Would it change things for the better?6:10 p.m.: I’ve arrived at the Cocktail Lounge. Tonight, I have a good solid night of work ahead of me. Obviously the Cocktail Lounge is where you go at times like these. Club Mann is way too social and way too full of everyone in the Greek System who I either know or know of. Too many distractions. Too social. And I love Olin, but the basement is turning into kind of a scene and the stacks are too dusty. The Cocktail Lounge it is.
I wonder, what if the cocktail lounge was actually a cocktail lounge? It doesn’t take a lot of imagination. The decor is already very 1980s cruise ship bar.
6:14 p.m.: There are, let’s see, 12 people here. Well I didn’t get up and walk around to count, but there are six people on my half, and I’m pretty sure any statistics professor would say that my assumption is reasonable based on the area of my sample. Shout out to Professor Van Es who teaches the best statistics class you’ll ever take! If the Cocktail Lounge was actually a cocktail lounge, there would probably also be about 12 people here. Maybe less.
6:35 p.m.: Well I’ve been productive so far. I’ve checked Facebook, Twitter (@morgantb11) and read the parts of The Sun I missed earlier. The latte I got from Libe Cafe which I now like to call “Amit’s” is at the perfect temperature. Let the lab report begin. If the Cocktail Lounge was actually a cocktail lounge, Amit’s would be the Dunbars equivalent.
7:48 p.m.: I can hear exactly which top 40 song the girl sitting 20 feet away from me is listening to in her headphones. Two words: Justin Bieber. Another two words: hearing impairment. If the Cocktail Lounge was actually a cocktail lounge, she wouldn’t have to blow out her eardrums! She could listen to a piano player playing covers of her favorite pop songs.
7:54 p.m.: Wow speaking of cover songs, have you heard the Fleet Foxes cover of Call Me Maybe? Otherwise known as: Hipsters Inhale Helium and Sing Carly Rae.
7:58 p.m.: Back to work.
8:52 p.m.: The lounge is suddenly all a-rustle as people start to bear down on their workload. The weak trickle out. They can’t handle this brand of intensity. Across the way I see a friend who I don’t see very often. We exchange a casual head nod and a wave. If the Cocktail Lounge was actually a cocktail lounge, we would run up to each other in jubilant glee and sit in those chairs so we could chat. You always need two of those cocktail lounge chairs: one for yourself, and one for your feet.
9:10 p.m.: If the Cocktail Lounge was actually a cocktail lounge, I wouldn’t be doing this lab report, I would sipping on a martini listening to Frank Sinatra covers stealing some guy’s fedora. Was stealing hats always a thing, or is that a product of our generation?
9:36 p.m.: A girl behind me is wearing six-inch wedges. Maybe the Cocktail Lounge actually does turn into a cocktail lounge late at night. She’s dressed for it. Maybe I should go home and change.
9:55 p.m.: I’m currently contemplating the best way to strike up a conversation with someone in a library who may or may not be my soulmate. Of course I’ve never met him but, hey, anything is possible. How do I even go about telling him that we might be meant for each other? Note: an area for future research. But seriously, if this were an actual cocktail lounge I would totally know what to do.
11:18 p.m.: I think imagining the Cocktail Lounge as a cocktail lounge is just a weird way of “working for the weekend.” Maybe I am working for the weekend. But like everyone else at Cornell I’m also working toward my academic and professional goals. Translating the everyday to the big picture can seem daunting at times.
The best part about having a lot of work to do, is you can immerse yourself in it. No matter what else is going on, you have a job to do. I can think through the problems in my lab report so I don’t have to immediately think through the problems in my real life.
If the Cocktail Lounge was an actual cocktail lounge, I’d probably be distracting myself in a much less productive way.
Morgan Bookheimer is a senior in the College of Human Ecology. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Behind the Time appears alternate Thursdays this semester.