at college i was looking for one thing: a way to distance myself from my surroundings. the experiment had failed, i hadn't made any lifelong interesting friends, friends who could outvocabulary me, no friends at all, college was simply high school with a campus. the rest of life would always be high school, no matter how long and smart and mature i became. the only thing i held onto were my grades, high school smarts had transitioned to the next level, but with high school, 4.0 matters more because it's reflective of a general curriculum, your star is put on the board and you are recognized as the big fish in your little pond. here, everyone had a 4.0, 4.0s are boring, it's impossible to stand out because the pond is as big as a campus. an A in high school had purpose, it led you to campus. in the midst of campus, an A is a very specialized thing that inches you along a very specialized major. no one else can commiserate with the A like your high school chums did from the vents of their hurt locked locker homes. only those who are partaking of your very specialized field that you choose can appreciate it, that one campus kid over there lost in the math cloud thinks your English A is the first of a quadratic equation. it's meaningless to him and to you as you're finding. it's all nothing. it doesn't lead to anything anyone anywhere anymore. high school is for homies. college is corporate.
in high school, i could escape after getting tossed in the dumpster to the lost worlds of a Dungeon or Dragon. here, you must have a little school with your distraction. the one thing which flashed red upon my answering machine that wasn't my parents calling or a wrong number or school-related were the updates a kind lady's voice would record for me. little old me, i was important enough for a complete stranger to take the time to leave a message for me at my little shithole of an abode in the middle of nowhere going nowhere. i felt special for the first time as an adult. this was school-related but not school-related. i needed to complete at least one medical checkup to make them sure i wasn't crazy.
my dream/nightmare/dream last night, the snippet i could remember anyway, was my father getting his foot bitten off by a huge lion. the huge lion was in our house because he was our pet. the expression on my father's face was one of horror. it was horrible. made more so by the fact that this was our family pet. that made it hurt more.
i gather my papers i worked on all night and zip up my light red backpack. i put the backpack around my shoulders and go outside without my beanie. such a beautiful day! the rain is falling, the skies are grey, and it is so cold my head turns to ice. i walk slowly to the designated area because i want to take it all in. this place is a slave to the beach, so any morsel of precipitation is a miracle which must be savored. this would probably be the only amount of moisture we'd get for the year. it's the only time i ever felt moist in my life.
i make a note of how frazzled i am, and how fragmented outside is. the air of commerce fills the currents of students running to their next class. i can tell which students are male and which are female from the running boobs. they race in an orderly line all over the place, like this is the first time they've stepped foot on the campus, which it is. but the seniors display the same behavior, only the seniors do it out of four years of giving up and giving in. the freshmen are dazed, the seniors dazed, confused, and resigned. i acutely feel the sense of lost and lose and loss because i am a part of this, i am completely directionless. should i next take the class on Nietzsche or Sartre? Nietzsche is preachy but Sartre was smarter. or is it peachy? i laughed again remembering the funny little professor man who taught the Sartre class. he insisted on pronouncing Sartre SART.
should i ride the BART? walking is faster, or it's the same time. by the time i waste time waiting for the BART it's the same as if i had just walked the entire way. my foot hurts but i don't feel it.
i'm walking in slow motion as i speedily see Zeve from the frosted window of the place. is this the right place? hope so. or maybe not. maybe i don't hope so. Zeve is standing there lasering me down with his stern eyes and crossed arms. his hair is slicked back perfectly. his white work shirt is perfectly tucked into his blue slacks and black rope belt with the shirt displaying just a hint of french puff all around the muffintop area between the penis and the navel. Zeve's aura is corporate from birth, it's his divine right to supervise others and milk them for his bread.
Zeve: you're late as usual. do you have the papers? i've got clients.
me: where is the nice lady who left the messages on my machine?
Zeve: it's just me here. i don't have time for your English-major dreams, i work in the real world. stop puffing and start huffing. we have to complete your profile or you are banned for life from attending any more classes. i take this more seriously than you as is our roles. delusions and bonbons are for the unemployed.
me: i wish it were as simple as me being a toker.
