Why Are You Here?

Pool Hall Tournament Night:

Every Thursday night, Reedies come from all across campus to the infamous Pool Hall with two pursuits in mind; showing off their pool skills, and getting drunk. With $3 in hand for their buy-in, they are excited for the night to begin.

As someone who has participated in this event many a time, I decided to be an onlooker this time around, observing Reedies in their natural habitat and berating them at the first chance I got. My question? One that was carefully crafted by one of my friends when they were helping me brainstorm ideas for this article. One that has many different answers depending on the way you look at it. One that will make you think. Why are you here?

Courtesy of Reed College Pool Hall Facebook Page

In order to get through the explosion of sociality I was about to go through, I needed some liquid courage. I took many swigs from my 7/11 boxed wine, put some lip gloss on, and I was ready for the night. 

Upon entering the pool hall, I noticed that the usual crowd was there. The majority of the people there were drunkenly socializing or playing pool. I went up to my first target, Alexis (all the students in this article have been identified with pseudonyms). Why are they here? “I’m here because there’s a lot of beer, and I’m here because there’s a lot of friends. That’s it.”

My next three targets? Rose, Jasim, and Emma. Emma was first, saying, “I am personally here to socialize and have fun and watch these swaggy pool players hit it off tonight.” Jasim agreed, saying; “I second [Emma.] I also really wanted to get drunk, and, why not?” Rose, on the other hand, said, “I had nothing better to do.”

When I asked Kai about why they were here, they laughed and answered “I don’t fuckin know” Henry, on the other hand, said he was here “against my will.” Might have to revisit that statement at a later time. Nurain chimed in enthusiastically, saying, “I am here because I am having the time of my life and I am a college student who has so much to experience in life still, so that is why I’m fucking here!” Shizhang had a different take, saying, “I’m here because I don’t want to go to sleep and because I’m resisting the urge to be very enraged and mad and pissed off, and so instead of doing that I’m here and I’m hanging out, and I’m having fun.” Jace, avoiding responsibility, said, “I’m here because I didn’t want to do my German essay.”

Samir left us with some introspection at the end of the night, saying, “Every experience I’ve lived through in my life has led up to this point and it forced me to do what I’m doing right now.”

The overarching tradition of getting drunk at Pool Hall Thursdays is something I hope continues for years to come. It brings a sense of community and togetherness to participants. Thursday nights will forever be Pool Hall tournament night, and besides, who doesn’t love a three-day weekend? 

I’d like to leave readers with a quote from the wise words of the THIS IS REED (REED COLLEGE) YouTube video, “Reed taught me how to puke and rally, and still go to conference in the morning.”

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