Puddles soak through my socks as I stride past Anderson Hall. Long rivulets of rain drip off of my hood, my corduroy pants and the slice of pizza my fingernails cling to.
I look around me.
No one. It’s as if I’m in a ghost town. The classroom lights are off. The Bell Tower is barren. A light film of chemical gook drips off the tile wall at Barton Hall.
Places where both students and pigeons once ate are now populated only by mushy wooden chairs and the sparkling clean homeless.
I enter my Philosophy class and sit right up front. Two students glumly stare at the professor as he morbidly dribbles out his lecture for the day.
One kid eyes the window intermittently, apparently checking to see if the Great Flood has drowned the sinners (i.e. skateboarders) yet. The other madly scribbles phalluses on her seat, her desk and her overturned umbrella. It’s as if she’s begging for help from some long unprayed to fertility god.
What’s the big deal about a few drops of rain? I wonder. Maybe I don’t have Temple figured out just yet.
After class, I accost a friend. “Hey, buddy,” I say. “Why isn’t anyone at school? What’s going on?”
“It’s drizzling, man!” He yells as he hysterically runs for the Regional Rail. “Drizzling!!!”
I’m left to ponder how everyone at school can allow themselves to skip class every time it rains — in Philadelphia, for that matter. Sub-Saharan Africa would be one thing, but Philadelphia?
My thoughts are interrupted by a small Asian man pulling at my coat sleeve. “What, what is it?” He asks, frightened. “Is God sweating as he fights with the devil?”
“No, it’s rain, you’ve never seen rain before?” I answer. But he’s already disappeared, gone to where the other fictitious characters in my mind go, much like Tyler Durden in Fight Club.
I trudge toward the subway wondering what sort of student body doesn’t show up when it drizzles. Could all Temple students be scared of getting wet?
Is it that the rain extinguishes their cigarettes? Could it be that the slightest sound of dripping makes them all turn off their alarms en masse and sleep until “Blind Date” comes on?
These are questions that can madden even the most peaceful soul. Indeed, the Dalai Lama will not visit Temple for this very reason.
I solemnly go home and turn on the TV. I soak my feet in hot water, turn out the lights and ensconce myself in another great episode of “Moesha:” the single grain of solace in an otherwise moribund existence.