I look at the clock and see that unfortunately it is still three thirty. At this time of night, few of us are still submerged among mountains of notes, addenda and reference books.
The crowds that had been milling around the faculty library all day, rubbing shoulders to find a free space, had been gone for several hours, taking all the fuss with them, but leaving behind all the tranquility and serenity that we enjoyed. the most night owls. There were eleven of us in the room I was in.
The closed, hot and moonless night projected onto the outside the heaviness, fatigue and darkness of my mind, saturated and reluctant to harbor even one more comma of information.
I try to stay calm and channel the nerves that begin to erase what little I had managed to memorize. I do relaxation exercises and take a 15-minute break to evade definitions and formulas and think of crystal clear rivers and colorful butterflies.
After that time I resume my study, after a brief visit to the bathroom to ‘refresh my ideas’ and wake up. A fleeting temptation invites me to close my books, pick up my notes, and go home to sleep. Finally I resist giving in to the provocation: not this time, it is time to fulfill the purposes.
Sitting back in the uncomfortable chair, staring at the papers in front of me, I manage to regain my volatile state of concentration and begin with topic seven: ‘Elements for the formulation of a consistent macroeconomic model’.
I open my eyelids disoriented being aware that I have fallen asleep and I glance furtively around me to verify that no one has noticed my nod. I look at the clock: five to five.
With laziness hidden in my dark circles, I get up ready to restart the study, but a piece of paper that appears trapped between the pages of the Macroeconomics book as a page mark catches my attention. I swear that will be the last interruption, and I open the book to the indicated page where I find a note folded in half. The note says:
I HAVE TAKEN ALL NIGHT LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE TO TALK WITH YOU, NOW THAT I SEE YOU HAVE FOLLOWED TO SLEEP, I HAVE FOUND IT. I WAIT FOR YOU AT THE COFFEE MACHINE TO ‘REPUT FORCES’.
I looked around me again, noticing each of the people in the room, trying to scrutinize a hint of dissimulation on their faces, which were fixed on the papers in front of them. I realized that now there were only ten people in the room.
I got up and walked slowly down the hall, trying not to make noise, to the next room where the coffee machine was. Upon entering I found a pair of green eyes staring directly into mine and I stopped in surprise. She stood up and pointed to the chair next to her, added a smile, and said:
‘For a moment I thought you wouldn’t come, I was already starting to feel stupid for leaving you that note. But come on, don’t just stand there, your coffee is going to get cold. By the way, my name is Elena. ‘
‘Sittin’ on my own, chewin ‘on a bone, a thousand million miles from home, when something hit me somewhere right between the eyes …’