So I’m sitting in my office at , about ready to leave for the day. For those of you who’ve never seen my office, it’s quite large, and quite full of stuff I inherited from my predecessors. One corner is full of books, files, accession records and my desk. One corner is full of Native American artifacts that have yet to be accessioned. One corner is full of dollhouse furniture and toys that were kept in various parts of the old museum and need to be relocated to permanent new homes. And the rest of it is allegedly work space that has somehow morphed into storage space – it’s all covered with stuff that comes to me from old exhibits, old closets, people’s desks, etc., and I have to find a home for it at some point.
My office is notoriously cold and the relative peace and quiet it offers in a loud museum is a secret I don’t share with many. I’m isolated from almost every other staff member. My closest neighbors on this floor are the (usually empty) staff lounge and bathroom, two telephone utility rooms and a fax machine.
So, like I said, I’m sitting here, about ready to go, when loud enormous bird tweets started pouring forth from the far corner. Not real bird tweets. Recorded ones. And at such a volume that upon hearing them I can only assume this is what a bug feels like when a bird stands over it and sings about its supper. HUGE bird tweets.
Then they stopped. I immediately emailed this information to various people on staff here to see if loud bird tweets were supposed to be coming from the very walls or if this is a special treat just for me. Everyone assumed I’d gone more than usually crazy. No productive information about the tweets from my colleagues.
Then there were loud beeps.
Then loud rock music. Someone was clearly rocking out.
For nearly 10 minutes there were alternating blasts of noise and silence. The noises were so loud that they made me feel small. I felt like I’d stepped through the looking glass and while everything around me looked the same, if I stepped out of the office I would find that everyone here in this alternate world was invisible, enormous and possibly hard of hearing since they're all so loud. While none of the dimensions in my office had changed, my perception of my own size had shrunk considerably. I felt like I was about the size of a Tootsie Roll.
Suddenly the normal sized phone on my desk rang. It was my friend and colleague Claire (the one who is sometimes also known as the Easter Bunny of the Keys for her habit of leaving keys wherever she goes.) Turns out Claire left her cell phone in my office after our most recent meeting.
Four people had called her. Some left messages. And her battery is low.
Apparently those 3 statements explained all the weirdness that has been happening here.
Except that it’s been so surreal I’m not quite ready to open my door and check on whether the world out there is as I left it, or if it’s all spooky and wonderland-ish…