How long can you stay in Buchanan before your soul is destroyed?

At 10:44 a.m., I began to feel uneasy. File Geoff Lister

Anyone in Arts knows how soul-destroying Buchanan can be. Unfortunately, it never gets less depressing no matter how many hours you spend there. The volume of people, the dark aura and the never-ending brutality of it all can get to you. So I decided to see how long I could spend in Buchanans A through E until I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore.

I set foot in Buchanan B at 10:14 a.m., and went up to the third floor lounge. The couches were taken, so I sat by the window. It was a sunny Tuesday, and the breeze coming in through the window embraced me and I felt a sense of hope. I felt like I could maybe just make it through the day, my personal goal being five and a half hours. I got to work on an assignment and was somehow soothed by the sound of a lawn mower outside that never seemed to stop.

At 10:44 a.m., I began to feel uneasy.

At 10:55 a.m., after working for a while, I decided to get up and go toward Buchanan A to get some food. I made a stop in the bathroom on the periphery between Buchanans B and A, the building this washroom is technically in is a fact I may never know. The darkness of each stall sent chills down my spine. I rushed to Stir It Up Cafe and grabbed a hot chocolate and a ham and cheese croissant. Every table was full, most of the people not eating or drinking, a common occurrence here.

I decided to find a place to sit elsewhere, and ended up walking through Buchanan B, across Buchanan C, and down to the first floor of Buchanan D to the AUS lounge. On my way there, I passed by several doorways to the outside, feeling the breeze and the embrace of the fresh air. I wanted to go out so badly. As I made my way to the lounge, I passed the arts advising office and considered dropping out.

At 12:04 p.m., I sat down on a couch in the AUS lounge. UBCSecure wouldn’t connect at first, and this gave me a sense of dread. What would I do without Wi-fi in this place? Read? I eventually connected and started to do some work I quickly gave up on. I remember the time in third year when I spontaneously developed a rash in this room. I feel weak for wanting to leave so early. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, and I was sure if I coughed everyone would look at me.

At 12:22, I decided it was time to leave. I needed fresh air. I needed to see my friends. The big “ARTS” letters on wheels spelled out “RATS.” I bid this building goodbye, at least until my class later that afternoon.