The halls of the University are nearly empty at this hour of the day. The best part is that there is never a line at Tim Hortons. I can sail in and fly back out. It is a bit different when we get first break half way through lecture but still tolerable. Regardless, the next few hours of my Tuesday morning, and then later in the week my Thursday morning, always go the same way with me struggling to remain conscious. My internal monologue takes over almost as soon as I enter the room and I can only hope it has an interesting topic of conversation.
“The room is chilly this morning,” I comment to the older man in the row in front of mine as I pull my long sleeves down. He only smiles. The woman beside him sneaks a peek at me though and mumbles, “Hopefully it will help keep us awake.” Before I can respond the professor enters the room and the lights go dim.
Okay, how am I going to get through class today? Who teaches for two and a half hours in the dark? Yeah so there are slides but maybe we could view them faster than one every ten minutes, or here is an idea, show us the slides and turn the stupid lights on to give the lecture. It’s eight in the morning for fuck sakes!
Maybe I should try sleeping through class. I mean that’s why the bulk of the class migrates to the back top rows; they sleep! They can’t be seen in the dark so they are in the safe zone blanketed by darkness. Then there is me, I am too stupid and to stubborn to move to the back. I sit front and center and try not to nod off into my extra-large English Toffee. Mmmm, English Toffee. It smells so good. It is so rich and sweet. I love the warm travel mug in my hands as I lift mechanically to my lips. This class is so boring, but this scented steam that pillows me when I breathe into my coffee is so….ummm. Ouch, shit I burnt my tongue.
Shit, what did he say? He is looking at me. Did he ask a question? What is on the slide? Dirt, no sand being brushed away to reveal more bones. Keep the mug to my lips, keep it, and keep it. Yes! He looked away. Ha, that is how it is done.
Now what was I thinking about?
What is he wearing? This man has a nice head, attractive features, and a fit body. Shit, am I blushing? Nah, it’s hot in here. Besides nobody can hear me thinking. This thing, this sweater, it looks like something his grandmother knit him directly in to. It looks scratchy and uncomfortable. Clearly he picks his colour palate from an anthropology and archeology colour table: brown, brown, brown, oh and more brown. But seriously, how does he get his head in there? Where are my glasses? Oh, it has a head zipper. A head zipper, really? Is that a fashionable thing? The thing zips from just below his left earlobe down his shoulder. I don’t get it. Dude thinks Homohabilas had troubles but I can’t imagine him challenging the fashion of his time.
The same woman as before nudges me as we exit the class room, “he doesn’t even turn the lights on for break time and he just stays in the dark occasionally answering a question. He just seems happy to be silent and in the dark!” She hurries away. I stretch grab a second coffee and return to the room a bit late.
“Blah, blah, blah,” is what comes through to my ears as I tiptoe to my seat. I am reminded of Charlie Brown and the “wah, wah, wah” moments.
Anyway, what was it that the woman said? He likes the dark. My professor is a vampire. That’s got to be it. Not only does it explain how he thrives in darkness and has a fashion style out of this world but it explains how he knows all this shit about people who have been dead forever. He probably drank half these people’s blood and buried their bodies to hide the evidence. My professor is a pre-historic vampire! I bet his home has dirt floors, brown walls and that he sleeps in a down-filled pine box…
“Class dismissed, see you all Thursday.”
That is how my Tuesday and Thursday mornings went for year two of University: daydreaming and coffee drinking. Archeology really was a good class, but it was made very painful given the dark and monotone method of presenting it.
By Shari Marshall – 2019