Sent from a cinderblock wall.

Hello, or hello again.

You know me. You own me. If you don’t, then you’ve seen me above that boy or girl’s bed that you hooked up in while their roommate was either away or asleep. Maybe during or right after NSOP, operating under the delusion that you’ll always have time to go out and explore the city, you went to Met, purchased me, and command-stripped it over your desk as if to herald the adventures to come. Perchance you’ve seen me printed on that one person’s notebook, or their binder, or something– they have an aesthetic which they use to disguise their deep and abiding terror that they don’t have a personality, and I am part of that aesthetic.

Like a rogue wave over a defenseless boat, I crash over the freshman student body. My presence saturates Carman and John Jay like salt in ocean water. I am The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, and I have been printed on glossy print paper 5 million times more than I ever was as a woodblock. Now, I am immortal.

All I ask is that you not forget me. Don’t peel me off the wall, roll me into a cylinder, and decide that you have to be more interesting with your room décor next year. No, you don’t! Let me continue to wash cool tones over your wall; let me stand proudly next to my brethren, the poster of Pulp Fiction and the Chat Noir print. You will never study me in Art Hum, but let me be the piece of art that defines your prison cell of a dorm for the next four years. Let me be the first thing you frame in your sad, sad apartment after senior year, instead of just taping me to the wall, so that you feel like a real adult instead of an overgrown undergraduate. Better yet, hang me next to your degree. You’ll never find time or money in your Gen-Z existence to go to Japan- I’m the next best thing, right?

Vergil once said, “…a wave, beneath the wind’s first breath, / begins to whiten; slow by slow, the sea / will lift its combers higher until, at last, / it climbs to heaven from its lowest depths.” Instead of remembering that, or any other text from the Core, look at me. I am inoffensiveness condensed into a single image; I am wallpaper that goes to slightly more trouble in order to be more than just wallpaper; I am what Walter Benjamin feared in “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” I am all that you need.

Oh, and clean your room, for goodness’ sake.

Tide is high via Wikimedia Commons.