The Stanford Daily
Don't destroy my home
April 18, 2008
By Nat Hillard
When Suzie Wormtooth ‘10 found out that Meyer library will be destroyed by 2012, a tear leaked out of her pale, lifeless eye socket. “It’s my home,” she told me.
Last November’s announcement of the library’s imminent demise sent ripples through the Meyer Library zombie community, of which Suzie Wormtooth considers herself a member.
“None of us saw it coming” she sighed, literally peeling her arm from a Math 132 problem set to wipe her face.
The zombies, while not quite “alive and well,” have enjoyed a presence on campus since 1966, when the library was founded. From humble beginnings, the number of Meyer zombies has increased at an impressive rate and can now be said to constitute a veritable nation-state, with its own culture, language and rituals.
“We live a simple life here. We value hard work, community and human brains,” Suzie explained to me, as she gnawed the remaining meat off of a human leg. “And now they want to pull the ground out from under our decaying, fly-infested feet. Do they have no respect?”
Suzie’s community lives in the warm and inviting 24-hour study room on the first floor of Meyer library. They spend their free time studying, staring blankly, doing work, not going outside and sighing in despair. While most members of the community prefer not to associate with one another, there has nevertheless grown the rudimentary beginnings of a local pidgin language. For instance, one of the words from this language is “uhhhhnnnhhnnnn,” which loosely translates to “you’re stepping on my foot, and it is interfering with my studies.”
The zombies of Meyer library do not have dwellings in the traditional sense, preferring instead to live in rolling chairs. Sleep, a ritual that they rarely engage in, is done with the head tilted over the back of their plastic, rolling domiciles, or on tables next to them. Laughter is discouraged in this stoic environment.
But soon, all of this will come crashing down.
“They act as if people don’t live here. Like it’s just another library. Try telling that to Donald over there,” she said, gesturing to a heap in the corner with coats piled on top of it. “We may be a vast, unwashed and undead horde, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t, or weren’t at one time, human.”
As Suzie explains it, public outcry has been misplaced. Uproar has primarily centered around the displacement of Meyer’s East Asia collection, housed on the fourth floor of the building. The fact that there is an entire community living in the first floor 24-hour study room, Suzie argues, has been entirely left out of the bureaucratic discussions.
It does seem unfair that these people, many of whom have inhabited this space continuously for a year, or even two years, should be so forcibly asked to relocate. Suzie has labeled the requisite relocation an “exodus.”
Time may be up for Suzie and her zombie community. Sure, they may be able to find other places to whittle away their time, staring away into the distance and thirsting after human brains. But for zombies like Suzie, it won’t be the same.
“I’ve got everything here — brains, school work, rolling chairs, brains . . . I can’t imagine a life without Meyer, and I’m not just saying that because I’m technically dead right now.”
Though Suzie will be graduating in 2012, she will be leaking many more tears in the years to come. The provost has declared that her home must be destroyed, and there doesn’t seem to be any room for discussion. Add to that the fact that Stanford is a community that is largely dead to the concerns of the undead. But there is a full four years before Meyer library will officially be razed. And until then, Suzie the zombie will fight an uphill battle.