A color printing nightmare
Published: Thursday, November 11, 2010
Updated: Thursday, November 11, 2010 12:11
The dream starts and I'm running in circles as fast as I can. I'm at school in the center of campus. Above me there is a giant clock whose hands tick piercingly with every passing second. I wince at every tick and my bones twist with anxiety.
As I'm running I'm making lists. I'm using a blue pen and writing on a yellow legal pad. I'm writing so fast that the lines are filling and the pages are flipping faster than the hands of the clock are ticking. The ink is bleeding from the pages, dripping on my skin and weighing on my brain. I'm running in circles so fast that the earth beneath me begins to spin itself-we're running together causing chaos and vexation like a creepy circus merry-go-round gone wrong.
I'm clawing for an escape, so I fall. I throw myself to the ground so I won't have to run. The earth's still spinning rapidly around me but I'm seated. The clock hangs closer to my face now. I look down at my list. I pry my blue fingers from the pad and from the pen, and I begin to read what I've written. I'm reading and trying to calm my breathing as I realize it's just a list of things I need to print in color. It seems I just need to color print these items before the time on the clock runs out. Easy, I'm on a college campus, an epicenter of available resources.
As I make this realization the clock ticks louder. Time is running out. I sprint to the library only to find an assemblage of stubborn statues behind the desk. "We no longer offer color printing" she said. And then she crossed her arms and turned to stone. Every last person behind the desk repeats this statement, crosses their arms and turns to stone. The entire library turns black and white; even the students are tones of grey. The clock ticks even louder and I begin to sweat.
I see a sign titled "Color Printing"It tells me the Monroe Library invites me to color print via Loyola University Printing Services, Tulane University's FedEx Kinkos or the FedEx Office Print & Ship Center on Tchoupitoulas Street, all of which cost a minimum of 40 cents per page. I reach into my pockets for money, praying for at least some loose change. But I'm a student, of course they're empty.
I remember the Donnelley Center, the place for communications students to assist nonprofit organizations. I'm there in seconds but the door is locked. The hours are clearly posted next to the door- it should be open right now. I bang on the door and the walls begin to crack and crumble all around me. The clock ticks so loudly I fall in agony. From the depths of my subconscious rises an evil laughing clown. He smashes the clock with a baseball bat and shrieks "You lose!"
I could feel my body burning from the inside out with failure. I woke up from the nightmare only to realize I was already awake.
Janece Bell can be reached at