Thursday. 6.9.11 4:57 pm
Her parents are there. Her mother, gripping a martini glass in one hand, and dwindling a few strands of red hair between the fingers of the other, speaks candidly to my own. Our fathers stand beside their wives, amiably carrying on their own conversation.
“She’s really made us proud, your daughter,” I hear my mother say. “I always knew she had it in her. I mean, she’s always been so bright! Where is she anyway?”
“Oh, you know, she’s getting ready for the big move... packing her things. I’m sure she’ll swing by to say goodbye to you two before she leaves for school,” her mom replies. “Besides, I doubt she’d leave without first seeing Jonathan. Those two have always been close….”
With that, all four of them look at me, then back to each other, smirking.
The whole dream was ludicrous. I’ve never met her parents. Seldom did she volunteer information about them. In fact, it took quite a bit of coaxing on my part for her to tell me much about them.
“Those two are something, aren’t they?” My mother asks I continue my trek away from the foursome, annoyed. I’ve barely made it past the yard and onto the sidewalk when Red pulls up in a car packed with moving boxes. Pulling up along the sidewalk, she rolls down the passenger side window and looks up at me.
I do. “I hate the way they act sometimes,” I say aloud after closing the door and glancing back at our parents. “Like you’re Joey and I’m Dawson or something,”
“Who?” She says while fiddling with the car stereo.
“You know – Dawson’s Creek. Joey and Dawson? Katie Holmes and … old dude from that Varsity Blues movie?” Red momentarily shifts her eyes from the road and onto me, an eyebrow raised as if to say “what the hell are you talking about?” I shrugged and continued.
“All I’m saying is it gets annoying the way they carry on...” my voice shrinks to a whisper as I grow more and more aware of my surroundings. Her car is filled with boxes of all different sorts: big ones, little ones, thin ones, fat ones. It dawned on me then that she really was leaving in my dream-world.
“It doesn’t bother me much. At all, really. She takes one hand off the steering wheel and places it atop my knee. "Why does it get it you?" Just the sensation of that touch – the always welcoming warmth of her hand unexpectedly penetrating my personal bubble - was enough to make me jump a little in my seat.
I glance up to the rearview mirror, hoping she hadn't noticed. She's staring right back at me.
Is that a smirk I see in her eyes?
“Wha—“I start to ask before the weight of both the car and the world itself seemed to dissipate after another car crashes into ours.
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Thursday. 6.2.11 2:56 pm
First year of law school: done.
Wednesday. 6.1.11 12:36 pm
Tuesday. 3.29.11 10:28 pm
Check the phone.
Did I do my readings? Has my roommate confiscated the bathroom? Tengo hambre.. I should get up… on second (fifth?) thought, let’s listen to more Boyz II men.
Check the phone again.
Unlock phone, shutting off alarm.
Stare at home screen.
Saleh in Yemen,
mayhem in Abdijan,
protests in Damascus,
Nowitzki wins in Dallas.
Shit, shower, shave in some order, perhaps throw in a workout if I’m feeling particularly ambitious.
Teethe, apple/orange/cereal/leftovers from the night before,
Check the phone
Read for morning class.
Check the phone
10:10. Class in 10 minutes.
Tug down shirt, step into pants, slide on zippyhoody, grab hat/beanie, struggle with socks, jam on kicks.
Run down first flight of stairs
Jump. Slap ceiling.
Run down second flight of stairs.
Jump. Pretend I’m dunking when I slap the ceiling.
Walk to school.
10:19. One minute til class.
Sit down, ask girl beside me how her weekend/night was.
“It was good. How about you--” she starts to say.
“Why? Why was it good?”
“I.. er.. You always do this to me, Jonathan. I don’t really get why, but whatever. I mean, I….”
I hear but don't always listen.
Thurs/Fri: Sit down, keep headphones on, listen to professor drone.
“International environmental law is bwahbwahbwah wompwompwomp isn’t my irish accent distracting, Jonathan? Why, yes, I do find my class as terrifyingly boring as you do. I’m brilliant – like all your other professors, but most find me less interesting than the subject matter of a Wes Anderson film.
(I’ve been more engaged by fortune cookies. i’ve literally written screenplays – albeit horrible ones – while sitting in her class]
Why am I here? I wonder what Alternate Hilo Jon, the alternate reality version of Jonathan who is a staffwriter for a creative literary magazine in Hilo, Hawaii, is doing right about now.
I bet he's painting. And thinking of me.
He probably thinks I'm a sucker.
Hell, I think I'm a sucker.
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Waiting for the bus at 1 AM
Sunday. 3.27.11 4:05 pm
I stop rubbing my hands together long enough to wave off the bus driver slowing down in font of me. "He's a good guy," I say to Ephraim as the bus driver nods at me and drives off. "A bit .. odd.. what, with his asian fetish and all.. he keeps asking me about Anhimal, but whatev--."
"Listen, man," Ephraim interrupts. He turns his head and looks me in the eye. "Real talk... don't think you can trust these people. They'll sell you out in a heartbeat, man -- that's just how they are."
"Lets say your best friend robbed a bank. Would you turn him in?" I turn my head away from him and toward street that lays before us: Massachusetts Avenue. A block away lies Arlington street.
"No. I wouldn't."
"See, that's what I'm talking about. I ask other people here that and you know what I get? 'Well, I'd have to, right? Otherwise I'd be an accomplice!', or 'well, yeah, they broke the law. I'd have to.' These people, man.. they're individualistic, ambitious, success driven.. fuck everything else You know I asked my Korean grandma that question, man.. sweet as shit right, you know what she said?"
'I should....' You know what that means, man?"
"Yeah. It means your grandma is a part of the "No Snitching" crusade."
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Wednesday. 3.23.11 7:35 pm
“Have you been? It’s absolutely amazing in the Spring. I lived there, specifically Barcelona, for a few years during undergrad. Stayed in this converted cathedral – you know, they’re all over the…” Although her words continued, my paying attention to them did not. I’m out with a girl at my school, listening to her tell me about lands I’ve only visited in Assassin’s Creed. With staccato-styled orchestration, she enunciates her life story : a castle there, a that cathedral here; a fiesta in Barcelona, a siesta in Greece; a life on the lower east side of Manhattan, studies at various ivies, and finally the climax of her life: Harvard Law School.
“And that’s me. What about you? Where are you from?”
Rather than a crescendo like hers, the lifestory I chose to tell her al niente:
“I grew up next to a farm in a small town.”
She looked at me like I'd just slit a kitten’s neck.
We haven’t been out since.
To be fair, just about every encounter I've had up north has been pleasant. My classmates are all that one would expect of an HLS student: varied brilliance, grand ambition, and frightenly intelligent. They are nearly all pleasantly pleasant, steadfastly studious and exceptionally engaging.. even me to a surprising extent.(minus the brilliance, ambition and intelligent part. Varied, grand, and frightenly can all stay though.)
That said... I'd be lying if I said I did not feel a sort of disconnect between myself and the majority of the folks I've encountered up here. The school -- hey, perhaps even the town I reside in, -- has proven to be remarkably homogenous. Politically, racially, geographically, educationally, etc and with that homogeny comes certain customs that I was either not privy to throughout my upbringing or have simply rejected.
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