After the volleyball match Saturday night — in which the Wildcats slaughtered Colorado and left a trail of destruction all the way to the locker room — the K-State fans that had crowded Ahearn Field House to witness the massacre, tore their clothes apart violently and stained the purple bleachers with their tears of sorrow, their cries beating against the cold, hard walls for many hours afterward. Volleyball was over. Over.
Their wails still reverberate from the Purple Pit.
Aid organizations from the American Red Cross to Rotary International set up crisis centers and camps to tend to the victims. President Obama declared a state of national emergency and mobilized the national guard to Ahearn for relief assistance.
Helicopters tore through the air all night, spotlights glared on the weather-marked walls of the arena, and Willie the Wildcat posed for pictures for the news channels to spread the word of the mayhem plaguing the Manhattan community.
And all because the sport is over for this year.
What are we to do? The volleyball season has been over for five days now, five days of emptiness, five days of sadness, five days of hopelessness.
For months, we experienced the heights of joy and the pangs of defeat. We saw what inspired Michelangelo, why Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal: love. Love in its purest form, the freedom and terror and awe that comes from that which we cannot see or hold.
For months, we had a purpose. There was a reason to brave the harsh elements, to put off homework, to not call our grandmothers until tomorrow.
For months, there was life.
But now, it is all over. What shall we do? The best think tanks in the world are discussing the issue with the best minds in the world over the best beer in the world (Boulevard), but hope does not run far. There can be no cure-all to salve myriad wounds — physical, emotional, psychological, anthropological, sociological, political, chemical and geological.
We can only turn our eyes to the next season and put on blinders to prevent the brink of emotional ruin on which we tread precariously. It is so many months from now — eons and eons — but we can band together as one and put up a solid front so that we lose no one in the arduous wait.
Hold out, my fellow fans. Wait for the sun to shine through the storm clouds once more. Look to a better day, when the volleyball team will again take to the court. Never forget the Purple Pit.