It took several rounds of explanation and several cups of suspiciously watery tea before my friends understood what I was doing at the Deece.
“You’re trying to tell us,” they said slowly, “that you, in your final last-ditch effort to find a reasonable living situation, are moving into a Deece booth?”
“That’s what my goodbye letter says,” I sighed.
They paced around Global Kitchen with agitation. Although there were likely parlors and dining rooms which would have been more appropriate to live in, I had chosen to set up camp behind the two pillars near My Kitchen. It had ample space, was pretty quiet and overall a perfect place to live out the rest of my days here. My stack of chem notes were spread across the central island in a state of disarray. I had folded several pages and was attempting to build a tent with them. Those concerned for my well-being tried in vain to dismantle my small dwelling, but their efforts were to no avail. No one was ever going to sit at that booth again. I was slowly becoming one with the Deece.
My friends weren’t sure what to do. I tried to explain it in endless clauses, footnotes and analogies, and yet none of it made sense. I was slowly losing my sanity. There are only so many days I could live off peppermint brownies and Nilda’s cookies. Any form of nutrient was virtually nonexistent in my body. I was beginning to hallucinate, imagining that maybe the mozzarella sticks were actually what they were hyped up to be. That was a first.
My friends were beside themselves. What were they supposed to do with a semi-delusional hermit who only drank hot water from the cappuccino machine?
They reconvened. “We need to stage some sort of intervention. This is getting sad,” they muttered, watching me attempt to build a fire using compostable forks for what seemed like the hundredth time.
I sensed my time in this haven was coming to a close. I persevered. “Wouldn’t it just be easier for me to live here? I can take care of myself. All I need is here, and you guys can come visit once I’ve gotten enough cups to build a living room.”
After several tense moments, my friends sighed. “We suppose…It wouldn’t really matter. It’s not as though there isn’t enough space, after all. And you plan on staying here after closing?”
“Yes,” I replied. “I already have a hiding spot and everything.”
“Well then, welcome to your new home.” They looked resignedly at me. “We’ll help you move the rest of your things.”
The next few weeks will be remembered forever. Living at the Deece seemed like a dream come true. I was the first in line at late night. I always had a booth.
After the first month, however, trouble began. I tried to do my best to go about my daily routine like I would in a dorm room, but it wasn’t quite the same. I was hoarding an obscene amount of Deece cups. Apparently you can’t stack them like Jenga blocks. The lighting in here was also extremely unflattering. I was beginning to grow tired of continuously looking like a human Lo-Fi filter. Still, I persevered. I wouldn’t let anything stop me. I was to become the Deece hermit; I felt it was my true destiny. By midterms, I had created enough space in my booth dwelling to haul up my microfridge and plug it in. Weeks later, I installed my Keurig complete with condiments, water filter and pod carousel. The final touch.
My Deece home was complete. I had successfully set up shop in that one far booth near My Kitchen. I hoped my booth home would last many prospective Deece hermits to come, passing down from generation to generation, serving the students of Vassar College to the end of time.