enfin's reality, writing

E & T: a collaboration

As I’ve taken a break from posting fiction, I thought it may interest some readers if I posted the story that’s caused me all the pain in the world and is the reason why my creative posts have become rare.  Entitled Kale and Radishes, it’s the one piece I want to finish.  I began it in collaboration with Mr. John Fury last April, and since then we have not put anything else into it.  In addition to the following manuscript, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am beginning to write a play, which at this point is called B108.  I hope to have it done by late December, and when it’s done, count on segments being posted, along with a date for where and when it will be staged.

-enfin

Prelude:

I wrote this in collaboration with my friend Tobias. It was all done over face book stauses over the course of two weeks. Spelling is bad, as is grammar, but that‘s the stylistic standpoint we‘ve chosen to use. In the beginning it’s a bit unclear as to who is narrating who. When one gets to the middle section it‘s easier to determine the narrators. Toby narrates the girl‘s life, and I narrate the boy‘s life. No ending has been discussed- no plans of reviving the tale itself have been thought about. It‘s impossible to finish this story properly without the commitment from both parties- and because Toby and Enfin have conflicting interests as of late April, it‘ll be quite a while til anything happens with this story.

And so it goes:

Untitled manuscript numero six

“she sat down to a plate of kale & radishes and looked longingly out the window. the rain falling reminded her of faraway countries, though she couldn’t pinpoint exactly why. in the next room, the television burbled about a tool to make cooking easier. on the stove, a pot frothed madly.

an alarming sound emanated from the kitchen, interrupting her thoughts. the fork dropped out of her right hand as she stood up from her battered chair which was thrifted from a yardsale the season before. for fear of knocking over a pile of her strategically stacked records, she moved with a touch of cautious air about her, and meandered into the dimly lit kitchen which resembled that of one found in industrial england centuries before her time.

the pot was a horrible anachronism that she had always despised, gleaming silver among the cast-iron skillets which hung like torture instruments over the ancient range. casting a swift glance over her shoulder at the cat about to strike an invisible mouse, she ladled out the soup which was boiling over. limp-wristed leeks clung to each other on the wooden spoon. a deft flick of her hand turned the gas off, and this motion extinguished something inside of her, too. she wondered if she had a pilot light and, if so, how she could lift her sternum and hold a match to it in order to re-ignite its slumbering stoma –

in the apartment directly above her dwelled a boy in his early twenties. i say boy because he had been stunted at the age of 15 as a result of his tumultuous rearing. much like the girl below, the boy stared out his window, which was covered with a thin film of blue tainted dust, at the rain. it was one of those moments where he felt as though the world stood still and time ceased to exist. the boy’s soul was overcome with an outlandish sense of peace, which quickly vanished as he heard a riotous yelp emerge from the hallway that neighbored his quaint flat. as his heart sank, he rose from the comfortably padded seat at his escritoire and ambled to the menacing oak door which yielded a small aperture to the world outside of his banasuic realm. an uncontrollable gasp forced its way up and out of his throat at the sight of the couple, who hailed from apartment 6C, flailing their misshapen limbs in the stale air around them and throwing each other’s valuables over the ledge of the balcony which observed the perilous stairs that led to the caverns within the blue house on arbus road.

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enfin's reality

חג כשר וסמח chag pesach sameach

happy passover. first and foremost i despise the following week because it always feels as though whatever you do, whether you be jewish, catholic, or agnostic, that in one way or another you’re doing wrong unto the world. but two days down, five to go.  today, (tuesday) is promising.  even though the weather is crappy and sad, i’m sort of looking forward to the day.  it’s almost at the point where i keep observing the time and i think that it’d be the smartest thing if i stayed up all evening into the morning doing homework, catching up on enfinoui, and cleaning and then head to school, grab a large coffee and take a nap. but i think i’ll end up sleeping in a while.

