Friday, 28 June 2013
Blog Response by Rebecca Chaleff
For the past few days, Roble 33 has been a mystery to me. I heard whispers about it: those who had volunteered to set it up expressed incredible curiosity, and those called upon to photograph the space exclaimed, “I don’t know what she’s doing in there, but it’s beautiful.” I got several text messages telling me that I absolutey had to see it. My interest was engaged, to say the least. I tried desperately to find an appointment—the books were full, and only one spot remained. I nearly sacrificed a friendship ensuring that I was the one to take this appointment. I was lucky (and yes, we’re still friends).
I returned the next day to check in at the front desk of Roble, disguised from its usual function by a lace tablecloth and stacks of archaic-looking books and scrolls tied with ribbon. I was checked-in, led down the hall to Roble 33, and told to stand in the threshold until instructed to do otherwise—until the “librarian” came to fetch me. All I could see was absence. Thick curtains sucked space and time out of the room. I felt as though I were standing in a vacuum, a black hole in the middle of the Stanford campus.