The Vigil of Meyer Demolition is upon us. 40 days and 40 nights will pass before we reach the other side of promised landscaping and conversations at a normal volume.
This is an account of the first seven days.
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2015
The candy in my RA’s room has been replaced with earplugs. I don’t feel good about this.
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2015
The band’s memorial for the J. Henry Meyer Memorial Library (#meta) seeped into my classroom in the way that only a rendition of Miley’s “Wrecking Ball” can. In addition to this ever-relevant choice, I was told the band performed the songs they play “at every funeral,” since, you know, with the frequency of their dirge specials, they’ve gotta have a standard routine.
Later, I went to a Town Hall meeting on construction noise, which featured a PowerPoint and four dozen cupcakes in plastic containers. Two women spoke about how their construction teams planned to complete the project with as little damage as possible to the Stanford community, including taking on 40 days of noise as “loud as a BART Train in a tunnel” to avoid 2400 extra trucks (!!) driving on and off campus to remove the crushed concrete. This made sense.
Thursday, February 5th, 2015
I saw two men laughing as they drilled into the ground and the women in charge nodding with knowledge and I felt so new. So many people and deadlines and glances and hours have existed in these walls and all I can do is stare at them. As a freshman my relationship with Meyer will always be one of construction, stuck in a limbo of trucks beeping as they back up and upperclassmen imparting cautionary tales (“Be thankful you never have to experience the 1am walk of shame from Green to Meyer’s 24 hour study room”). Meyer feels like an elusive celebrity who is dating and defining my year in many ways and will never notice my over-eager attention, but who I’d probably make a fan Twitter account for anyway.
Friday, February 6th, 2015
They hosed down debris as the crane moved in and the rain fell faster as a girl biked by me and both she and a pillar fell.
Saturday, February 7th, 2015
There’s a crowd gathered each time I walk by now, everyone seemingly delighted by the spectator sport of destruction. I’m happy because I can sing Taylor Swift songs at full volume as I walk without fear of being heard; though others are maybe enjoying something more poetic, perhaps contemplating the potential to create meaning in the face of demolition. Or maybe the 70-year-old professor next to me is also just tryna sing “Blank Space.” Who am I to say?
Sunday February 8th, 2015 and Monday February 9th, 2015
This is the worst. I know it’s my fault I didn’t start my work before this weekend and that I chose to wear pajamas pants for two days straight but with every jack hammer headache and 8 am wake-up, it’s just so easy to blame you, Meyer. Fall faster, please.
Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
I got Snapchats from four different people of the #MeyerRainbow today because there’s just so much #beautyInDestruction, am I right?
But even when filtered with “75º #caliwinter,” there’s something truly special about Meyer’s rainbow moments, when everyone comes together in a shared event, or at the very least in a group selfie.
In light of the many productive, sometimes painful conversations happening on campus lately, the commonality of the Meyer demolition experience is nice.
The crane rips apart plaster and reveals the thousands of people over the years who have built, studied in, and stared at this thing. And so I stand with people stopped between classes and look back at it getting torn apart, together.