My university is always quiet when people leave and that’s when you notice things. You’ll find broken, empty branches, hiding behind the leaves. Or the discolored rock that has been there for at least five years and will be there for another ten. You’ll notice black paint peeling off the railing because the school only pays for new dorms and buildings to show off their money.
You’ll notice kids aren’t hiding their smoke clouds anymore. They’ll sit on the steps of an old building and smoke away. You can’t even go five minutes before seeing someone on a bike. The biker is more worried about his or her or their destination than you.
Besides normal traffic noises, you’ll notice a car’s rap beating with its radio up to almost max. But you won’t get upset because you do that too. You’ll notice that if you wait, you may see the motorcycle of the hour. Or you’ll hear one the hundred construction projects. Or you’ll notice how humid the air is because it’s 77, but it feels like over 90.
You’ll notice that even this university can be dead, empty, and lonely. It doesn’t take much to feel like nothing. Or you’ll notice how everyone broke in half, trying to get by. They’re always certain they’ll wake up another day, but are they living a lie? You may spot a workaholic or two that want to learn the most while they drown in homework.
And maybe – just maybe – you’ll take a deep breath.