600 words about What’s Funny About Places

By Alex Archambault

Asking “what’s funny about places” is a stupid question.

A lot of things are funny about almost anything.

For instance, a pregnancy test.

I can hear it now: “What could be funny about that? You’re elated because you really wanted to grow a human in your uterus. Or you’re elated because you won’t be growing one. Or you’re scared about the fact that you will soon be a parent.”

How about when you take one and then you get your period two hours later?

That’s pretty fucking funny.

But back to the initial point, with a word as broad as “location” there’s bound to be something bizarre twisted up in there.

Let me tell you about my room at school.

It’s white (well, as white as a ratty old college house’s walls can be), accented with an obnoxiously turquoise wall.

Noteworthy tangible objects in it include: my fan (who knew freezing Syracuse could also be insanely humid in early September?), my salt rock crystal lamp (they’re really hip, haven’t you heard?), my excessive amount of candles (so zen), and Eeyore (yeah, I sleep with a stuffed Eeyore, whoever said 20 was glamorous or mature lied to your face).

The room would be a good size for a large closet but that keeps me organized. Nothing reminds you to wash your laundry like a dirty pile of the stuff literally taking up half the room. (Well besides a lack of underwear, but we can pretend that never happens.)

And despite the fact I’ve been here for a little less than a month, the small space already holds so much of me: my tears, my intimacy, my desires, my worries … all of it bottled up in this shoebox of a room. And as the weeks progress, it will only soak up more.

That’s what’s funny about places: They consume and save so much of you, and they never stop, never fill up.

Every time I cry, the pillows in this room will soak up my raw emotion. This room will hold it, soften it, remember it.

When I am engulfed in another individual, writhing with passion, happiness, bliss, this room will protect us from onlookers.

As I meticulously type away at this piece, another piece, so many pieces of me vomiting my ridiculous thoughts onto a page, trying to figure out if I can do something like this for the rest of my life, or questioning if I have it all wrong, this room will stand by me.

When I lay upside down dreaming and dreading things that might not never happen.

“Don’t puke, don’t puke.”

This room will observe as I yak more than just my words. Nerves man, they’ll kill you.

This room will cradle a piece of me. A piece of me at age 20, roughing it through that awkward time of being both so adult and yet still such a child. It will mix me in with memories of other 20-something-year-olds who lived here, working through his or her own journey.

OK, pause.

As romantic as that all sounded, that’s a lot to ask of one room.

Rooms are inanimate and here I am wanting my shitty college room to remember the one time I cried of joy because I not only woke up for my 8 a.m. exam but I passed it too. And remember when my friends and I couldn’t sleep so we learned the entire rap to Eminem’s “Without Me” while sprawled across this lumpy bed.

Maybe it will remember.

It probably won’t.

At least it will remind me.

That’s what’s funny about places.

Editor’s note: This story is part of our September 2016 series ‘Hundreds of Words about Location: Where are you, and how does it affect how you see the world?’

Alex Archambault is a junior at Syracuse University. She isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life, but she enjoys dogs, food and a good nap. Her biggest claim to fame is being voted “always laughing” in her senior year high school yearbook. Hopefully once she graduates this bio will be more interesting. Follow @Alex_and_Raa.


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