Mr. Brightside – The party is dying. The hour is late, and the fridge is empty. Waves of freshmen begin to move toward the door of the hot and crowded Walsh eight-man, their shirts dripping in sweat they pretend not to care about. They’re in college now. This is how they’re supposed to have fun. So what if they had just spent the last three hours of their lives packed like sardines in a crowd of comical miscommunication and meaningless interactions? What matters is that their friends think they were having fun. Snapchat would tell them so. Suddenly, the DJ awakens from his drunken slumber. He hits the glowing forward arrow at the top of his iPhone screen, prompting the next song in his “Lit Party” playlist on Spotify. All exiting comes to an abrupt halt as the seductive initial guitar notes of “Mr. Brightside” fill the room. The members of the leaving crowd turn around slowly as the song continues, staring at the previously tapped out DJ in the corner. The song continues, and its spell grows stronger. The crowd backs away from the door and mobs the common room, overturning couches and sending red cups flying in every direction. The partygoers begin to jump and scream, uniting in declared confusion concerning a kiss they never had, and a dress they’ll probably never take off. The chorus hits, and the transformation is almost complete. The members of the crowd will soon no longer be themselves. Together, they recount a swim they never took, and alibis they never swallowed. Then, in the crucial moment, the uncontrollable uproar grows louder, and in a bellowing call, the victims ask for the opening of their eager eyes, followed by a final declaration of their true identities. The music cuts off, and the mob drops to the floor, lying scattered and unmoving in puddles of beer. They are all Mr. Brightside now, an English school teacher who died in 1876. One freshman remains standing in the middle of the room, and the scene leaves him awestruck. He had sung “eagle eyes,” not “eager,” his passion for his new school mascot saving him from his doom. Or maybe he’s just an idiot. That would make sense too.
Random Class Cancellations – The freshman burst out of bed after checking the phone lying beside his pillow. 8:54 a.m. glared at him like a kangaroo after you punch it in the face. He toppled onto the floor, because his bed is lofted at an awkward height where a step down is just out of reach. He thought it looked cool when he moved in. Sprinting through his morning routine, the disheveled underclassman ran from his hall, tripping over a break in the pavement. His arm was broken, but at least his heart wasn’t anymore. Sometimes freshmen get over their emotional problems. Rolling over on the ground, he noticed his phone light up beside him. An email from his professor with the subject line “No class today” sat atop his notifications, along with a Snapchat from his grandmother. The freshman put his head back on the pavement and went to sleep. He had left his ID in his room. This was the fourth time he had done this.
Christmas Music Prior to Christmas – Come Dec. 1, Americans enter a new mental state. Their fingers become incapable of selecting any music without the words “jingle,” “halls,” or “Rudolph” in the lyrics, and their ears cannot tolerate any playlist unless Mariah Carey’s rendition of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is played every three songs. Any other combination of auditory stimulus causes eggnog to ooze from their ears, and reindeer horns to sprout atop their head. Only when the sound of Carey’s voice enters their ears will the waterfalls cease, and the horns recede.
Featured Image by Meg Dolan and Zoe Fanning / Heights Staff