it shaking throughout the entire building. Or is that me shaking? I just don't know anymore. My friend with the mean looks from across the room has packed his things and left, leaving no trace. Or was he ever here? I can't be sure anymore.

5:09: My agony continues. I have no choice but to soldier on and complete my trials. This shall be my last communication with the outside world (if you even exist anymore). Depression is setting in. Its so very cold. Drums in the deep. Drums. Drums.

Should I fail to make it back past that doorway downstairs (that apparently doubles as the River Styx) and back out into the world of the living, I want you to prevent any and all people that you can from suffering a similar ending. Do not come looking for me, as I would be inescapably lost in the clutches of my sequestration to this terrible terrible fate.

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