Tag Archives: troughs

Caffeination Trepidation

Cartography and Geographic Information Systems requires attention to detail, patience, diligence, and forethought. We must dedicate ourselves to the minutia of label placing, the visual hierarchy of map elements, and the psychological theories of color linked with emotions. We do this in order to convey a message to the reader. To establish a sense of place. To tell a story worth hearing. This is what is required from me. And I have neither the time nor energy to dedicate to these practices.

It is 4am and I am far from being finished with what I came here to do. I have stumbled upon the world of online TV shows and I cannot escape. There was so much I did not know that I did not know. I felt like I had to explore everything that was out there. And even though I haven’t accomplished much in terms of academic projects, there is one thing I have learned:

Caffeine + American Horror Story = Disaster.

Every mysterious creek, inexplicable draft, coincidental door shaking, and even the racket of the faulty pipeline system running throughout this building… they all are converging upon me, successfully robbing me of my sanity. If this building is even remotely haunted, then American Horror Story has only served to confirm the irrational fears that I initially had of Science Hall. Violent plot lines, brutal murders, and malicious intentions demand my attention and capture my soul. I start to put myself inside this story, blurring my sense of reality and fiction. I live vicariously through the adventures of my television heroes and heroines, each horror they experience amplified by the caffeine that pumps through my veins. I thought I would be dreaming peacefully in my bed tonight, but I just now realized that I am living a nightmare.

If I go missing tomorrow, let this update be a testament to my last moments. Let them know that my shouts were true and my paranoia was even truer. Let them know that I tried to follow the model of the “successful student”, but fell short of the unrealistic standard set before me. Let them know that I gave it my all. Or at least the little that I had left to give.

“UW Student Missing: Science Hall Strikes Again”

There’s one for the headlines.

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Reckless Abandonment

Before the completion of my junior year of college, I had promised my friend that I would spend a weekend with him in his hometown. Given the condition of my mind during the ritualistic mental torture of finals week, no one should expect the fulfillment of this promise. But a promise was a promise. Besides, I could not turn down new opportunities. Even if I was clueless as to what we would do for an entire weekend in Wausau, WI, one thing was certain. I trusted my friend. I knew he would be a good host and try to make this weekend a memorable one. No matter the circumstance, I knew that I would enjoy my time there.

It was decided. I printed my ticket, packed my bag, and used mapping software to survey the new territory I would visit. Although I digitally explored the local surroundings and gathered all necessary items, nothing could truly prepare me for the journey I was about to embark on. I would learn that the hard way.

The ride to Wausau should have been simple, tame, and uneventful. While past bus trip experiences instilled a sense of adventure and romanticized the potential for life-long friendships among total strangers, this bus trip destroyed any previous notions of idealized traveling tales. They were replaced with stories of woe and strife and many other exaggerated vocabularies to overdramatize the reality of a bus trip.

Bus transfers were supposed to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience, but this transaction of precious cargo proved to be more than just a bump in the road. I hadn’t known that we were supposed to wait for the transfer point. I decided to preemptively remove myself at the stop before the transfer location. I asked the bus driver for the location of the transfer point and I began to walk in that direction.

Little did I know that I discarded my only form of transportation and sent my dreams for a weekend retreat to the graveyard. It was reckless abandonment with the roles reversed. I had recklessly abandoned my guide. And it was time to suffer the consequences of my foolish actions. The run-off-the-mill transfer point capitalized on my less-than-average capacity for common sense and resulted in the pursuit of a bus. My happiness would have to wait.

To make matters worse, my friend’s phone would be inaccessible during the time that I was scheduled to arrive. He would not see my frantic distress signals. I might have had more luck sending smoke signals than text messages. My misfortunes had accelerated from bad to worse in a manner of seconds. Honestly, at this point I was willing to try anything.

And suddenly, the events of the day led me to a stark realization. The ticket that I had printed was obsolete. The amount of items I packed was insufficient for my extended residence in Stevens Point. The aerial photography I viewed would be the only glimpse I would ever see of Wausau.

It was plain and simple. I was stranded.

Reduced to Rubble

The world can provide an unlimited source of malicious intent, consequentially resulting in an unending cycle of solitude. But it is easy to view the world with a shrunken perspective when I still stand in the rubble of my demolished homeland. My diminished self-image only allows me to see so far, oblivious to the equal and opposite wellspring of life set before me. I am bound by grief. And heartache. And fear. All stemming from an inability to develop emotional ties and an unwillingness to even try.

It was time to rebuild. I wanted to see beyond the boundaries of the limitations I had set for myself. I wanted to break the emotional chains that bound me. What I wanted required me to rebuild. And to rebuild I had to clear the rubble. The remnants of my past would remain as long as my emotions continued to inhibit my judgement.

I had to embrace it. Somehow…