So I got a brand new CD in. Rosetta Stone's Adrenaline Deluxe! It's a fantastic album! I love it, it's a bit like Fields of the Nephilim but got a bit more rock 'n roll and less of a Western feel to it. I really, really dig this album! So many good songs so far, like this one.
Now, usually when I get a new album I like to really immerse myself in it. Usually this means finding some good, atmospheric place to listen for a little while. Every single song on the album gets at least one play through. It's kinda hard to pull off on a relatively boring campus like my own, but there is one place that I can think of where listening to Rosetta Stone would be perfect. Our university has this "grotto" that's like a mini prayer/worship area. It's small and made of stone, cut into part of the large hill. Inside is a single altar for the worship area and some cherubs and such in the masonry. The back wall has an enormous crucifix and a large metal stand that holds a bunch of candles. There's a statue outside of I think the virgin Mary.
Basically the grotto is situated between the soccer field/track and the rest of the campus, facing the soccer field. There's a set of stairs leading down the hill to the soccer field. When you hit the bottom of the stone steps, you can go straight and make it to the benches in front of the track. But to your left at the bottom of the steps is the grotto. I took some pictures of it a while back with a terrible camera when I was out with some friends.
I know! So delightfully Goth, and perfect for Rosetta Stone. I apologize for the lighting, and that I snapped the photos rather quickly. But I think you get the general idea. It's beautiful. Tonight I'm gonna be busy, but tomorrow is National Absinthe Day, so I can't imagine anything better than going to the grotto with a bottle of my favorite drink in the whole world and rock out to Rosetta Stone til way too early in the morning. I'm getting excited just thinking about it!
Oh, there was something else that deserves mention. When I was going through freshman orientation, one of the alumni got all the incoming freshman together and started telling them all sorts of ghost stories about the campus. My favorite one actually took place in the grotto! The story goes like this; two students from the university were walking back from the soccer field to their dorms late one night. One of the students, having just finished a strenuous run, decided he wanted to stop and take a rest at the grotto. The two sat down and started chatting, and all of the sudden an eerie fog appeared. The fog was so thick that they could only see a few feet out, not even far enough to spot the chain link fence surrounding the track. Everything seemed empty and desolate. Both boys were nervous, but neither wanted to tell the other how scared they were, and so they told jokes to disguise their anxiousness. As their laughter died down, the boys heard footsteps coming down the cement steps. Both stood up and watched a younger student emerge from the fog. The two boys introduced themselves to the new arrival. The boy shook their hands and introduced himself as well. He was a new student who was eager to start classes and make new friends.
The three of them sat down on the benches and started talking. All three had a fondness for soccer, which occupied most of the discussion. Then the newcomer started asking questions about professors and opinions on different classes, which the other two were more than eager to give advice about. The discussions went on as the boys, wrapped up in their pleasant conversation, lost all track of time. Eventually, the youngest boy stood up and stretched. He told the other two that he had greatly enjoyed the conversation, but it was time for him to leave. The other two, concerned, asked him if he was so sure he wanted to leave while the fog was still thick. The newcomer smiled at them both and told them he was sure he would be able to make his way back. He turned around and walked out into the mist, but before he was lost in its murky depths he shouted back at them to be careful, because it was going to start raining soon. Both boys felt a chill run down their spine as the third disappeared into the night, but neither was willing to admit that they were slightly afraid at the strange warning the boy had given them. They sat down and went back to discussing classes when, not five minutes after the newcomer had left, they heard a thunderclap in the distance. Both boys stood up and scrambled up the hill, hoping to outrun the rain.
The next morning, both boys kept an eye out for the new student, but never found him. They asked around, but no one knew of anyone who fit the description. They eventually started asking about the boy by name, and no one had ever heard of anyone by that name before. That is, until they asked a friend they met up with at the library. The librarian overheard their conversation and seemed very dismayed, asking the two boys about the newcomer. When they described him, the librarian's face turned pale. She took the boys up to the old news archive and pulled out a newspaper. There was a picture of him in a newspaper published six years earlier. The story had been written a few weeks into the semester of his first year in college. He had been walking home late one foggy night from a soccer field when, while crossing the street above the grotto to head back to his dorm, he was struck by a car traveling too fast to see him in the mist. The boy had been pronounced dead at the scene.
I don't put much belief in the story myself. Seems like the kind of thing they tell freshmen as part of the bonding experience, but just the same it was really freaking cool and totally adds to the spooky atmosphere. Maybe Rosetta Stone will bring out the ghost of that mysterious boy?
Here's to partying with the restless dead.
Love Under Will