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today. no tennis. no work. homework…yes. waking up early… maybe.  relaxation… hopefully.  i’m seeing dark dark dark tonight at SPACE. I cannot wait.  If you live in Portland head to SPACE tonight and hear them play.  They’re putting on their Bright Bright Bright LP and some songs from Snow Magic for the crowd.  I’m hoping my Yashica will be in working condition in 24 hours so I can capture the show on my black and white film.  i also feel like making pizza… why am i thinking about food already though? that’s a bit sad. basil, lemon, cake. delicious. i’m getting off track. apologies. st.oc. that’s my stream of consciousness abrev. yes, anyway, GO SEE DARK DARK DARK or die. the end. put an end to that huh.? didn’t i? oh i sure did. this is not artfully narrated.  i’m really sorry, but all of my talent has flown out the door. what a shame! i know, right. even my neighbor’s pet bird agrees. i can hear her chirping through these thin walls. paper thin. modest mouse. isaac brock. road trip to outwest this summer. HELL YES. who wants to join?

im going to stop now because i am making no sense  and i also feel as though i may be muttering a bit too loud.

im feeling: ohheyo, i miss its always sunny in philly, tired, ‘cited-‘cited, byebye the awful lovin’ rain, vinyl hours and incense, crackin’ the bottles, zombieblood, fiction NEEDS to be finished, intrigue intrigue intrigue, lurv, dance sesh with invisies?

enfinlove.

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the book that changed everything

my words are methodically printed on the sheets of this moleskine.  each letter constructed with exact precision.  my secrets are engraved with permanance, my thoughts go unscrutinized by the covers, my aspirations are announced.  sketches of the world around me lay within the boundaries of my journal.  secret messages that i am unable to communicate are enscribed, the possibility that perhaps someday i will be able to mumble these messages to those they are written for remain intact.  my moleskine is home to the inner catacombs of my mind.  tumbling and spiraling thoughts, that tower to the highest point of thought that exists in my psyche.  its waiting to be read…waiting to be explored, but as the author, i am not able to describe what lays beneath the red bound leather covers.  many a times, i’ve imagined losing it, imagined losing my one constant companion.  i’ve realized that if i did end up losing it, and someone found it, read it, and hypothesized about me, then they would, without a doubt, know a great deal more, about its author, than i do.  and of course, i am the author.  i know little about myself, about my inner-workings.  i think i know what makes me tick, what makes me smile, but there are those instances where the sound of a cat hissing, instead of making my head whirl, makes me at ease.  my pre-conceived knowledge about myself is erased constantly and rapidly.  for days at a time, i think i know myself, but the next week i’m in a state of uncertainty.

recently the thoughts going through my mind have circumnavigated around the notion of losing my notebook intentionally.  hoping the right person picks it up, takes it home, and reads it in their dimly lit room, surrounded by tokens of their past, by four walls regulating their lives, by menacing recycled air, and by the sounds of the world where absolute silence does not exist.  this person, the finder of my moleskine, sorts through it, decodes my thoughts, my jargon, my wit, my truths.  they know me without knowing me.  a spark of interest is ignited, and they’re enticed to learn more.  i lay at home in distress, wondering where, oh where could my moleskine be? who has it? and what do they know? but distressed is not the proper word.  its a persona, a phase i go through.  acting one way, when i really am not experiencing those emotions at all.  my therapist tells me that i’m a romantic.  she adds that she also believes i like expressing myself in a variety of ways- one of which is making myself appear mysterious.  creating all these different layers for the “real me” to hide beneath.  for different people, i appear in different ways.  the “real me” is shown to the rare few, and never shown through actual conversation.  the “real me” is expressed through minor actions, and through prose.  those who have witnessed the “real me” can and shall attest to that.

the first time i tried to lose my moleskine was unsuccessful.  i was sitting in a stuffy classroom, that was engulfed by the lights of the fluorescent gods.  chatter was scattered sporadically throughout, knowledge was being hindered rather than facilitated.  it was a dry day in the middle of october.  the guiolltine windows were open, sounds from the construction company working on the building adjacent to the public establishment bellowed in, thus becoming the soundtrack to my day.  my history teacher, a stout italian man, flipped through his notes anxiously.  brow furrowed, mustache loitering, words were anything but omnipresent.  my neighbor whispered to me, motioning at their almost blank quiz, suggesting i give them the answers.  looking down unto my crisp piece of loose leaf paper, i too, hadn’t recorded the answers.  my shoulders shrugged in an almost apologetic manner.  my neighbor sighed disappointedly, and i began working promptly on the quiz.  my right hand gripped my ticonderoga pencil loosely, and my left hand steadily kept my piece of paper in place.  within a few minutes, after my hand was long tired, i refrained from finishing.  only two questions were left.  both of which i knew the answers to.  what had caused this sudden refusal to work? the mocking sound of the analog clock, had appeared louder than it was supposed to.  my eyes drifted up the wall to the clock which was adorned in a minimal way, what with just numbers, tick marks, and three hands.  my teacher cleared his throat, unaware of my short pause in time, and i continued onward to complete my exam.  shortly after i passed my quiz up the row along with two other quizzes that belonged to the folks sitting behind me.  fifteen minutes remained in class, and my teacher announced that we could begin our homework assignment.

