In which The Author’s subconscious goes exploring again
THE STUDENTS’ UNION
This appears to form an extension of a large-ish railway station, in much the way that the London termini have been transformed into shopping centres with trains running into them. You have to walk through the concourse and take a flight of steps to reach the Students’ Union. The building itself is surprisingly run-down and in need of a lick of paint. There’s a long corridor with doors on both sides, leading into offices of various sizes. The bar and performance area are disappointingly small. There are a few vintage games machines and a half-empty vending machine against the walls, but nobody is using them. I usually need to try and find someone in one of the offices. None of the doors are labelled, and there’s nobody around whom I can ask for help. I just wander aimlessly before finding myself back at the station.
THE DEPARTMENT STORE
I don’t know where this is meant to be, but I’ve got a feeling it’s in Cardiff. It’s a vast space spread over several floors, with passageways leading off into little retail concessions. Sometimes I’m just shopping here. Other times there’s a Waterstone’s concession, and I’m either working there or catching up with old friends from the trade. A strange feature of the building is a set of little-known interior spiral staircases dotted around the place, enabling me to slip easily from floor to floor without having to take the lift. A lot of the time, I’m supposed to be looking for a female friend who’s vanished while browsing, and I find myself wandering from place to place without finding her.
THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
I don’t know which university campus I’m meant to be in, but the Science block is at the far end of a long set of corridors leading away from the heart of the complex. The biology labs are on the second floor, but the signs are missing and I can never find them. There are halls of residence on the other side of the campus, and some of my friends are staying there. On at least one occasion I’ve had to help one of them break in after she’s locked herself out of the block.
Last night, I was on the campus again, trying to convince someone at the Admin office that they’d fucked up my paperwork (see Everything Changes). I tracked down some of the lecturers and they agreed that I should be allowed to re-enrol. I even spoke to someone who’d seen my new enrolment forms, but nobody could find them.