Letter: October fire alarm a haply disturbance


This letter to the editor was written by Gavin Colton, graduate student in English and editor-in-chief of Touchstone Magazine, K-State’s literary magazine. If you would like to write a letter to the Collegian, send us an email at letters@kstatecollegian.com or visit kstatecollegian.com/contact.

The first thing the women sitting on either side of me did when the fire alarm sounded was compliment each other’s jackets, how pink they were.

Students and professors loaded their backpacks begrudgingly and trudged out as the shutters fell shut over the counter. My first thought was that some cheeky freshman had pulled the fire alarm to score a seat by the window.

I ambled out the double doors to the plaza, turkey pesto mayonnaise sandwich in one hand, stack of books and papers in the other. From behind me, a group of high schoolers scattered to get away from their teacher who frantically tried to wrangle them with a lanyard swirling over her head.

One girl, upon seeing my hat, said, “Go Dodgers.”

A herd of Chick-fil-A workers poured out, too, honking of grease and “my pleasure.” A Panda Express worker doled out fortunes inside crunchy cookies wrapped in plastic, shouting, “No loopholes.” I didn’t get the joke.

In the midst of the bedlam, a girl hunkered down and chalked a breast cancer awareness ribbon onto the concrete.

The Chi O’s must have sold all their charity corn dogs by the fountain with the disgruntled lunchers, who’d had to abandon their spots in line.

After a couple of minutes, the conglomerate bulged back toward the plaza doors like cattle; we all suspected a false alarm, and Radina’s tables were up for grabs for the first time since earlier that morning. This was business.

When the Union doors opened, held by willing students and workers, happy to observe the migration, we squeezed shoulders and rubbed shoes to get back to our lives — the monotony of it all.

Then, like a wave, we crashed back into our various nooks by the fire, homework left behind at booths and bucket seats, flattening beers on the bar and idle pool games in the basement, pleased if only to have had one haply disruption that day.

Gavin Colton is a graduate student in English and editor-in-chief of Touchstone Magazine, K-State’s literary magazine. The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.