Sitting on a bench in the LAB waiting for my next class to start and listening to David Bowie, I’m stuck wondering, “What in the hell?” Why? Let me explain.
I catch myself thinking back to one of the first weeks of freshman year. Walking to my dorm on a weekday morning, glancing over at a bench in the CPN complex to find a nice pair of pants- with no owner. Questions rushed through my mind like water out of a pressure washer- but not just any questions, the journalistic questions of “who, what, when, where, why, and how.” “Whose pants are they? What are they doing on that bench? When did this happen? Why did you have to take off your pants outside- the dorm is like 20 feet away, man? And how did you manage to just leave them there- they’re nice looking pants!” Questions like these that will never be answered haunt me.
Another clothing instance was the one mysterious Nike tennis shoe that lied within the bushes outside of Century Park North. Why is everyone getting undressed outside? And where’s the other shoe?
More instances of strange things going on at USM include the ghost in my room. Yes, you read that right. She knocks things over and off the walls- including my Andy Warhol print of Marilyn Monroe, Life Magazine cover of the two people kissing poster and my roommate’s tapestry. Either Command Hooks are the biggest lie of our generation, or my room is haunted. I’m going with the latter. Also, because I reside in room 217 – also known as the haunted suite in The Shining (the book not the movie) – gives me more reason to believe that my room is haunted.
There are also minor oddities that I notice on my daily hikes to class or parking my car in CP North’s parking lot. For example: it’s October which means there are costume parties galore. Parking my car, I noticed two super women, bat girl and a nurse walking from the gates of the complex. That’s just not a combination of people you see walking together everyday.
Then there are the squirrels on campus that are just a bit too comfortable with humans. They remind me of the episode of “Rick and Morty” where Morty can hear animals’ thoughts and finds out that the squirrels are plotting to take over the world. One of my first USM squirrel encounters was during GEWW. A squirrel was laying flat on its stomach on a table on the backside of Bond Hall. Why do I remember this? I honestly don’t know.
Everybody has probably seen something strange on campus at one point. Whether you saw 50 people sprinting through the Thad during homecoming week or are totally scarred from the protesters’ “damning” signs by the fountain, we can all agree that although USM may not be your typical campus due to weird sightings and articles of clothing laying on benches, it’s home.