I was in the new Otago Business School building recently and it was like entering another world. Where was the dripping, slippery pit I was used to? (Only 2017 kids will understand.) What was this soft, elegant, open-plan palace?
I was in a wonderland, drifting through plush air, spinning past sculptures and tinkling water features and the sweet aroma of sandalwood. A forest of delicate fronds opened up to me and I walked through them like a tree-kangaroo, a fluffy umami spreading through my mouth.
Then things started to get weird, really weird. My interior decorating trip turned sour, fast.
I was by the elevators, reading the elevator signs as if browsing a catalogue of the unknown paradises that awaited me above. I was feeling weird, bad weird, and I didn’t know why. Fuzziness was creeping under my skin and I could feel my brain wriggling.
Then I realised. I was upside down. The floors on the elevator sign were around the wrong way. “Lower Ground Floor” was at the top and “Level 9: Department of Information Science” was at the bottom. Yet the text was the right way up. I had travelled to some dark inverse world where up was simultaneously down and directions were tangled.
I got in the elevator and travelled up and down (or at least I thought it was up and down, who knows anymore?), just to confirm that the building did, indeed, go vertically towards the sky, away from the Earth’s crust, and not down into the bowels of the psyche.
Each floor only exacerbated my mania. Instead of a glimpse of paradise, I was in a shifting world of glass and fibre. I leant against the wall for support and recoiled in horror as I realised it was the floor.
I left a broken man.