Observation

Ellie LaTraille

The hall was deserted and lonely. Quickening footsteps and a creak of a poorly-oiled door echoed through the empty hall: a late student attempting to make a stealthy, discreet entrance. Each of the rooms is so familiar on this second floor: the door at the end of the hall recalls a Spanish 2A class and the attractive professor who'd imparted his good looks, Castilian accent and bunches of abundant knowledge onto the class primarily made-up of drooling girls. The path around the corner is well-remembered, another Spanish class (this time with a female professor). Around that corner, a small lecture hall which had been the centre for an English-slash-womens'-studies class and easlier, the more interesting Dance History. A girl stands in the middle of the hall, dark curly hair cascading over her shoulders, hiking boots finishing the silhouetted line that her black leggings had started. She stands there, scanning the hallway, searching for something hidden amidst the naked white walls and the plaques and signs that shout different things:

Computer Consulting Office: Entrance Only

NO FOOD or DRINKS allowed in the lab

WARNING: Premises Protected by Monitored Security System

The signs are black and white, cold and unfriendly, like the tile must be under the girl's bum as she sits to take something out of her backpack.

She stands up and is gone as quickly as she appeared, disappearing around he familiar corner toward Room-of-Less-Attractive-Professor's-Spanish-class, and later Room-of-Preferred-Dance-History. She's gone just in time for the hallway to become filled with the warmth of friendly sound.

And then my time is up. I can't stay to observe the sound, replacing the silence with something full and present. Instead, I leave along with the silence, only getting a whiff of the smell of sweet interruption. And back into the classroom I go: back into the warm, inviting vat of words talking about words, sucked into a trap of what I think is presence stimulating my neurons but is actually probably empty chatter, empty like the hallway. Deserted, lonely.