Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | December 17, 2006

3am (EST)

So here’s how things went down…

Jeremiah wanted to go home for about a week around Christmas to see his family. He was only going to get a couple of days off and with flying across the country, it was going to amount to roughly a day and a half at home. So, what did Jeremiah do? Well he volunteered to work whatever God-awful, bottom of the ladder, blow-your-brains-from-boredom shifts the library could dream up.

Nothing came up initially. Instead Jeremiah was given a wonderful reassurance that he could indeed have the time off because family is important and Boston, as it turns out, is quite a distance from Hartley, Iowa. Then about a week and a half ago Jeremiah gets an email saying that they’d really like him to help out and take some extra shifts during finals week. Of course, Jeremiah gave an answer that was something along the lines of, “well by-golly that would be swell.”

Now, a week and a half later, after working a five and a half hour shift earlier in the day that was so boring Jeremiah spent his time on Yahoo! Answers solving the incredible quandaries that keep us all up at night, such as this little ditty from Yahoo! user and future professor of English at Oxford, “gotzhoz” who asks: “wut do u do if ur gf b chetn?” Which I’m assuming, roughly translates to “What would a man do if he were to learn that his girlfriend was having an affair?”

After five and a half hours of answering these insightful questions, I hurried home where I spent roughly 27 minutes. Just long enough to take a quick pee-break and pop a B-vitamin. Why would I want to pop a B-vitamin you ask? Well B-vitamins give you energy, more or less, and this brings us back to where this all started. Why would I need energy…well because the first of the two shifts I’ve been asked to cover during finals week is an overnight shift. 10pm until 10am (that’s Eastern Standard Time, ladies and gentlemen).

My first thought was…”well come on, how hard can this shizzle be, I’m 23-years-old I’ve done a ton of all-nighters this’ll be a piece of cake!!”


I am an old, old man. By 7:45pm my eyes were droopy and I looked like that sad little dwarf, the one I always thought was autistic, but it turns out he was just tired. So now…here we are and it’s currently 3:04am (again…Eastern Standard Time) and I’m staring a very large, very quiet, very bright and very empty library. Yes, that’s right my services this evening have been rendered to watch over the 16 nerds who are still here in the library.

Nerds one through five are all in a study room together giggling and drinking from the same jug of, what I can only assume is now sour, orange juice. Maybe they spiked it with a little vodka for a study-time screwdriver, but if that’s the case aren’t there a lot cooler places one could get hammered than in the study room at the library.

Nerds six and seven appear to be a couple because they have been giving each other hump me eyes since I got here. This isn’t normally a big deal, but they are sitting pretty much directly to the right of my computer screen and they are constantly in my peripheral vision. Now, that’s all great and fine, except I didn’t come here with the intent of watching soft-core pornography. If I wanted to watch that crap I’d open 75% of the junk mail in my inbox.

Nerds nine, fourteen and sixteen are passed out in various nooks and crannies of the library. All three with laptops sitting there for picking. Which reminds me…Mom….if you’re reading this stop now and forget what I said about the laptops…I’d hate to giveaway your Christmas present.

Nerd eleven and nerd thirteen, who came in separately and have been studying in their own respective nerd bubbles for the past five hours have now joined up at the randomly placed chess board, for what I can only assume is some sort of weird new mating ritual….wait…upon double-checking both nerd thirteen and nerd eleven have vanished. It would seem obvious to me at this juncture that they are now making weird little nerd offspring somewhere on the premises.

Nerd ten is sitting in the computer bay to my far right and appears to be watching videos of Asians doing faux-rock videos with far too many bright lights and star-wipes to be legit, or so I’d hope. Nerd twelve hasn’t broken eye contact with the same piece of paper for about two and a half hours now. I think we can safely go ahead and call the time of death on nerd twelve as 3:13am…Eastern Standard Time.

Finally, my favorite of all the nerds…nerd fifteen. Nerd fifteen was here before I was, which is scary if you think about. Nerd fifteen is sitting up in the loft and constantly staring at all of the other nerds, not in a normal “gee what are they doing?” kind of way, but in one of those rather awkward “I’d like to skin you and wear you as suit coat” sort of ways.

So now here I sit. Tired and begging for either the sweet, sweet release of death or an incredible second wind…that will carry me through the better part of the next seven and a half hours of sitting here doing nothing and then finally dragging my ass all the way to the subway and finally walking the mile to my apartment where I will have to climb the equivalent of a stage three rock formation just to get to our door.

Oh…and I just saw a mouse…wait, strike that. I just saw a gigantic mutated rat. Not like Master Splinter, but like a mouse that wandered into some weird radioactive goo that was just lying around MIT and has now turned into a flesh-eating, blood-seeking, Hall & Oates-loving killer rat.

…more to come.

(unless the rat or nerd fifteen get to me first)


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