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Sandstone purgatory

Peter Walsh is privileged enough to cultivate boredom as a hobby.

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Someone once said you’re never so alive as when you’re bored. They obviously never slept over in Fisher library. “This will be hilarious”, I thought going in. But an hour after I arrived, just as my eyelids were beginning to droop, I had two-and-a-half realisations:

1.The lights in the 24 hour study space never go out, and

(a. My sleeping bag is too small to shield my eyes), and

2. I’ve made a horrible mistake.

With this in mind, here’s what happened. Verbatim.

10:00 pm. With my overnight bag in tow, I arrive at Fisher Library. At closing, they kick us all out before letting us line up to re-enter, which feels like a metaphor for the university’s operations generally. I set up camp on one of those u-shaped couches and change into my pajamas.

11:30 pm. An Honi editor told me that the library had installed a new vending machine that dispenses microwave ramen and other quasi-meals, so I skipped dinner. They were wrong. Instead, I buy a stale cookie and warm it in a dirty microwave. The cookie was bad, which was only partially my fault for using the plastic wrapper as a plate and melting everything together. I go to brush my teeth, except I forgot toothpaste. I use bathroom soap instead.

12:04 am. Am so lonely I consider calling in a bomb threat. However, since budget cuts reduced overnight security, the university now operates on the ‘honour system’ and I’d have to evacuate myself.

1:12 am. Painfully realise that at no point for the rest of my life will I ever be able to pretend I’m asleep in the car so my parents carry me inside.

1:13 am. Will my wife be able to do that?

1:14 am. Will I ever have a wife?

1:15 am. I need to get my kids lifting.

2:00 am. I’m visited by the Ghost of Dead Trade Agreements, who’s employed on a casual basis to haunt the lower floors. He warns me of a future without desk space.

2:14 am. Fisher undergoes a Night at the Museum style transformation. I get the shit kicked out of me by the leftovers
of that cookie I badmouthed.

3:08 am. I become inexplicably afraid that in the future there will be an artificial intelligence both powerful enough and malicious enough to spend its days retroactively punishing anyone who doesn’t assist in building it. As an Arts student, I know I will never build a robot. I wonder if Fisher is my future punishment sent backwards in time.

6:00 am. Beside me on the bus home, a man receives a text that says: “our sex is just sort of in out and you kinda check your watch while I pick your back pimples” and as bad as that is I can’t help but feel I’ve had it worse.