instead of reading our history text, i took out my moleskine, and began writing a poem that i had started the evening before.  the ink flowing out of my pen worked at the same rate as the words emanating out of my mouth.  everything fit together in a satisfactory manner, i felt as though i had just written a poem just as good as any of Longfellow’s, but of course that wasn’t the case.  my serenity was interrupted by a fellow student inquiring what i was working on.  i retored, that i wasn’t working on anything that would matter to him, and he chuckled nervously.  his eyes surveyed my face, picking up hints of sorrow and hints of irritability.  will you ever let me read your poetry? he inquired, either genuinely or mockingly (still to this day i am unable to say which) and to this i responded coldly that i don’t share my writing with just anyone.  this comment of mine had hurt him, so much in fact, that he began to resemble a dog licking his wounds.  i began to regret what i had said, but being the exemplary capricorn that i am, apologies were not in my nature.  i began to pack up my stuff in my green shoulder bag, wedging my US History Book, published by Amsco, between my Honors Biology Book and my Honors Latin Prose Guides.  My ticonderoga rested tucked behind my ear, and my mobile phone was checked, in regards of whether or not i had received a text message all day.  i had not.  on my desk remained my moleskine and my water bottle.  the teacher shouted over the gossip of his pupils that the homework was due next class and to make sure to review for the section test.  no one but me heard his announcement.  he began to add something else, but the bell cut him off.  the majority of the class flowed out of his room, but a few remained.  i remained inside, solely to put my jacket on, and to avoid the rush.  others remained inside to discuss their mediocre grades, and explain why they were unable to pass in the homework due next class.  i lauged at what i heard, but i gathered my bag and water bottle and began to leave the room.  i subconciously knew that my journal was not on my person, but, i suppose i didn’t want to admit that to myself at the time.  i walked through the curved corridor, making my way to the main stairs.  the hallways were deserted, partially because it was a friday, and partially because school was over.  scrap pieces of paper, and graded assignments were littered across the floor- very typical for my high school.  as i started to make my way down the main corridor, to the main set of stairs, i heard the pitter patter of feet gaining speed and proximity to where i was currently located.  the hindered breath was resounded about the hallway, and i turned around, all to find the boy, who had inquired about my poetry, running towards me.  in his hand, was my moleskine.  i had hoped, secretly, that he would have found it, brought it home, read it, and delievered it to me on monday.  hey, you forgot your notebook in class he huffed, mustering up enough strength to speak.  i asked if he had looked at it, while i grabbed it out of his freckle dotted hand.  he shook his head no, and added that he respected what i told him, about only a select few are able to read my work.  i looked at him bewildered as to why he hadn’t read what i wrote.  why he had obeyed and listened to what i said.  he smiled at me, told me to have a good weekend, and then turned and sauntered away.  i stood in the hallway, looking curiously at where he had been standing until a janitor asked me if i was alright.

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here is the church & here is the steeple

nervously descending the steps i wonder if anyone is watching me.  my steps, a bit intoxicated from the four sam adams consumed a mere thirty minutes before, my head, a bit foggier than usual, mon rythm cardiaque accelerating at the sight of a dark figure waiting in front of the door.  my left arm, covered in a tattoo of a map of the arctic circle, extends to meet the handle of the steel door.  a rush of wind greets me with hospitality and the dark figure turns to meet my gaze.  his hood is pulled up over his head, his eyes, behind those fogged glasses, are indeed, dialated, his throat is parched, and his ears are beet red.  he puts his  left hand on the face of the door and motions with his right hand for me to exit first.  my body obliges, but my eyes remain, intent, on his mysterious visage.  his eyes, follow mine, and a smile creeps to the edges of his face.  no such thing appears on my face, but my soul is warmed by this small gesture.  i begin to walk up the hill to the main road, but my head is still turned back, facing the stranger.  after a brief moment, his silhouette disappears into the building and my head is forced to look onward instead of behind. 

