Collis Wanderer by Murray Constantine

My coffee tastes of self-imposed loneliness. I am the only living girl in One Wheelock. I am the only human in One Wheelock. I can see imprints of backs on the leather chairs. An empty 16-oz cup rests on the furthest end of the bar. A huddle of clean mugs is the second indicator of the emptiness of the room. Their individual positions screams a cacophony of one on ne one oneneo on at me. All of the chairs are empty. All of the lights are on. It is still light outside. There are still people outside. One Wheelock is empty. Former One Wheelock mugs glow above the bar like severed and deceased trophies. I have a One Wheelock mug in my dorm room. I carry a Starbucks mug with me. A boy walks in to return a mug. The free coffee machines must be being used. My coffee is from Foco. Foco is full of people. One Wheelock is empty. There is music playing in my brain. I can no longer tell the difference between hearing music and thinking music. It’s Chance the Rapper. Chance the Rapper looks at me from the stool on the One Wheelock stage. I apologize. There is no sun outside to give him. It’s still light outside. I see four hours of sunlight a day. I never see the sun. It’s raining outside. I pretend it’s snow. I can smell snow in the mornings. I’m never awake in the mornings. I was awake Monday morning. I didn’t go to sleep Sunday night. Campus wasn’t empty then. Campus is empty now. I am empty now. I was empty then. The music in my brain shifts to discordant trumpet. I miss people. The lights go off suddenly. I am sitting in a spotlight in a dark One Wheelock. I don’t want to be around people. I am glad One Wheelock is empty. Three red EXIT signs glare at me. I glare back. I wish I could exit.