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I guess it's about how much you open up.

This is rare, this kind of thought, at 2:20pm instead of am -- at a time when I can look outside and see light instead of sodium yellow lamps, at a place where I can see leaves instead of the dim red light of the Prudential building.

I guess -- I guess it would be nice to live with lurching insensibility again, I guess it would be nice to feel that uncertain jerk again, to be in love in the world without purpose, having colors exploding into profile, every day, all day.

I think it's not my place or my purpose to look ahead and to look up, to hold certain clean images as ideals. I think, instead, I have to grasp what invisible tendrils lie around 'character' and hold them close, lest things fall apart, or the center cannot hold. Imagine fractals or those wet-blue borax crystals growing, or so. I think. I hope.

I went back up to Columbia last night, felt that soft spring zephyr, sat on those steps for the third consecutive time, and watched people watching a campus that was pretty much empty, this time. We jumped up and down banisters and sat still on stairs, and to feel this place as somewhere neutral was like watching the ground in the path of a typhoon, in that doppler radar graph, where you see green advancing and you think, "oh shit." Except in this case it wasn't green but white -- whatever color could be there wasn't there, and -- I was predicting how the corners of that campus would tie into memories -- like the day we stood on the fire escape and saw the lightning over Boston burn into our retinas, or that pagoda on that windy day in that autumn when the trees were sounding like waves, when something more than the living was alive.

And, I guess, it should be nice to lose a sense of awareness, partially, and to have the stupid drunken courage to say it all, to spit it out. Because now comes the time when that starts to grow, that slow spreading disalignment. When I was applying I thought the last four years was a swerve, not a bend. I guess it turns out that I'm wrong.

To have that courage needs more courage, but we'll get there, I think. By now there should be enough in the human circles that create my world that the right mixture of potion will ensue. Perhaps. Maybe it's all me and the reason I hunch my back walking through the city alone around Times Square at 4am is because of what else I have within, perhaps, maybe, I think. But for now, this lethargy, these abstract movements that my body makes through space thinking about love and life and what we left behind; the movement of shadows that tree leaves make; the shape of the curving music in the clear and memory-ridden haze that is Harvard Square; the uncertain position that is me elsewhere, with this appalling and simultaneously understandable repulsion towards people like me -- the way I'm split in thinking about myself, when in fact I shouldn't be 'split' about myself but instead in a wide spectrum with colored breadth listening to the harmonies of my frequencies; everything will be what it is, I think, and in the meantime, the closest replacement to love of everything that will be. And if we make quotes that go "life, ____, this moment of June", so be it; and if things turn out to be even less saturated with color than they are now, then that's a pity, but the only thing left is to try. I think. I'm eighteen years old and just graduated high school. For now, there's more than enough hope.

A word of warning: They say to Node your homework. This was an actual assignment from highschool Humanities, the basic idea of which was "write the most convincing description of why you did not turn in your homework assignment. If I like it enough, you'll be able to use it in place of an actual assignment." True to form, I didn't turn this particular piece in until about a week after the due date, but she laughed hard enough that I got credit for it anyway.

And without further ado...


It Wasn’t The Space Monkeys

First off, let’s get one thing straight. I completed the assignment, I swear. If I told you that my dog ate my homework, it would be true. It just wouldn’t be the whole story. That’s because my dog is -- well, maybe it would be easier if I just started from the beginning...

I spent about half the night trying to put the finishing touches on the assignment, to make it the best it could possibly be. About six hours and several hundred gallons of Espresso later, I was finally finished. I was sure I was going to get an “A.” All I had to do was hand it in!

That was before my dog entered the picture.

Allow me to describe my canine companion, Nikko. She is a rottweiler-golden retriever mix, a halfbreed, and she is severely overweight. So overweight, in fact, that she weighs more than I do. A scary thought, but I digress. Anyway, I had left my homework on the kitchen table while I succumbed to the aftereffects of drinking coffee in large quantities, a process that took me the better part of an hour. When I returned, my assignment was missing.

My initial, rational thought was, “THE SPACE MONKEYS ARE BACK! WE HAVE TO DEFEND OURSELVES!” I quickly realized that this was not the case, and calmly proceeded to scream. At the top of my lungs. For several minutes. At which point said lungs were devoid of oxygen. I, therefore, inhaled mightily (causing, I’m sure, severe weather disturbances somewhere in the region surrounding Guatemala) and commenced searching for my missing assignment.

After interviewing all of the members of my family, including the goldfish (whose only comment was “Glub glub,” which I have since determined was an admission of guilt from a tortured conscience), I noticed the suspicious absence of my dog. By consulting members of my intelligence network -- among whom are Jay Leno, VP Cheney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and, uh, Elmo -- I determined the real reason for Nikko’s disappearance. It turns out that she has entered into a lucrative trade deal with a Colombian drug cartel, stealing excellent specimens of high school and college English assignments and transporting them back to South America, where the Colombian drug lords sell them on the internet to drug traffickers posing as students. A devious kind of money laundering, if you will.

Needless to say, I was shocked and hurt that my dog would stoop to dealing with a South American drug cartel, especially without giving me a cut of the profits from the sale of my essay. I made arrangements with the Colombian government to have Nikko extradited back to the U.S., and I am now awaiting word on those proceedings. I just hope the extradition won’t spark more bloody wars in Colombia. It would be a shame to ruin all those good essays and other assignments with careless gunfire.

I wish I could truthfully say that that is the end of my story, but alas and alack (in case you were wondering, the word “alack” is Greek for alakus, which is derived from the root alus, literally translated “without or lacking any real use in the English language, but used by those wishing to sound smarter than they are.” As far as I can tell, the Greeks were some sort of geniuses to fit all those words in four letters), it is not so.

After dealing with the Colombian government, I returned to my room to go through a period of angst and depression over the loss of my assignment. That lasted about five minutes, after which I began the weary task of attempting to recreate my original work. This did not work very well, as the last vestiges of Espresso poisoning were leaving my system and I was beginning to realize that I had not slept in several days. Wearily, I trudged on, determined to hand in an assignment as good as or better than the original.

This went fairly well until I began receiving messages from other worlds. Either that, or I was hallucinating from lack of sleep. It’s so very hard to tell sometimes. I took careful mental note of the exact wording used in these messages, but all I can say now is that it is very, very fuzzy. After all, I hadn’t slept. But I still remember the gist of it. So if you see me hunched over in the back of your classroom, driven nigh well insane from caffeine poisoning and sleep deprivation, mumbling to myself, now you know why.

I’m still waiting for the space monkeys to come back...

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