Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Fall of Man

Roughly a week ago I awoke with a stifling sense of dread. The day held possibilities of something terrible happening in the cold sunshine and it took me some time to rise from bed. Gee, I thought. Gee golly. Gee golly whiz.

I looked out the window at Hoover Tower as I checked my email and thought of the earthquakes and lightening strikes that could bring it down before the end of the day. The bells would be ringing as it fell. People would grab the bricks and stones as souvenirs and mount them on commemorative plaques to be displayed on their mantel at the world’s end.

But the morning went off without a hitch. Totally hitchless. My pre-lecture mocha was satisfying and sweet, class was adequately stimulating, and the sun kept shining. I didn’t trip and fall down the three flights of cement stairs that I skip down every morning, and I didn’t get hit by a wayward Marguerite, and I did not cross paths with any disgruntled postal workers. But something was going to happen.

I ran into a friend at lunch and warned her. “Something is in the air,” I said. “Something bad.”
“This black bean sauce isn’t very good,” she said.
“It is very dark.”
“Would you think less of me if I went back and got a different salad?” she asked.
“No. Exchange your salad freely.” It may be the last salad you eat for some time, I thought, after the bombs fall and nuclear winter sets in. They don’t have salad in the mine shafts. Not even black bean salad.

I survived the brief walk to my dorm, and with no more classes to go to, decided to do some laundry. Mondays are good days for laundry. With my various sartorial haberdasheries and whatnots gathered up and ready for a wash, I descended down, down into the cold hollows of the dormitorium, to the rumbling machinery of mountain fresh scents and forgotten socks. Into the wide mouth of a washer I loaded my belongings and shut it forcefully. I stepped over to seek out my detergent---the blue jug clearly labeled ‘ANDY!’--- and grabbed the smooth plastic. To my horror, the bottle was empty. Oh! Empty! Emptied like my soul!

I ran as quickly as my legs would allow. I ran out of the dormitorium, into the air, into the light, and collapsed upon the dirt with that horrendous building to my back, with that horridly empty bottle mocking my laundry. I lay there for some time; I cannot offer estimates. My very bones struggled to maintain solidity and my soul was all but razed from the unending chugguda chugguda of the washing-ma-trons and drier-ma-jigs. And, slowly, gradually, the sound fell to a creep, and ceased. But still I could not rise.

Oh cursed man! I had left the bottle nearly full. Earlier it had been slightly diminished by minor public usage, but I had placed my trust in humanity not to use the ‘ANDY!’ bottle to excess. A single week alone in the laundry room left my detergent dead. A single empty bottle and my faith in humanity is gone, along with a fresh pine scent.

I now warn you, detergent stealers, beware of things to come. In a pinch, I would have contributed my detergent freely, but you were not in a pinch. Now I have a little village of voodoo dolls and witchy spells that I learned from the Pizza My Heart high school kids, the circuit egg worshippers, which I will imminently put to use. So beware.

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the end of something.