September 22, 2010

Take Me Home Country Roads

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Welcome to Cornell Diaries, where we print the anonymous recorded lives of Cornell students. While The Sun maintains the confidentiality of each writer, all facts have been verified and all diaries record the truth.

12:45 a.m.:  Sitting at my desk, I’m startled by the ringing of my phone.  With a calm apprehension I pick up the phone, adjust my voice to feign active engagement (The voice of my superior sounds just as tired as I am), receive instructions as to pending tasks needing to be done tonight (this morning), hang up the phone and stare at my Ipod – the one source of distractions from the world of wealth, opulence, capitalism and corporate greed.  As I browse through my play lists, appropriately labeled by semester and year, I decide upon Spring 2007.  “Whatcha know about dat? Hey I know all about dat….” And my mind settles on my first Slope Day, oh the memories.

2:37 a.m:  Print out my late-night car ride voucher and head towards the elevators.  The stale Downtown air hits my face as I walk towards the elegant town car in front of me.  I open the door, throw my bag, and collapse from mental exhaustion.  As the car pulls out I stare instinctively at the irritatingly bright Ipod screen – curse myself for always forgetting to adjust this annoying setting – and decide to listen to some Fall 2008 jams. LMAFO blurts out a remix through from my headphones “So keep your love locked down, your love locked down…” Look out the window; pass the drunken mobs outside Meatpacking clubs, and my mind wanders to cold September nights at Johnny O’s.

7:20 a.m: Shit, I meant to wake up half an hour ago. Stumble into the bathroom for steaming hot shower, get dressed and run to the nearest C Train Subway stop.  As I snatch one of the few seats available I look up and meet death stares from middle-aged executives.  They could all go fuck themselves for all I care; most of them are getting off at Midtown anyway. Turn on my ipod, decide upon Spring 2010 – my last semester… “I’m riding solo, I’m ridin solo, sooloooo. ”

1:59 p.m.:  Get an e-mail from one of my supervisors; the deal I was working on was delayed indefinitely – some bullshit with the numbers.   Great…all that rush for nothing… effing bankers…. I go outside to smoke a cigarette, sit down and laugh to myself when a certain song starts playing. I’m suddenly back in sophomore year.  To that time around February 2008, when life was golden.  I remember sitting with my best friends in a specific room at our frat, around a specific mirrored table, living our blissful decadent youth to the tunes of a hedonistic decade long past. “Do a little dance, make a little love…” followed by “Keep it coming love, don’t stop it now…”.

2:17 p.m.:  False alarm, damn it.  I still need to finish organizing these documents and signatures – seems the client decided to have everything ready in case the deal closed.  I open an e-mail attachment, wait for Microsoft Word to load, and gaze absentmindedly at the screen.  For me, it’s all a tapestry of incoherent technicalities and jargons aimed at making absolutely no sense.  I sigh as I settle on Spring 2009; a compendium of tunes from my semester across the pond to a country made of tea, pale ales and Spring Balls. “Here’s my key, philosophy, a freak like me just needs Infinity…”

6:31 p.m:  My stomach begins to growl the hungrier I become.  Finish my afternoon task; I roll up my sleeves and head downstairs to our cafeteria. Grilled Alaska salmon with a lemon tinge is on the menu.  Price? It doesn’t matter; I simply enter our client’s number and smirk with delight at the thought of having the cause of all my stress pay for my thirty minutes of freedom.  My ipod is, of course, charging upstairs.

9:00 p.m.:  Two Blackberries vibrating, phone ringing and inbox blinking.  I get slammed with a translation due the next day; the night is young.  As I head downstairs to smoke a cigarette, my banking friends begin to respond to my BBM’s about going out.  I, of course, cannot possiblly conceive going out.  Yet, I admit – as should everyone – to falling prey to the evil distractions of F.O.M.O (Fear of Missing Out).  To my delight, they are all still at work. I light the cigarette and puff away.  I barely listen to what is possibly one of my favorite songs from Fall 2006.  A song whose lyrics and tune not only defined the last decade, but, in many ways, illustrates the life of my friends and I at Cornell.  “I remember when, I remember I remember when I lost my mind…”

11:57 p.m.: DONE. DONE. DONE. God save the effing Queen! I almost forget to print my late night ride voucher as I run away from my desk.  Imbued by a sense of joy I leave the building towards the elegant town car waiting for me. The sound of my shoes on the marble floor is probably irritating the poor night guards – Do I care? Hell no.  For the first time in days I can afford an hour of drinking and chillaxing.  As the car glides up the West Side Highway an unexpected song comes up.  “Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong….” God, I miss Cornell.  I look up and see the bright Midtown lights.  I, no doubt, have my stupid half-lip smile as I think: I still love the city of trust-fund socialists, limousine communists and Wall Street democrats, real life is just beginning.