Bomb Threats: An Embedded Report

Last night I had a couple of drinks and stayed up a little late. Nothing major, but I definitely felt sleepy this morning and forwent a bowl of granola for a breakfast taco and a half. So today, when the sirens at The University of Texas at Austin went off, and I received a text message to evacuate and get as far away from campus as possible. Immediately. And it was like the goddamn apocalypse was happening outside, my first thought was No. I am too hungover for this bullshit. Am I having a panic attack because I am hungover? Or because we are legitimately going to fucking die?

There were people everywhere, walking and running with umbrellas, and it was raining sideways. It felt like we were in Saving Private Ryan, if Saving Private Ryan were an American Apparel ad featuring lots of 19 year old overachieving introverted engineering students with backpacks.

And people were paused outside, unsure if they should really walk as far away as possible. This is understandable. We are Americans and hate walking. I paused too for a moment. And then I was like, what the fuck? Let's bolt.

A coworker and I started walking and walking and walking, like we were Forrest Gump, except instead of running across the country, we went to Texas French Bread on 29th Street. And along the way we walked with all of these other confused people. Middle-aged office workers who complained about leaving their lunch sacks behind at their desks. A nurse from student health services whined about wanting to go back to campus to get her car. A couple of theater students wishing the university would have provided more information in the text message. What was the nature of the emergency? Couldn't they have told us more?

And all I could think of was survival of the fittest and that if we died, these would be the last people I talked to. And then I thought about cannibalism.