“23:59 Back at uni. Night time is so peaceful where the stress of the day of parking and walking for hours cease to exist” – The All-Nighter – Part 1
Friday the 23rd of May, 2014 – T minus 11 hours till 1st presentation is due.
00:00 “Great timing! I am running according to schedule. I actually intended to start my assignments at midnight the day it’s due,” I tell the guys. Sarcastic humour is the only way to sugarcoat the easily avoidable situation which we were in.
00:10 Staying up-to-date with 900 friends, their trips around the world, the awesome food they have and the pretty friends they hang out with feels like a full time job. I have been staring at the screen for so long with nothing to show for it. I feel frail like the french fry I nibble on, and the fatty burger is adding to the sleep deprived, caffeine induced, sickening feeling.
00:15 That’s enough banter. Need to get stuck into it. I ask Aiden if he has more chewing gum. He’s fresh out. I scrape the old piece of gum from the burger wrapper. Somehow it has rejuvenated its menthol properties in the brief period it spent outside my mouth. The aftertaste of the burger really compliments the mint flavour. We might be able to incorporate it to our menu in the burger joint we previously planned to open in Parkwood.
00:20 Facebook newsfeed has been scrolled through a hundred times. There are no cat videos I haven’t seen. I begin to get the impression that I have exhausted all internet procrastination resources. I get back to work.
01:10 Presentation is finalised. Time to start my “Evaluation and Impact Assessment” assignment. I tell Aidan “3000 words is not that hard. Even my name has like 10 words in it”. Aidan exclaims “What?” sensing exaggeration and asks me what my full name is. I take a deep breath and proceed to say my name in its entirety – “Tui Appu Arachchige Don Kasun Akila De Alwis”. After repeating the name 4 times at different speeds, Aiden manages to put together some syllables and gibberish to come up with a ballpark effort. He laughs at the fact that I lose all my perusal time filling in my name on the mark sense form during exams.
01:55 Introduction complete. “300 words only??? Not a jolly good show chap”. Binge watching BBC comedies has got me thinking in a British accent.
02.55 That was a productive session. Reading about the negative economic impacts a mega event such as the Olympics have on a host nation has got me feeling pity for multi-billion dollar corporations.
03:05 Aidan throws in the towel. More like his jumper, on the cushion area on the side of the 24hr section of the library, and cuddles a beanbag, making himself at home. He covers his face with the hoodie and says he is going to take a “quick nap”. A security guard comes out of nowhere and informs him that he can’t sleep due to work place health regulations. Aiden say “yes mate”, waits for him to leave and cuddles back on the comfortable nest of beanbags.
03:15 Listening to Tame Impala on repeat has made them sound like Justin Bieber. Kendric Lamar is getting whiny. Violent Soho makes me fantasise about running away and starting a band. I am starting to nitpick production errors in Gambino’s record. This calls for some classical music. Beethoven, Ravel, Wagner = best study tunes.
04:15 I hear the door open. 3 students looking morning fresh walk in. I rub my tired eyes to get a clear view of the pretty girls walking into the room. Maybe it’s the caffeine, but I’m seeing them walk in slow motion, then proceed to sit on a table situated directly in my line of sight. It takes me a moment to realise that they are noticing me staring. I give out an awkward smile at one of them who catches my eye. She smiles back. “Still got it!”. The girl whispers something to her friends and they all start to giggle.
04:17 A new group of students walk in. I think “wow these guys are so crazy waking up this early”, totally blind to the fact that we are crazier for staying up so late.
A loud grunt echoes the room and startles the students walking in. Aidan just started snoring. The grunts continue at a regular beat. Everyone laughs. I see the irony how his deep sleep is waking up and rejuvenating everyone’s day.
05:00 Only 500 words more! Aidan’s snore coincidentally resonates in time with Bolero by Ravel. The deep grunts are acting like a war drum and I feel like a soldier marching forward: one step – one word; one battle – one sentence; the assignment – to win the war and save all humanity!
05:40 I just typed the 2 sweetest words in the English Language – “In conclusion”. Ride of the Valkyries is hitting its epic peak as I feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. I stand up and do the biggest stretch I have done in my life, and punch on the full stop key. Oops, that was a comma… back space… full stop. Yes! I’m done! I have a massive grin. I noticed the girls looking at me and I feel conscious of the fact I have not brushed my teeth. I run my tongue over and discover a piece of lettuce stuck to my teeth.
05:50 Proof reading complete. I kick Zach’s chair, waking him up on the way towards where Aidan is sleeping. “Dude, wake up!” He gets up and looks puzzled before coming to terms with the fact that it’s morning. We have a good laugh over his snoring and grunting.
05:55 I come back and sit down. Still nothing new on the internet. Wonder how my old friend student email is doing. 3000 plus unread emails and going strong. I think to myself, “Damn these lecturers know how to spam”. Oh hello – reminder week 11 speech. What? I yell out to Zach “Oi is this week 11?” knowing far too well that it is. As my way too brief elation free falls like the “sky diving accident grandma” video I was previously watching, I realise I have another speech due on the same day.