the streets are cold, iced over, abandonned.  the people are sporadically placed, and i, i am just a passerby.  my pace is swifter than normal, perhaps it was the decreasing temperature that fired my energy.  the street lights glowed with a sallow tint, and the stars were nowhere to be spotted.  as i found myself, moving uptown, past the bars, i passed by a group of young men all clad in sable.  their heads were homes to an array of thrifted hats- all of which looked miraculously warm.  each man had a cigarette in hand, and they were conversing amongst themselves.  with my presence however, their colloquies seemed to cease.  all eyes were on me, and i tried to speed up my pace.  i felt my skin flushing, but oh, not pink, my skin flushes even more paler than what most would think is humanly possible.  the last boy i passed blocked my pathway and smiled at me.  i averted eye contact the moment this happened.  hey sweetie, wanna cig? he prodded.  i nodded my head in a manner that was both timid but strong, and his friends pushed him slightly out of the way.  one even called after me a half-hearted apology for their ill-mannered drunken friend.  my walk continued to consume me.  by the time i reached the promenade, the traffic lights were blinking  with their carmine color.  my hands displayed little to no signs of life, and my hair was brittle and feeble.  my eyes glanced around my outdoor environment nervously and spastically.  i saw a bench and headed towards it. 

the bench laid beneath a tall street light, and it faced the wide and endless atlantic ocean.  as i sat on the weathered bench, mon ryhthm cardiaque, stabilized.  i fumbled through my pockets in search for a pack of cigarettes.  pulling out my roomates camel lights, i light one with a zippo that i acquired from working at an irish pub.  the lost and found always presented many treasures for me and my co-workers.  the night seemed to be at a stand-still, and the cars on the overpass, that could also be discerned from this consecrated bench, seemed to pass by at a snail’s pace.  my thoughts were empty, and my breathing was slow.  the world in front of me was simple enough to love, but also, simple enough to detest more than anything else one could imagine detesting.  minutes went by, even though they seemed like hours, and eventually, i wandered back into the real world.  i hear the shuffling of feet approaching from behind.  due to my skittish nature, i turn abruptly to see what challenge faces me tonight.  my eyes detect a lone boy, sporting a ripped black t-shirt with Albert Einstein’s image printed on its chest.  he has a cigarette to his lips, and his free hand remains in his pocket.  he looks incredibly chilled, but no wonder! his shirt barely covers his malnourished torso.  i see his eyes glance at me.  he stops a bit in his tracks, but continues onward.  the moments it takes him to make his way from the pine tree- which happens to be about 25 yards, to where i was sitting, i can’t quite recall, but that’s not the point.  as he passes by, an unknown force is ignited within me.  i leap up from my bench and call after him.

scuse me!

he looks around him, and then his eyes meet mine.  he stops where he is, and i saunter over to him with no idea what to say.

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monologuous

his head is in my way.  the noise blocks out any means of eavesdropping. i believe my head just sank. my friend jabs me in the ribs. an involuntary noise pushes its way up through my throat. my sight is bleary.  “move on” she hisses.  move on? its not as easy as you’d think.  i continue staring, staring long and hard.  my thoughts are not censored, my feelings are not translated.  i don’t blink.  his head turns a quarter turn.  he’s eyeing the tv. he isn’t turning to meet my eye.  “i said come on. we gotta go,” gotta go where? another bar? really…do they have a different type of vodka that is cheaper and makes you even more drunk? i don’t understand why we have to leave.  she’s persistent though.  she has been ever since i met her the summer of eighth grade.  her coat is already on.  “did you buy him a drink yet?” she questions as she reaches and picks up my jacket off the ground. i nod my head no.  she waves her index finger an inch from my face, “that’s a shame, why don’t you go ask if he’d like to join us?” i don’t plan on doing that. i rarely confront people.  especially strangers.  she knows what i’m thinking. she sighs loudly, puts my jacket on her chair and gets up.  her arms reach into the air, a stretch as if she were a cat awaking from an uninterrupted slumber.  she smiles at me, i grimace.  she’s up to something, i can feel it in my stomach.  she saunters over to the bar, she winks at the bartender- who also happens to be her boyfriend.  she reaches into the container where the lemons and limes are kept and she picks a slice of lime, and puts it in her mouth.  she turns facing the exit, also facing the boy.  i can see her eyes looking over his malnourished face.  she has a look of something on her face.  not quite sure what, but something, and all of a sudden i see her lips moving- words are obviously coming out.  her hands start flailing about, she motions over to me without warning, and his head half turns.  i am in his view.  sitting at the booth, with an empty glass of what was once allagash.  a look of disbelief and stupidity plastered about my face.  i hear my name being said and repeated.  once again the boy looks.  he smiles, and i don’t.  oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. what am i doing.  i feel myself bending down picking up my jacket that once again, fell to the ground.  next thing, i’m standing up, buttoning up the woolen peacoat.  footsteps are approaching from behind.  an arm brushes my shoulder.  carefully spinning around, i’m faced with her.  she is beaming and proud to say the least.  she hands me a piece of scrap paper with seven numbers methodically written on it.  “name’s seamus.  he thinks you’re cute,” she giggles.  her hand tugs at my jacket.  is the vodka across the street really that much better.  the piece of paper is shoved in my face again, but my left hand reaches up to grab it and then puts it in my back pocket of my corduroys.  she yells across the room to her boyfriend and adds a goodbye to seamus.  i stammer and run out side.  i light up a cigarette using my exs zippo.  “you should give that back someday yknow?” no shit i know. i’m just not ready at this point.  i suppose i nod back to her and hand her a camel.  she declines, but puts it in her purse anyway.  “so you stayin over tonight or you gonna go home?” she questions as we are walking down mainstreet.  i don’t say anything, but she understands that i’m going home eventually.  she tells me she doesn’t think i should ride my bike to the apartment, and of course she adds in that i should keep in mind what happened last time.  last time i was drunk out of my mind.  last time she wasn’t even with me. 

