I take a sip of my sparkling water and stare at the small, red light signaling the elevator.
The only way I’ve been able to enter this luxurious hardwood lobby is by discretely shuffling in behind students in possession of OWL Cards. These students are the residents of one of the most exclusive properties on the FAU campus: Heritage Park Towers.
One of these residents awaits me as the elevator’s glossy, stained-steel doors open in silence.
The resident I am about to interview rarely acquires a physical form, but has been reported to manifest in orbs; despite this, she’d like to be known as just another student. The Heritage Park Towers elevator poltergeist knows fame isn’t easy—for her, it was a long road of rattling, suddenly stopping without warning, and breaking down before she broke it big.
“So what inspires you to keep going?”
The elevator doors shut and I hear a prolonged wailing buzz that does not stop until 15 seconds have passed. Her voice is insightful, mellow. The lights flicker. I take it inspiration is elusive for her, that it comes and goes as she does between these floors, a loop that makes each abrupt ding and drop worth the wait.
The past few years for her have been a wild ride—terrorizing the underclassmen fortunate enough to dorm at Heritage is no easy task. Managing to be more of a nuisance than the cigarettes in the south side stairwell or the unusable water fountain in the lobby is even harder.
“What brings you to Heritage Park? Why here?”
The elevator vibrates gently.
The energy here manifests me. The build-up of disappointment and sorrow feeds me. I do not need a meal plan.
Her charm is effortless.
“Where did you find your start?”
A loud bang from the top right corner of the door, and a sigh.
I am an entity. I do not start, nor do I end. I am sustained only by misery. I generate it faster than a dude in a snapback can skate past you on the Breezeway. I am unstoppable.
“So, where are you planning on going?”
It’s only up from here. I literally cannot press the down buttons without the signal light abruptly turning off.
“What sort of life do you see yourself living in 20 years?”
Years are inconsequential. I will always be here, at Florida Atlantic University. My spirit will remain, as it has, it shall be.
“And if you could see yourself 20 years ago, what would you say?”
Your residence now will be abruptly torn down. The Gonq is only temporary. Be warned.
“What is your fondest memory?”
She is silent, thinking.
When one of the poor freshmen tried to hold the elevator door open with their foot for more than 5 seconds and I still closed it anyway.
“And your least?”
She begins to rattle, recalling that fateful night.
I loathe when people leave things. A young man from Pike once just left a brown paper bag full of unused condoms from Owls Care in the corner. It was there for days.
“Is there a special someone in your life?”
No. The spectral life is one of loneliness. It is hard to swipe right when you have no hands.
The sudden disorienting drop-down means my interview is coming to a close.
“So, where do you find meaning in all of this?”
I don’t know exactly. Check the campus map.