Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Break-Up

My Dear Reader,

After an extensive five-year courtship, I would like to announce that I will soon be formally ending my relationship with Harold, who is otherwise known as the Harold B. Lee Library. While our relationship was deeply meaningful and very advantageous for the both of us, I felt it was necessary to break it off. "Harold," I said, "it isn't you, and it isn't me. It's just that you are a 47-year-old building, and I am going to be a 22-year-old graduate. I just don't see how this will work out." Harold then sighed, but I could tell from the look in his deep blue windows that he was starting to understand. It was time to move on.

But oh, Gentle Reader, the times we used to have! Harold always made sure that there was a chair waiting for me whenever we spent time together. We would read together, study together, blog together, and I found that he provided the best defense against any and all distractions from academia, pushing me to work as best and efficiently as I could. It was Harold who taught me how to write one double-spaced page in a half-hour, could easily gather information on a variety of subjects, and had memorized an untold number of books and scholarly articles by heart. Occasionally, our adventures together would last until midnight (when he would suddenly change from his usual, calm demeanor into one which was loud and obnoxious, as if to encourage me to get home at a reasonable hour).

Harold wasn't like the other Big Boys on Campus, like Harris Fine Arts Center, who was cultured but unpredictable, or Wilkinson Student Center, who was good for a meal but would keep you from your studies in order to quench his own loneliness. Harold understood that I was a student, that I had books to read and papers to write, and that I would sometimes have professors who were the most vicious taskmasters. While our relationship was by no means exclusive (for, as I was very well aware, he courted many), when I was with him, he would always make me feel as of his very existence was to serve my scholarly needs

Harold was and is one of the most popular guys around. Everyone knew and loved Harold, and he would often ease the tension I had between those of other majors. If we had to do something as a group and Harold was going to be there, we would know that no one was taking sides, which might have occurred at the presence of Henry B. Eyering Science Center or Joseph F. Smith Building. While F. and I would become great friends (though I was sometimes confused as to where I was in the relationship and where it was heading and how do I get out of here?), it was Harold who had my heart from the beginning, who would soothe my group's frustration when a test or project was near, and always gave us the chance to study effectively. I just don't think that I could possibly have graduated without him.

But, as I said, the time had come for the two of us to move on. As I walked away from Harold into the orange-pink haze of the setting sun, I looked back at him, and I too started to sigh. I thought about how life would be after graduation, when I no longer would have a friend who would spend his days finding meaning in the world's greatest literature with me. It was a troubling thing to think; after all, my departure had more to do with my fulfilled academic requirements than anything else. Could I say that we had actually grown apart? No, of course not. The fire in our relationship still burned as brightly as ever. Our paths were only planned to diverge because of circumstance and social convention. With misty eyes I ran back to Harold, put my hands on his paned exterior, and told him that though I might travel far and wide, I would always cherish what he had given me. When we finally parted, we promised that though we would be apart, we would always remain friends.

Regards, best wishes, and libraries,

-Cecily Jane

31 comments:

Molly said...

oh sweet academic love.

ELI said...

Well I knew Harold was seeing other people but I didn't know "other people" was my very own friends!

BTW, I too had a relationship with F but ended it because of abuse.

Megan Diane said...

At least you recognize when the relationship needed to end. Some people just make it a long distance relationship with "independent study" or should we call it going independently steady?

Mollie said...

I love this. LOVE.

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Heather said...

i can't wait to break up with harold. he's been a horribly abusive boyfriend, and we have had many periods of long separation.

Anonymous said...

Although it is has been over 20 years since our break up, I can still remember his musty comfy smell....MJH

Kalli said...

Nice one, Cecily! That post was very entertaining :) Sorry about the breakup. If you ever need some distraction from the heartache it is surely causing you, just let me know.

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Marc said...

wow....this is really dumb

tori said...

Cecily is that you? "where's my roommate?" Cecily? Harold's is not the only heart you've broken, where have you been!?! congrats and I love your style! I miss you!

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