(This article is from my old website and was originally published on Feb 11, 2018)
It was after a meeting. I’m a board member for a new theatre club and we had our first meeting for the semester. After general body members watched a prezi and gave showed slight interest, the board dispersed with excitement, buzzing for plans of the future. As I followed a fellow board member out of the classroom, I looked back to find a deep, sultry portal staring back at me from the classroom. The projector we had used in the meeting displayed that bright “I’m waiting here until I go to sleep” blue. Bouncing off the four walls in the classroom, I was essentially looking into a box full of midnight.
Of course I couldn’t help myself.
I walked in, trepidation curling between my toes. “This is after meeting hours. Technically this is trespassing? Technically I could be kicked out?” But the midnight swaddled me too warmly. So I sat in a dark blue classroom, wondering if this is as close to the deep ocean as I’ll get.
It was weird. I’m not going to lie, it was weird sitting alone in an empty classroom in a mostly empty building. But it was a novelty on its own as well, a moment filled with the fragile newness of never being explored before. Never being felt or tasted before. It was the unfamiliarity that got my the most, but the unfamiliarity that made it so darn cool.
After sitting in the dark classroom, I recalled a post I saw on Tumblr (back in my zip-up hoodie, swooshy-hair phase) describing something called a liminal place, which any place that feels like it’s slightly outside of reality. A rooftop in the early morning is a good example. Your friend’s living room, after a vigorous party, once everyone has left or gone to sleep. A classroom filled with midnight.
It’s these liminal places that chalk the moments of our lives with color, breaking us outside of our daily monotony to notice something disturbingly beautiful. If “stop and smell the roses,” turned into a physical space, then a liminal place is anything that urges you to stop what you’re doing and exist in it, even for just a moment.
“You doing good, bud?” a friend called out to me, seeing me in the midnight room.
“Yeah,” I responded, slightly embarrassed. It was as if I had been admiring a marble that I had to hide behind my back. “I just liked the blue,”
“Oookay,” she said, walking away.
I absorbed the liminal place for just a bit more, admiring the blue bouncing off the rows of chairs and the whiteboard in the front. Off of my skin, my deep blue shirt. The blue, the moment, the place itself, so quietly beautiful I wanted to fold it up and tuck it in my pocket. But alas, the projector shut itself off and I was dipped in darkness. I got up, walked cooly to the front door, and quietly closed the door behind me.
Until next time, midnight. Until next time.