we continue walking down the street, her heels are clacking louder than my doctor martens.  she takes out her minolta and tells me to stop where i am.  she snaps two photos and tells me to keep walking.  silence overcomes us for the next few moments until she breaks it and tells me she thinks that i’m going to look too sad in those photos.  too sad? bullshit.  i shrug, and she is annoyed.  she knows that i have barely uttered a word the entire evening.  “when are you gettin’ inked next?” she attempts.  i tell her in two days and she inquires what i’m getting done.  i answer with fatigue that im getting my half sleeve with a map of the constellation.  she nods ponderously and then asks if i’ll regret it later on.  i scoff and she knows my thoughts on this.  we only live once, so why shouldn’t i get something done when i’ve wanted it done since i was sixteen? she adds that was a stupid question and i grimace.  after a few more minutes of forced conversation we reach our destination.  this new bar is loud and dark and busy.  she tells me to sit at a booth and she’d be back with drinks.  i look around me, observing the modpodge of people.  there are college kids, and lawyers alike in this place.  that sort of impressed me, but i didn’t care for the feel of the bar.  minutes go by, my judgments of people get worse, and finally she comes back rescuing me from my mind.  she puts a manhattan down in front of me.  i know that if i drink that i’ll be wasted for the next four days.  i look at her, and once again she smiles at me- her hands motioning for me to drink up.  i sip at the whiskey and it tastes quite good.  the song changes to something strange with a standard bassline.  she begins nodding her head in accordance.  i stand up and put my jacket on.  she says to me over the music, “some friend you are.” and then she giggles.  i look at her contemplating whether or not i should leave her, and i decide she’s fine by herself.  she comes over to my side of the table and gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  she tells me to call the boy and to call her. i nod and walk out.

the icy cold hits against my face, and the pink sky that is only spotted in northern new england lights my way.  there are a few other passerbys but they are rowdy and laughing.  i walk with my head facing the ground, one foot in front of the other until i meet my destination.  the sky was clear, no stars or moon though.  i sigh deeply to myself mutliple times.  i reach the place i started at- bar number one, and i light up another cigarette.  a voice calls out from behind me.

you should probably quit you know

looking behind me, i see the boy, seamus, was his name.  he is waving at me and has a cigarette of his own in his mouth.

but then again who am i to be talkin’ (he laughs)

i shrug, words aren’t making it out of my mouth.

so, i’m seamus. your friend told me about you. did she give you my number?

yes.

were you planning on calling me?

no. (i grimace)

oh…well, i’d like you to.  maybe we could get breakfast sometime (he smiles)

i don’t eat breakfast i hear myself retort.

well, i’ll buy you an allagash.

im trying to cut back.

we could go for a walk.

its too cold outside. i respond.

he laughs and drops his cigarette to the brick ground beneath us.  his foot crushes the ember and he approaches closer to me.  i feel my eyes looking intently upon his visage.

we can do whatever you’d like. he suggests.

to this i shrug, and he laughs again.

please call me.

why don’t you call me? i question.

i don’t have your number- that’s why.

