Pomerene Hall

Professor Roeg, in Pomerene Hall, speaks from a circle of light as if rehearsing a guided tour, telling us the history of the Hall as we hear the sounds of all the activities the building has housed and that Roeg, a former student there, is describing:  silverware and dishes clattering, girls laughing and splashing in water, running footsteps, water from a shower, a girl screaming, sneakers squeaking and basketballs bouncing, wind, pigeons, a creaking door, a girl sobbing, a shower room, girls whispering, a girl saying no, wind, again the girl saying no, and wind and pigeons.  Roegspeaks of stories of supposedly haunted areas in the building and of her friend Cheryl whom she took on rides up a now-abandoned shaft in a “small old fashioned elevator.”  Roeg speaks of excess emotional energy permeating physical environments and of Cheryl leaving a trail of broken hearts in her wake, an epidemic of suicides.  Cheryl “allowed herself to be violated by a monstrous troglodyte who sold drugs from the back of a Volkswagen bus” and who involved her in drugs and orgies.  When Roeg warned Cheryl and told her she loved her, Cheryl looked at her with shock and pity and went to get her books in the changing room by the swimming pool.  Roeg tried to restrain Cheryl and got “very, very angry,” but does not remember what happened next.  In the morning, she tells us, she went to Cheryl’s apartment but it was empty and Roeg assumed she had gone to Mexico and that she would never see her again.  And, she says, “I never have.”  But she has had dreams of Cheryl lying broken and dead at the bottom of the elevator shaft.  She says she comes back to the blocked-up shaft at night, even after all the years that have passed.  She says she knows how to open the door at the top of the shaft.  We then hear the sounds we have heard before but now jumbled together, ending with the slamming of a door.  Blackout.

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