As may have come to your attention, the newly pastel lobby of East Campus transformed further over winter break, boasting new flora and cushy-yet-trendy lounge seating. In order to investigate the potential benefits of the new set-up, we reviewed the shocking decor in the most realistic manner possible: drunk.
Our pregaming consists of hurried shots taken with too many people and too little alcohol. The girls look in the mirror one last time while the guys make sure their arms look pumped. So with just enough alcohol imbibed to remind us why we hate vodka, the group heads out. We had heard about a party in EC tonight, and we were ready to crash it. We were confident this party would be different; this one wouldn’t be awkward and sweaty. Our slightly too large group walks over: t-shirts and tank tops, jeans and mini skirts.
At the entrance to EC we flash the security guard a knowing smile. It says, “No I don’t live here, and yes, I am going to get drunk tonight.” Or perhaps, “Yes, I had braces in middle school but I don’t wear my retainer so my teeth are just barely askew again.”
But then we stop. What’s this?
The lounge in EC has been redone? What is this tropical jungle of green foliage, and rough, seemingly slip-proof tile?
While the rest of the group continues on to the townhouse where a night of empty beer bottles and disappointment awaits, I remain in the lounge. This is the real party.
I slowly lower myself into a maroon armchair and to my surprise, it moves. Did I really have that much to drink? I mean, I know I already texted my ex, telling her to call me because I have changed, but that usually only takes two shots. No. It’s a swivel chair. They all swivel! This way, all of the people not sitting in this deserted lounge can talk to each other easily. And it really is deserted. The longer I sit there, the more I realize it is a passageway, a walkthrough, a convenient hallway to the elevators. No one stops to enjoy the 360-degree rotational comfort of a swiveling chair, or to examine the artificial looking plants lining the perimeter that upon closer examination are actually real.
Growing lonesome at my one-man party with no one to talk to and nothing to touch, I stare at the only monitor in the entire lounge. Here I see endless messages reminding me of flu shots, what semester it is, and how I am a man and I can define masculinity for myself. I remind myself of the latter as I look at the coral pink walls of the lounge and realize that lavender would have looked much nicer.
In the end I leave East Campus alone, go to my room alone, and fall asleep alone. But it was no different than if I had gone to the party. At least in the newly renovated lounge of EC I was able to enjoy solitude, solitude in a place for social interaction, a staple part of a Columbian’s diet.
The fuuuutuuuure via Shutterstock