May 19, 2008


Formerly known as "Into Gold". Ugh, never again, someone make me a title generator.

Warning! Txtspk.


It was a long walk back and I was walking slow because it was so damn hot out. It was ridiculously hot, considering it wasn’t even really summertime yet; it was still more like late spring. I was wishing I’d worn shorts, but I knew I didn’t have a pair. That’s another reason I really needed that radio job, I was flat broke. I couldn’t wire my parents for anymore money after I had a run in with the cops (drunk driving they said) and I was on indefinite punishment. Punishment, like a little twelve year old.

My phone started vibrating in my pocket. I’d forgotten I had it there and nearly pissed myself because it vibrated my crotch and my whole leg. I took it out and flipped it open; it was a text from Robbie saying “Im sry” or in Standard English, “I’m sorry”. I can’t stand lazy texting, really.

“About what?” I sent back. I always spell the full word, always. But it means that it takes me like ten minutes to send out one note.

He sent back, “About matt.”

“Don’t be sorry about Matt, he’s a douche,” I sent, in so many words. I had started walking again, and I can text and walk but it takes concentration so I was going really slowly.

“No hes not,” Robbie replied a couple of minutes later. “U were bein mean to him 2.”

“Only because he deserved it,” I sent, slightly wounded. I thought I was giving that bastard every benefit of the doubt, it was a wonder I just didn’t punch him in the face. I waited for Robbie’s reply, which came a few minutes later.

“He rly isn’t that bad he just needs 2 know u.” Then, not long after that, “& u need to 2 him.”

“And that’s really gonna make it better,” I said out loud, to no one in particular. Getting to know that jackass better wasn’t going to solve anything, he was still going to be a jackass no doubt. Or so I thought. Anyway, at that moment I had no intentions of figuring how his deep persona or any of that shit, I just wanted to forget him as soon as possible.

I told Robbie all that in so many words, and it made my thumb ache, but I felt good about it. I felt justified I should say. I made it back to my apartment, which I usually shared with Dennis Hench, but he was hardly ever there. He had a new girlfriend on the other side of town and he spent a lot of time with her. Don’t get me wrong, Denny was and probably still is a great guy and we shared rent and all, but for the most part I just had the apartment to myself.

So I threw my phone on my bed and quickly fell next to it. The bed was stiff but all the shit I had on it—comforters, sheets, eggshells—made it bearable. It was my favorite red plaid comforter, which turned out to be too small for my bed, but I couldn’t part without it. It was like a safety blanket or something and it made me feel like a pussy, but whatever.

I must have laid there for about ten minutes or more, just staring up at the ceiling. I was feeling much better now that I was home and I’d gotten some fresh air. I just focused on putting the horrible luncheon out of my head because the sooner I forgot it the better; then my phone rang. I glanced at it and saw it was Robbie. I sighed and answered it.

“What is it?” I said, trying not to sound too cross.

“What’s up Quinty? I mean, I can still call you Quinty right? I can’t help it, I don’t like Ez...” He sounded a little nervous, his voice was shaking like he was either gonna pass out or cry. I thought it was about the Quinty/Ezra thing. I sighed and figured I couldn’t take his favorite nickname away just like that, even though it shouldn’t have been that big a deal.

“Yes Robbie, you can call me Quinty.”

“Okay. Um, I think I got some good news.”

“What’s that?”

“Matt said you need to go to the station in the morning.”

I’m pretty sure I went white at that moment, I literally felt my blood vessels draining. Now I really was angry. “That’s your good fucking news?”

“He said it was important,” Robbie said, his voice getting shakier now. I could tell he really wasn’t enjoying this news so I called him out on it.

“Why are you telling me this? Is he making you?”

“No—no. I know you don’t like him and all, but give this a chance,” Robbie said. He was trying to get in control of his voice which was obviously trying to betray him. He knew more than he was letting on. “It’s gonna be really big for you.”

“And just what is it?”

“Trust me, man, okay? I’d never let you down.” He hung up on me, just like that. I was way past pissed at this point, so I did the stupid thing and punched my headboard, which hurt like fuck. I didn’t really notice the pain until later though, but for that moment I was just so mad. It seemed like my best friend was in some sort of conspiracy with this stranger to antagonize me and I was starting to feel ill again. I rolled over on my side and thought I was gonna throw up again, but nothing came out this time either. After I was done with that, I just stared at the ceiling again. Watched the chipped off-white paint, just looked at it. It started to calm me down a little, like I was coming off a flight of steps. After a few minutes I was calm again, and resolved.

I would go to the station to see what the “good news” was. And it had better be some good damn news, I thought.

I got up, found my bag, and pulled out one of my text books. I started studying for a big exam I had later that week but I can’t remember which. It might have been history or something but I remember studying hard for it, harder than I’ve ever studied for an exam before or since. I do weird stuff when I’m mad but at least I bet I aced that exam.

After I’d pretty much read the whole book twice over in a couple of hours, I had to go out. My head was hurting, my eyes were hurting, and everything was stiff. When I got up all I heard was the deafening noise of my ankles and elbows popping. I stretched and my back cricked, my jaw, my neck. Boy was I stiff as hell and tired too, but I really needed some fresh air.

I got my keys and headed outside. In the hall I bumped into a couple people I know, stopped to talk to some of ‘em, but damn if I remember. I do remember the warm night breeze hitting my face soon as I stepped outside, though. I didn’t know where I was going, I figured I’d just wander around for an hour maybe and stay out of trouble.

The dorm I stay in, L. Joshua hall, sits back on top of a beautiful little tree-lined knoll, with a path leading down to the Square (a little square area of land paved with granite that people meet up at sometimes) before splitting off towards the Margaret Knowles building for Humanities and the other path goes off towards the girl dorms and some more buildings. I rarely went down there.

That night, I followed the path all the way to the MK building and beyond it. It felt like I was going somewhere specific even though I really wasn’t. I went past it, past the post office, past the Governor’s building for law studies until I was damn near at the edge of the campus, which technically is the entrance, which has always been confusing to me. But on the edge of the campus is a statue, a huge one, with a square stone base and on top of it a beautiful copper statue: an angel with her wings spread open and she’s on one knee next to a soldier on the ground, with her head raised to the sky. The stains on her face from age and weather make her look like she’s weeping for the solders. At her feet is a plaque memorializing the students that went off to various wars, as recent as Iraq and as far back as WWII. It’s a lovely memorial, and that night I just stood looking at it. I felt a little choked up looking at it and thinking of all those kids who either came back missing limbs or permanently disabled; or worse, the ones that perished or went missing. I don’t think I’d ever gotten that way around a statue before; maybe it was just how shit my day had been and I was feeling more emotional than usual.

I sighed and reflected a minute more, then turned around and went back up the path. I was tired now and the trek back up the hill was long. It only took about fifteen minutes to get down but it took forever and a half to get back up. By the time I’d gotten to my room again it felt like I’d run a marathon and I collapsed on the bed, falling asleep so quickly and deeply I don’t think I even had time to dream.

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