The Mason Library can be a great place for a wide range of undertakings: Organizing a class presentation, printing out an assignment as the hourly bells toll signaling you have less than 60 seconds to get the ink on the paper and to the professors desk, reading just about any magazine you can image, utilizing the Wi-Fi when your apartment’s is down or study with that cute girl from your history course that you want an excuse to see outside of the classroom.
However, my favorite activity the majestic premises can accommodate is sleeping. As an off-campus student with a somewhat comically over-full schedule, rejuvenating the body and mind with a spare hour or two between classes (in a way that coffee simply can not) could be the difference from detesting every second of a lecture and actively participating in a fervent discussion.
The awesome thing about (some) library naps (in particular reference to one I experienced recently) is that during my time of heavenly escape from the academic world, I never REALLY fell asleep, which much to my surprise was a magnificent thing because I was completely cognizant of the dreams (which seem to flourish in slumbers held in a public arena, last less than two hours, and involve headphones secreting Edward Sharp).
It’s not unusual to remember dreams (although personally I rarely do), but it is, I would assume for most, unusual to have an experience where you remember a mini-dream you just awoke from while drifting into another, and another, and another. As the nap was often interrupted by a limb “falling asleep,” I would momentarily awake, rearrange (ever so slightly), not taking enough time in the factual realm to check my phone, or fully equate myself with reality, but donating enough mental alertness to observe the fact that what I had just experienced was not reality.
As the next miniature trail of Z’s approached I had the unique opportunity to half-mindfully reflect on the others which had just passed. Usually involving people in my life, insecurities I face, and thoughts that have crossed my mind time and time again but not with enough significance to cause significant consideration.
The confusing state of inebriation I faced when unsure if I really checked to see what time it was or if that was just the fourth in an assembly line of pocket hallucinations, half of which I was observant of in real time, realized were imaginary, but too entrenched in the escape of to conjure up the necessary amount of energy to open my eyes and face the reality. The harsh reality … of my next class.
So I say those padded comfy chairs are for a reason. Don’t worry, there’s no officials roaming in search of closed eyelids with rulers slapping knuckles crabby-nun-style. Take advantage of those footrests, assemble a decent Spotify playlist and tilt your hat down. You won’t regret it.
Eric Walker can be contacted at