It was like Ad Astra, but instead of embarking on a journey through space to find my long-lost dad, I went to the basement of John Jay Hall and came face-to-face with myself. 

Do you remember the twenty-first night of September? I certainly will for a long time. From 4 pm to 4 am, I (pseudonymously YungGoat) confined myself to JJ’s Place and the bathroom in the lobby of John Jay Hall. Of course, I wasn’t alone: several members of Bwog accompanied me at various times during my quest. Each of us chose a pseudonym and logged our observances, both of others, of ourselves, and of the many mozzarella sticks that met their end that night. Here’s how it went down.

4:04 pm YungGoat: I made the Fateful Swipe and began my JJ’s experience at precisely 4:04. An error appropriate to my lateness. Let the twelve hours begin. No one else from Bwog is here yet so I’m just going to read my book, drink my chocolate milk, and quietly observe. Aside from a couple of lively tables, all is quiet.

4:18 pm YungGoat: Am I chaotic for switching the table TV to MSNBC? Do you think if I show this Bwog post to the JJ’s staff they’ll give me a JJ’s fam t-shirt?

4:54 pm YungGoat: Bwoggers Plagued and Egg have joined me. My hour of solitude is over.

4:54 pm Egg: I swipe into JJ’s to take refuge from the anxiety-inducing environment that is NoCo. I got mozz sticks so all is good.

5:09 pm Plagued: I am sick and dying, but the promise of mozzarella sticks and mac and cheese balls keeps me going, until I realize the mac and cheese won’t be served while I’m here. Currently grappling with this shocking tragedy; will give updates.

5:13 pm Mozz count: 16

5:15 pm Yung Goat: JJ’s is currently at its emptiest since I’ve been here. Clearly the calm before the dinner rush…

5:19 pm Egg: I said I was going to get work done while I’m here but I’m slowly realizing that probably won’t happen.

5:26 pm Egg: YungGoat just said “so do you like, wanna be a rabbi?”

5:33 pm Mozz count: 20

5:33 pm Plagued: I have invented myself an M&M McFlurry. The texture is off but I appreciate the traditional leaking of the artificial colored dyes staining the ice cream.

5:35 pm SecretSanta: Quesadilla/Breakfast station grill master literally roasted me for not knowing how to order:

Him: Is this your first time at JJ’s?
*internal thoughts* it’s not
Me: yeah haha

Ok, but why is there not an actual menu? There are two items on the menu. Fine. So then when I inquire about custom quesadillas, why is there ridicule? Idk but I’m a rule follower at heart and JJ’s seems to be a lawless place. Any combination of ingredients, complete disregard for posted menus. Also where does the line start for any of the stations? There is one indication of the beginning of the line, an approx 4 x 5 sheet of paper hanging from the ceiling, which is not in anyone’s direct line of vision except maybe the giant football/basketball players. Not height shaming, just stating facts. Conclusion: JJ’s is chaotic. Like Bwog but more troubling.

5:46 pm Plagued: Went to get my 4th batch of mozz sticks, these ones were especially cheesy. Anyway, overheard a swim team freshman tell one of the chefs that the seniors made them go sing for money in Central Park wearing nothing but speedos. Sounds fun.

5:47 pm Egg: I gave up doing my reading. It’s fine. I’m fine.

5:48 pm Mozz count: 24

5:49 pm Mozz count: 28

5:56 pm Mozz count: 36

6:00 pm Egg: Already spilled something on my lap. Makes sense.

6:00 pm: NYU mozz count 4 (NYU friend brought into JJs by Babygrill and swiped in by Secret Santa)

6:02 pm Mozz count: 40

6:04 pm Plagued: I know I want more food. I don’t know what she’ll be yet. I shall go see what speaks to me.

6:06 pm Pauged: I ended up getting a banana. We love potassium.

6:07 pm strawberryshortcake: Just rolled up to JJs. Immediately spilled marinara sauce on my econometrics p-set. Things are going well.

6:07 pm YungGoat: Played several chess matches online. Won one against someone who was up 400 points on me. Love to see it.

6:09 pm Egg: most conversations that I’m in devolve into talking about Tinder. Including this one.

