On 28 November at approximately 16:00 I returned to my premises in the building known as “Wing.” I was greeted by a blast of hot air left only by Satan himself, a 97 degree gust denoting his departure from this desolate human sphere.
Some say what happened was “the heater broke.” That, “this happens every year.” It seems plausible of course, a heating unit bellowing some 100 degrees of heat into a dorm room for nine days could in fact kill a whole fish tank. But we as humans are prone to finding simple explanations for things we cannot understand. Much like the radical anti-vaxxer defers to the simpler notion of microchipping an entire population, the layperson will profess that my dorm room was not inhabited by Satan over Thanksgiving break.
Upon entering my 15’ by 9’ inhabitancy, three things became immediately obvious. 1. My plants were dehydrated as fuck 2. The pride flag that had been hanging in my window was gone 3. My fish were dead. I’ll address each with increasing horror.
The plant decay was expected. In humans, it is said that only 3 days can elapse without the consumption of water before the body begins to wither into a fine dust. The dust is conventionally known as “pollen”, and urban legend says pollen comes from flowers, to quench the consternation of hydrated humans. Every spring hundreds of thousands of people forget to drink water after waking from hibernation, and find their bodies whisked away by the warm breeze of death. My plants exceeded the dehydrated human lifespan threefold. Badass.
The pride flag in the second panel of my three panel window was absent upon my return. Perhaps the RAs “took it down” because we were “supposed to completely close the aluminum blinds.” Another over simplified answer for an occurrence far more heinous. This is the first and most glaring sign that the University of Vermont was subletting Wing to the heavenly world’s greatest sinners. A little known fact about Burlington, Vermont, USA is that the city was actually the birthplace of “Thanksgiving” some 8,000 years ago. A gathering of the spiritual and physical world’s most vile beings, the tradition has been carried on, with the most famous–but far from the first–Thanksgiving being celebrated by the Pilgrims. Contemporary history has shaken the true meaning of Thanksgiving: death, famine, war, and conquest. Those who still know Thanksgiving’s legacy gather each year in Burlington VT to celebrate, with this year’s notable guests including but not limited to: the ghost of Lyndon B Johnson, Krampus, Death, Satan, Mitch McConnel, Kyrsten Sinema, The Beatles (both living and deceased parties), Count Iblis, Superman, Jenny from Forrest Gump, and Nancy Reagan. The flag was collateral damage of a rager hosted by Satan in my borrowed room. I like to think Mitch ate it whole. No chaser.
The most horrifying of the three afflictions of my quarters was what happened in my fish tank. The simple man’s explanation may be that “the tank got too hot for the fish” and then “the snails slowly ate their skin, eyes and insides.” The simple man is plagued by foolishness. My snails are not animals, they are creatures with strong moral compasses and desires, hopes and dreams, fears and qualms. My two fish, Phobos and Deimos, suffered different fates. Phobos was eaten alive by John Lennon. I am sure of this. Deimos, still remaining in the tank in his most futile skeletal form, was never supposed to die. Satan, on the morning of his departure put one raven’s talon of a finger upon the left wall of the tank, as if to thank Deimos for his hospitality and wish him well on his endeavors. Satan’s touch killed Deimos instantly, a forever curse which had been placed upon Satan by God himself. Satan rushed out of the room at precisely the moment I entered, locking himself in the single occupancy bathroom and wept until his body could no longer weep. On the third day he drug his lifeless, grief stricken immortal corpse out of the bathroom, out the fire escape, and caught a ride on the Cat Bus back to hell.
I have forgiven Satan. I would not wish his curse upon anyone, and I yearn for the day I may reach his fiery gates and embrace him.