oh. 212-9982.

well, i will call you.  need a walk home or something? he questions.

no. i ride my bike.

is the schwinn your bike?

yes.

he smiles and says, haven’t seen one of those in a while, where’d you score it?

my grandmother’s will. i respond frankly.

he observes my face and he turns towards the bar.  i’ll call you soon. he says.

don’t.

i will. we’re going to get you some breakfast. he adds.

you look like my ex boyfriend.

he laughs at this.  i’m not your ex boyfriend. don’t worry about it.  his hand brushes my shoulder and his eyes are gleaming with kindness.  sure you can get home fine?

i didn’t drink too much i stammer.  his head nods and he tips his hat.  i mount my bike and ride up the street- wind brushing my feautures with an antagonizing chill.  the street lights are flickering and there’s a flurry of snowflakes falling from the atmosphere.  i see more passerbys walking the iced side-walks, all with cigarettes or phones in their hands.  the traffic lights are blinking red, but i’m the only one on the road.  controlling friends are bad, but at least they keep reality in perspective.  as far as the boy goes i can’t help but wonder if he is my ex reincarnated.  i whiz by the liquor store and then turn around to enter it.  the fluorescent lights burn my eyes and my pale skin.  i wander the aisles and pick up a bottle of vodka.  the cashier grins at me and collects the last of my money.  the bottle of grey goose goes into my wicker basket, and i once again, mount my bike and ride to my apartment.  i’m sitting on the steps and drinking vodka.  of course, this vodka happens to be better and cheaper than the ones at the bar.  i look up into the sky and i see the constellations appearing.  i begin imagining outerspace and its boundaries- if there are any.  my phone buzzes and consumes my thoughts.  an unnamed number appears on the small half inch LCD screen.  i answer, and its seamus.  brunch tomorrow? miraculously i agree.  he laughs, and he tells me the address of the brunch joint and the time.  hanging up a stray cat comes and perches itself next to my left foot.  my hand gently strokes the kitties head, and purrs soon arise.  the first smile of the day is cracked, and a cat was the cause.  i’m left alone to my thoughts until an orange cab rolls up in front of my curb.  she comes stumbling out of it, her shrill laugh can be heard by the entire neighborhood.  she asks if she can stay the evening.  i nod yes, and she proceeds up the stairs.  when she gets to where i’m sitting, the cat scurries away and she grabs the bottle of vodka out of my hands.  she wanders upstairs to my apartment and i’m left alone in the outside.  i wonder why i’m her friend.

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the inner thoughts of an over achiever

sitting at one of these fake wooden desks, which in addition, happen to be too small for anyone other than a kindergartener.  my ap books towering feet above my head.  pencils sharpened ready to go, side by side with high-lighters and implements of ink as well.  crisp, freshly torn notebook paper, ready to be scribbled frantically upon- knowledge waiting to be recorded.  the teacher enters their domain- although, it’s a wonder they have even developed their vocabulary to that extent.  he briefly looks around in the small lecture hall, eyes a few disciples who are texting away on their only means of communication to the outside world.  ahem he calls, eyes piercing their guilt-racked faces. they look at each other in disdain, stand up from their desks, and as they walk down the shallow carpeted steps, turn off their best friends.  his hand is held out, demanding and welcoming- he knows he’s taken away their “lives” for the next hour and a half.  as they place their compact technological devices in his hand, he turns to me and gives me a smug grin.

why does he assume that i’d take pleasure in his recent victory? its not like i care what those kids do with their time in this public institution.  just because i’m known for my attentiveness, my timeliness, and my intelligence doesn’t mean that i experience pleasure when i see random folk being disciplined.  the students make their way back to their desks, and the teacher puts his newest prizes in the bottom drawer of his escritoire.  the room is overcome with silence, his presence demands that, and somehow, our intuition hears his demand.  my hand reaches, out of habit, for a pencil at the far left corner of my own desk.  rummaging through the papers on his escritoire, he spends a few moments and begins to write in white chalk on the board.  the hour goes by, with sounds from chattering neighbors. the teacher sitting behind his menacing desk, me, observing the clock.  before the end of the period, the teacher rises from his throne and beckons us to open up our backpacks and get out our homework.  students bend over in their seats, reaching through their bags and gathering crumpled sheets of hard labor done in their spare time. 