6:26 pm strawberryshortcake: [name redacted] is talking about her love life in detail as I continue on my p-set. Honestly, it’s pretty good background music. Side note: The blueberry pomegranate slushie promises a lot, but delivers little tbh.

7:00 pm Yung Goat: JJ’s purring along. Fewer people on the food line than I would’ve expected. Tables are pretty much filled to capacity but it’s not overcrowded. Cannot believe we’re only three hours into a 12-hour stint…. Stay tuned for insanity.

7:10 pm Egg: Yung Goat is playing videos for us on his phone about the 21st of September. Do I understand it? No. Do I appreciate it? Yes.

[Editor’s Note: Required Viewing]

7:23 pm SecretSanta: Discussion ensues on the topic of people we know who have been arrested… RIP to your Ivy League dreams.

7:26 pm SecretSanta: I just got fucking BRAINFREEZE im paralyziedddddd

7:28 pm Mozz count: 44

7:35 pm Egg: mynamejeff brought his Switch and plugged it into the TV at our table. Multiple people pointed and stared. Nice

7:58 pm SecretSanta: Currently watching a couple canoodle. Said couple is also seemingly watching the Bwog table play video games… thanks mynamejeff. Their canoodling involved a gentle caress of the back and continual inching of the fingers ‘round the bra strap to the front …? Not sure. But it ended. Lol

8:02 pm Egg: I hear yelling. True Saturday night JJ’s begins.

8:15 pm Egg: “I’m gonna tell my parents that I transferred to List College and found the Lord.”

8:17 pm CherryCoke: Currently on my 5th cup of Cherry Coke. I have to pee.

8:25 pm Mozz Count: 48

8:30 pm Mayonnaise: CherryCoke and I are taking a brief break because we feel like we may be going insane and don’t want to jeopardize the safety of our fellow Bwoggers

8:34 pm Mayonnaise: on our way out CherryCoke found a girl he matched with on Tinder and invited her to come back at 1 am. Updates to come.

8:55 pm Egg: I feel like I’m just breathing pure grease. I haven’t had the pleasure of fresh air in 4 hours.

8:57 pm Egg: It’s loud in here. Lots of yelling. Lots of smells.

9:28 pm Mozz count: 51

The Bwog team has reached the halfway mark. 

10:26 pm Yung Goat: The gap in my updates was our attempt to collectively solve the Sunday NYT crossword

10:33 pm Mozz count: 55

10:38 pm Egg: I must now leave this greasy liminal space. So long, mozzarella sticks and overly sugary drinks. So long, fellow Bwoggers. I must return to my tiny dorm room and pretend to do homework.

10:42 pm Mayonnaise: CherryCoke and I are back. I’m on my 5th peach slushie. Why has God abandoned us?

10:45 pm SecretSanta: The Beatles are playing in the background so that’s nice. There is a lot of dialogue happening around me; though, I have not spoken in a few minutes. It’s nice to sit back, observe, and not hear your own voice…well, except in your own head. Also, I just witnessed someone licking EVERY single one of his fingers…each and every one. Are there no sanitary standards in JJ’s?!?! No, I think not. I stand by my conclusion that JJ’s is a lawless place. I’ve now been here for 5 hours.

11:10 pm Mozz count: 63 

11:16 pm BeeDildo: I’ve only been here for 45 minutes and I feel worse. I’m lactose intolerant and just ate four mozzarella sticks.

11:24 pm BeeDildo: Is it considered rude to force people to think about the role happiness plays in their lives and whether or not their primary sources of happiness are delivered from other people?

11:33 pm CherryCoke: Just lost chess three times in a row to Yung Goat. I suck. I admit it. Never playing chess again.

11:44 pm CherryCoke: Overheard “when I close my eyes people are either purple or green”. I am thoroughly confused yet want whatever this guy is on.

11:51 pm Mozz Count: 65

12:25 am Mozz count: 73

12:27 am Mayonnaise: We’ve moved on to playing Spaceteam and screaming nonsense at each other while seated in a tight circle. So it’s just like any other Bwog meeting.

