PNW stylized Cosette sweeps while wearing a face mask.
Illustration by Maya Winshell

LC Miserables: empty chairs at empty tables

The year, 2020, was a hellish one and the first month of 2021 was lackluster. COVID-19 continues to wage viral and political war across the Lewis & Clark campus. The landscape appears desolate in the morning fog and abandoned from the untouched silver shine of the pavement. Campus Safety has buckled down on violations of MeB4We restrictions causing paranoid suspicion among roommates, friends and enemies. Students are beginning to grow antsy and chaotic as a result of enhanced social distrancing. A strange phenomenon has begun to fester under these unfathomable conditions. LC students are forming together in protest against injustice, security is heightened, war is raging and the Bon has declared “let them eat string cheese!” LC Miserables has begun. 

As the first week of the semester came to an end, there was already an arrest made by Campus Safety. According to The Pioneer Log, on Friday night, sophomore entrepreneurship major Johnny Valjohn ’23, snuck into the Bon and stole a loaf of bread. However, thievery was not the only thing that warranted such a scene — it was also his failure to wear a mask while committing such a high crime. 

“I stole a loaf of bread!” Valjohn shouted as he was pushed into a gray Campo truck. “I was starving! I just forgot my mask.” 

Within hours, students around campus began protesting and singing the song of angry people on Valjohn’s behalf. When President Vim Vievel did not respond, they assumed he did not hear the beating of their hearts echoing the beating of the drum. However, Vievel’s silence was due to shame regarding his complacency and confusing pod system. Vievel threw himself into the reflecting pool in a fit of confused madness Saturday night. Vievel survived the fall, grunting something about a $24,601 landscaping budget. The goldfish were dismayed.

Not only do students feel an overwhelming sense of blasé displeasure, loneliness creeps in due to loss of freedom and fresh baguettes. Mauri Ous ’21, a senior political science and theatre performance double major, spoke on his experience. At first, he was unreachable due to scheduling conflicts with a Gérard Depardieu marathon. Fortunately, he was able to be interviewed in the Bon. 

Ous sat at a table where he and his friends spent many a night last semester drinking orange Perrier, eating croissants and playing Piquet until an underpaid student worker kicked them out. This semester, there are only empty chairs at empty tables. 

When asked what it was like being without his comrades, his response was said with the emphasis and finesse that revealed his entire personality was being a theater kid, “My friends! My friends! My friends are gone.” 

When asked for clarification, Ous simply stated that “there is a grief that can’t be spoken.” The Pioneer Log decided not to pry further as it was simply tired of dealing with theater kids. 

While the ever present feeling of ennui permeates the cold LC air, overall COVID-19 cases are steadily going down nationwide. Though such news has not reached campus in all the miserable chaos and unrivaled despair. Despite the misery, there is always hope when tomorrow comes. 

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