Zeve (breaking the zipper of my bag as he takes out and shuffles my papers): what is this? what? SUICIDE PREVENTION. CALL TOLL-FREE. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A QUARTER FOR THE PAYPHONE ASK A BUM FOR ONE. where are your registration papers for student health care?
me: these are the fliers i made for a club i want to join after i form it that's suicide prevention. aren't the colors watery? it's the most important club a campus can have, more important than the anime club or even the Young Republicans. because without life, there is no anime drawings or manifestos. once you kill yourself, it's all over, you go to hell and can never type and write and draw and inspire again. a heartbeat is lost, a soul which could have written that different lyric or cured heart attacks or sang a lyric which cured heart attacks is gone forever forever forever never never never to return and be seen again. my friend committed suicide. it was my fault because i was still young and didn't have the sophisticated college words yet to inspire him to live and fuck the world in his own way. i have to live with that for the rest of my life. i wanted to join him. but my guidance counselor said i had the grades to create a future that didn't involve french fries: it was either college or becoming a guidance counselor. i lived, i live now, but i live with the responsibility of telling the grim tale of my friend. please understand, this is all that matters to me now. i will never qualify for insurance because i am fucking crazy. go on, keep those fliers, spread the word, i hope to see you at the first meeting by the elm tree. under the elm tree's shade if it's sunny.
with that i turned around dramatically and let Zeve see my back and my open wrecked backpack. i wanted him to change for once, but he didn't. his face was aghast but not out of taking inventory but because this confirmed to him that i was a freak. i turned around to witness his face. wish i hadn't.
Zeve: the cost for operating and maintaining a club on campus is a silver dollar a day. do you have that kind of money? remember, sir, if you don't file your papers on time, you may be asked to leave. you will be forcefully expelled. i'm afraid i have to go now. i'm not afraid of anything. don't call us, we'll call you. we won't call you. we'll only call you if we think you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or others. we won't call you again.
my foot stings. it has gone from stinging to scratchy to red to i don't want to see how red it is to there must be gushing blood because i am moist again to stinging. there is a grey building which matches the sky on the other side of the intersection. i take my chance crossing the middle of the road. college students and adults don't use sidewalks, that's kid safety stuff. i hobble my way to the center of the highway right on the dotted yellow line. the podiatrist is just inches away, or feet. my feet. my foot fucking hurts, itches. a car nearly runs me over. i almost die. i had to do an impromptu backflip over the car to avoid death. i never knew i could do that. your real abilities only come out when you are about to die.
i made it to the office up one or no flights of carpeted stairs, through the elevator, and plopped my poor puppies on the chair of the waiting room. the waiting room was empty save for black wallpaper, a single lamp, and two watercolors, one of water and one of colors. no i think i blacked out. when i came to, nobody was there helping me but five minutes later a wooden window screen zipped open and a nice lady yelled NEXT.
i knew she was nice because she had a nice voice.
Ariun was an army brat tomboy through and through. there would be no sexual tension here, just a doctor and her patient. i smiled at her and she smiled at me because we both knew this to be true. her hair was a frizzy ball of mauve, her glasses pink and her hairbow pink. a long detailed doctor's robe filled with intricate gadgets and pens lay on the hook on the back of the door of the room where we did business. i wish she had put it on, no i don't, i liked her in her casual wear. i could see her pink shirt and light-pink pants hugging an impressive body, it's clear she worked out. she was healthy at any rate with nice breasts and a savory butt. and a polka-dot belt. and sensible shoes. all the while i scoped her like any of the wide-eyed freshman babes licking their lips to enter a sorority, but all the while we both knew what this was. this was a business arrangement, a mission between colleagues, a workplace romance without the romance. i am sad about this, because i am a man and she is a woman, but sometimes things don't work out. it worked out perfectly, for the first time in history a man and woman are just friends and the weight is lifted off.
Ariun: do you feel that? (gleam in her eye) i feel a weight being lifted from my shoulders.
me: you have very pretty shoulders.
Ariun: why thank you very much (mockingly but sweetly so). let's see if we can lift your weight. what's wrong?
me: everything. but i think it's my foot. Ariun, is that Spanish?
Ariun: i'm from here. (takes off my sock sexually) oh fuck. Houston we have a problem. your foot is wrecked all to hell. look at that.
i saw it for the first time. don't know why i hadn't noticed it before. too busy with busywork. busywork isn't work. work fulfills and leads, busywork stifles and kills time. it had been there so long the original slash across my ankle was bleeding for the second time over the scar of that first cut. the scar was already formed and died and became a fossil layer.
me: what's that bone called? that bulbous ball bone in the middle of one's ankle?
Ariun: it's called a bone, from the Latin for "that which holds up." in medical parlance, this is referring to the skeleton. but we both know that this right here right now is holding us both up. it's red.
me: no, it's purple.
Ariun: let's first clean this up. i address the wound as i would a golf ball. both are balls. we've got work to do.
CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK RIGHT NOW. RIP.
TO BE CONTINUED...