I leave Expressions an hour before close around 10PM, when Kris begins cleaning the place. I no longer felt comfortable sitting there as he swept and vacuumed. It's not because the noise or him being in my way or anything, but rather because with him cleaning, it no longer feels like I'm in a cafe. I pack my books and laptop into my bag, put my coat and hat on, leave my cup in the dishes tub, and walk over to wave goodbye to Kris.
"Hey what's your name again?" he says after shutting off the vacuum.
"Cool. Hope to see you again soon, Talia. Have a blast at your friend's show. Tell her to break a leg."
Baker Ave is loaded with packs of loud people dressed up more than usual, but still poorly styled -- like they're going to a job interview. After crossing over to campus, it's mostly quiet. Not because the same type of loud people are absent, but because they are dispersed over a large area. Noises of people cheering to shots or blasting music leak from the dorms and evaporate into the cold night sky. I hear a group of girls giggling and one of them saying "oh my god! you bitch!" in a friendly, elated way while I pass by Burkley Hall. After Burkley is behind me I stop to look behind my shoulder. And then I backtrack to detour to the auditorium.
The exterior lanterns are still on, painting the stairway leading to the front door a subdued orange. It's locked and empty now, but this is where Moriah was glittered up, dancing within the spotlight. Just a few hours ago. In less than 24 hours, I'll be standing here.
In my head I imagine me standing there, and in this picture Kris is standing beside me. He tells me a joke and I laugh.
I look around. There are a couple people quietly walking around with their heads down. I take out my iPod touch and put my earbuds in and queue up Weezer's Pinkerton album and head back. I get to Across the Sea by the time I arrive in front of Wilburn hall. There are two guys smoking cigarettes, and one delivery driver waiting outside for somebody. I walk past them, make a half-circle around Wilburn so that I can finish this song. And then I press pause and go into the fluorescent building.