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Boy Gone Wild: My Licentious Spring Break in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Photo Credit: Preeminent Author Jett Flaxman

With dried sweat caked to my body and dirt under my fingernails, I awoke on the steps of a massive building. My mind was numb. I had little recollection of the day before, and certainly no idea how I had ended up here. Barely managing to pull myself off of the ground, I rose to survey my surroundings. There was a river nearby, lined on the bank nearest me with trees, grass, and park benches. A long, wide, empty boulevard separated me from the river. In the other direction, I could only see the massive compound of stone structures to which the steps I stood on led. I reckoned that the rest of this small-seeming city lay beyond, but I could not be sure. Since waking, I had not seen a soul. I had not heard a thing other than the wind in the trees and the soft flowing of the river. It seemed that no one was here. Then things started to click. I must be in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 

My memory returned as I wandered. I saw like six people in the entire city. I remember driving in on Wednesday morning and speeding past a bunch of closed factories just outside of town. That’s right! I beelined for the State Capitol, which must be where I woke up. It was blocked off at every entrance with tiny little fences and there were no security guards in the whole place. Definitely the easiest of the two capitol stormings I have participated in in my lifetime. The doors were locked but it didn’t seem like much was happening inside anyway. There were these huge windows all over the place looking into government offices but not a soul sat in any of the desks. 

This isn’t some commentary on how our state government doesn’t do anything, I’m more just shocked at how Harrisburg is still standing. How are the cute little cafes still open? Why was the movie theater showing Brokeback Mountain on Wednesday at 2pm? Surely the entire town isn’t at a matinee, but where could they be? Where is Josh Shapiro? Whatever, who cares right? Weird place. But I’m glad I checked it out. Kinda wish I went to the beach though. It is in fact very disheartening to return to school.