 i remain sitting up in my seat, he approaches slowly, cautiously, and is finally in front of me, grinning down with a look of pride in his eyes.  his hand reaches out for my MLA formatted essay.  i remain idle.  he clears his throat. i didn’t care to do my essay last evening, and i don’t think i will care to do it any other time.  he asks, where’s your homework A+? i look at him, eyes discerning his wretched face.  he doesn’t deserve to be a teacher. he discriminates. frankly, i respond,  i didn’t do it. gasps from my neighbors arise.  its almost as if it was a widespread panic.  whispers, bewildered expressions- all this over my simple response. sure, a response that is certainly not in my nature- but i didn’t do my work, and i shant do it anytime in the near future.  his face contorts, i see his blood pressure rising.  didn’t do it? he asks.

i respond, yes.  his mouth twitches involuntarily.  sweat is forming at his brow.  he’s not sure what to do, he believes deep down that I haven’t met his standards.  to most it would seem that way, but, perhaps, the one aspect about being an over achiever that is somewhat beneficial- is my rationality.  who deemed his standards to be the standards i must abide by? the public school system you say? well, to be blunt, the public school system is going down the shitter.  oh, now you pin the standards approval to the superintendent? well, he’s a washed up professor who graduated magna cum laude from John Hopkins, and instead of pursuing the job that’d be typical of one who majored in the medical field, chose, and yes, I emphasize chose, to come back to his hometown and be named superintendent.  Some choice.  There’s a saying, one that I heard many a time, but best known from Jack Black in the School of Rock, and that is, if you can’t do, teach.  I suppose that’s what my teacher decided to do.  Couldn’t become a writer- well then, why not teach writing? Its been apparent to me, ever since I entered kindergarten, that I was in fact, being taught by failures.  A better tomorrow? Well, not if the failures of today are our only resources to mastering a skill.  And if we do so happen to master a skill, won’t we be mastering a failed skill?

*now of course, I do appreciate teachers with all my heart and without their aid and expertise, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I have certainly had my fair share of good and bad ones.  This monologue is categorized as fiction- but to be entirely honest, it has caused me to think a bit more than usual about the teachers who aren’t so great.

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Uncategorized, writing

inside the head of robert c. plum

i saw her walk in, alone, arms overflowing with bags of all sorts, books of all genres, and her teal blue jacket was resting on top, just a like a cherry on a sundae.  she plopped her stuff down on the barstool next to her, she sighed loudly, and the bartender smiled and said, “the usual i presume?” she nodded, lazily and expectedly, and she placed her head in her hands.  i’m standing around the corner, supposed to be waiting on table two, but her entrance was a distraction.  she’s not a mystery to me- her name i’m aware of, in fact, i believe i even have her number.  we’re social networking friends, and maybe even once she’s come over my house to drink a beer or two with me.  but i don’t know her like i wish to know her, and she doesn’t know me how i wish her to know me either.  her head raises from her hands, and she spins around, examining the mostly empty bar.  she spots me and waves. a smile is painted on her face.  i grimace and wave back.  she saw me…staring.  thats no good. what to do, what to do.  i go behind the half-hearted wall separating the diner from the bar.  i feel as though i’m slowly creeping towards the reception area again- just so i can see her.  table two calls to me, “two more bud lights, kay buddy?” im faced with. stupid fucking patrons. never show any respect. they ask questions that are unheard of. can’t they just function normally? i make my way to the bar. i stand there, face to face with her- although technically she is on the other end.  the bartender asks if he can fill my order? i stand there, no words coming from my mouth.  did they want allagash? heiniken? pbr? blank. my mind is blank. my eyes are observing every part of her easily discerned face.  “hey, what can i help you with?” bartender asks pushily once again. he thinks hes so high and mighty because he pours the motherfucking drinks. that’s a load of shit as far as im concerned. benefit of his job? he gets to talk to her! and they talk.. a lot.  he drives her home every once and a while.  he pats her hand gently when she pays him too much, he has his inside jokes with her. they text before she gets to the bar to ensure a seat will be saved. me? i talk to her, but not nearly enough as i’d like to.  “hi,” i hear her say from across the bar. say hello back! “um how are you?” i hear myself call. “oh yknow….how are you?” she smiles back… how am i? terrible, really, but that’s not what she wants to hear. wait. how do i know that. i don’t know that. instead of verbally responding i shrug. i send her the wrong message. she looks disappointed, and ends up turning to her fellow patron and strikes up a conversation there.  what the fuck was my problem? and what the fuck was i supposed to get table two?

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