12:29 am SecretSanta: This is literally absurd; I’m hearing talks of the explanation of time and existence while watching Jenga blocks fall. Is this college? If so, how do I escape? I genuinely crave my bed. My twin bottom bunk bed in my triple where I can’t sit up without bumping my head. That’s how insane JJs is making me feel.

12:41 am SecretSanta: The level of intoxicated JJ’s customers has just increased by 68%*.
*not a scientific estimation

12:44 am SecretSanta: Attempted to accompany my nighttime pill with a mozzarella stick, only to realize the cheese had lost all its elasticity. It was a solid block of string cheese.

12:45 am YungGoat: I’ve been here for eight hours and forty-five minutes. Delirium is setting in. I fear I may not survive the winter…

12:45 am Mozz count: 77

12:49 am strawberryshortcake: I am the contributor to the latest addition of the mozz count, let it be know that it was me. i want fame – no, i DEMAND it – via the cheesy pathways of the ever-coveted mozzarella stick and its loyal partner, marinara sauce. what do you think the MBTI personality type of a singular mozzarella stick is? will i stay awake tonight haunted forever by this question? [Editor’s note: Just a big [sic] on this whole update]

12:54 am strawberry shortcake: [redacted]’s friend needs to sleep but she says she’s energetic

12:57 am Yung Goat: There’s a girl on the windowsill reading a book. Iconic

1:01 am SecretSanta: The masses are now playing dancing music out loud through a speaker. I must admit, the rhythm is inviting and almost convinces me to rise and move my hips in circles as the young girls do, but six hours straight in JJ’s has jaded my youthful spirit.

1:19 am strawberry shortcake: ah, the familiar comforting sound of the JJ’s chair legs grating across the floor. This is exactly the soundtrack that i thought that i would be hearing at 1 AM when i woke up this morning

1:23 am CherryCoke: Some kid in a Jaden Smith hoodie is dancing and screaming at his friends to “touch him”. Did he attend the climate March and is inspired by Jaden’s climate activism? Possibly. Is he just extremely drunk? More probable.

1:35 am Mozz count: 81

1:37 am Mayonnaise: a very drunk girl just told me and CherryCoke and a miscellaneous stranger that we were really cute. I’ve never felt better about myself.

1:41 am SecretSanta: very drunk acquaintance of mine waltzes toward our couch wearing only a bra. Full breasts hanging out for the world to see, and I have a very strong feeling sober her would not grapple well with that presentation of herself. I then take her sopping wet-with-sweat shirt and physically dress her like a child. Through baby talk galore and high pitchiness induced by alcohol, I managed to get her under control a bit. She proceeded to compliment *everyone* nearby with the labels of “cute” and “pretty.” She then told me she really wanted to fuck a Columbia boy… sis, I’m rooting for you on that front. We love a first-time drinker who can’t handle the alc… this is college!

2:00 am YungGoat: A new Bwogger, BayBae, has arrived right on queue to carry the group through the final two hours. I really wish I brought a spare pair of contacts, my eyes are drier than my sense of humor.

2:21 am SecretSanta: It’s kind of dying down in terms of volume (in people) but not volume (in decibels).

2:33 am Mayonnaise: we got kicked off the couches for cleaning :(( now everyone is packed into the little corner of JJ’s

2:58 AM Mayonnaise: A man just rolled up in a fucking suit and I have so many questions. Mainly: Why?

2:59 am SecretSanta: Man with large forehead has unbelievably thick and groomed hair… good thing, because his forehead is so big lol

3:01 am Baybae: “If I could go home and see my mother every day I would do it.”

3:14 am CherryCoke: Mayonnaise says “I’m laughing because if I don’t laugh I’ll cry”. In other news the remaining five bwoggers have resorted to looking up Kidz Bop lyrics to keep ourselves entertained.

3:32 AM CherryCoke: Bananagrams are back. Notable words include: “Carman”, “Sexy Stoner Shower” (played consecutively), and “Exegesis”. As you can tell we are all exhausted.

4:04 am YungGoat: We hit the woah to celebrate our journey coming to an end. I ruminate on my experience… I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Hamilton. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the 116th Street Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. But I will always remember the twenty-first night of September. Time to die leave JJ’s.