An Empty, Canted Street

The Harvard Crimson

There’s a stretch of land, no longer than one tenth of a mile long, that I know better than any other. With a little hustle I can make the distance in less than a minute flat. I’ve traveled between my dorm room in Lowell House at 10 Holyoke Place and the red front door of The Harvard Crimson on 14 Plympton Street more than 1,000 times. It can be a quick journey, but it’s enough time to give my mother a call and short enough to preempt any extensive discussion of my drinking habits.

As someone with an attention span befitting our over stimulated generation, I oftenfind the necessity of foot travel irksome. I just want to be where I need to be. So it should be unsurprising that most days, this fleeting journey between my life in Lowell, clamoring bell tower and all, and my life spent inserting Oxford commas goes underappreciated.

There’s something eye opening, though, about the euphoric delirium induced by sleep deprivation. Emerging from The Crimson’s inhospitable florescent lights at 5 a.m., thenewspaper finally safely put to bed, I approach Plympton Street with a newfound awareness. For one, at this hour there are no people mulling about to clutter the scene; it’s just the brickside walks, the chirping of birds, and me.

Backpack on my shoulders, I plod down the middle of the empty, canted street, turning the corner when I get to the Lampoon castle.The castle itself, home to self-satisfied, angsty poonsters, is of little interest to me. But I do stare up, longing for something else: the ibis, the Lampoon’s pride and joy, their mascot. I’ve ventured inside the Lampoon’s walls and walked away arms full and unscathed, but that ibis affixed atop their tower sits so proudly out of reach.

Just as I begin to the feel the pangs of regret for this never-to-be-completed conquest, my eyes and my feet move on to the final stanza of my journey home: Lowell. I approach Lowell’s grand blue bell tower, proudly emblazoned with its gold-painted crest. Neither the Fly nor the community garden distracts me from my awe. My eyes rise up the belltower as I approach, sizing up my auspicious home as the tower begins to consume the entirety of my field of vision.


I will never live somewhere as perfect as Lowell. Maybe its rooms could be cushier, but its elegance is unmatched. I will miss taking this journey home next year, and I will regret the many times I undertook it with my eyes buried in my iPhone. I hope someone would steal that gloating, haughty ibis of a semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine—but I guess I won’t be forced to look at it for much longer.