He sits at his cluttered desk in his room. Taps a pen to his desk, looks at his iPhone, checks Facebook, has no updates. Thinks about doing homework, but instead goes on Reddit. The next day, he will remember none of what he reads.
Looks at his outlook, has a meeting with his design team in a half-hour but he must eat first.
Instead, he takes a nap, wakes up late for the meeting, then goes to the dining hall to grab a calzone.
He arrives to the meeting late and apologizes, but he mostly just feels sorry for himself.
He walks out of class on Friday. “Man, I need to drink” He thinks. The emptiness in his stomach pulls at him. Wheaty, bitter beer—that is what he needs. He eats a large dinner so he can drink more. At the party, he talks to people, and successfully lands a few jokes. He drinks a lot of water before going to bed, and wakes up without a hangover. Damn, what a champ! But really he cannot carry the feeling of winning for long, recalling the beer pong loss the night before, and—aughhhh!–the person that he wanted to talk to but didn’t have the courage to.
Monday night, he tries to do homework. He looks out the window and watches people walking past the Great Lawn in the rain. Their feet are moving quickly, pressing the fallen leaves into the pavement. The cold air and fall leaves remind him of that night freshman year, walking back to the train station at the end of the line, the scent of crushed, dry rot filling his nostrils, feeling the cold air pulling at his flesh. What a night, the last night he saw Taylor. It was skin, Bananagrams, hipster hip hop, dinner in Newton and clothes on the floor. Was this the beginning of something? Taylor—What if?
But unfortunately, no. Taylor had an idea of him, and loved that idea. But ideas are ideas, and one can’t hold the hand of an idea or kiss an idea.
He falls asleep, dribbling a bit on his paper, blurring the ink. Ohhhh, damn. Another meeting! He wakes up, prints out pictures for his personas and rushes to the studio.
Weekend Wednesday, walking through Parcel B, he tries to be profound. He looks at the colors of the leaves, the layers of colors and shapes, mixed together by the sunlight. Nature, and Nature and—well, not really. But trees. He’s walking in an area with a lot of trees, so yeah, that kind of counts. A branch brushes against his arm, and he pulls his arm in, imagining an itch where there’s none.
He walks to the lake that he heard about on Carpe, and it really is there! It shines and sparkles in the sunlight, as bodies of water do, and he feels a little more beautiful and peaceful inside. But this is an odd feeling. It makes him anxious.
He kicks a rock into the water, and it splashes. Not much, but enough to disturb the surface. He smiles.
Thursday evening, he’s biking to back to Olin after picking up food at Roche Bros. In the poor lighting, he sees a smudge on the road–a squirrel, flattened on the pavement. Its guts are drying as dark red lumps and strings, stuck to tufts of fur. Gruesome, but visually fascinating. He stares at it in shock, and rather than steer away he just goes bump over the body. He shivers. That body felt real.
The dry air is making his lips crack so he licks them and pulls them together, focusing on Olin just a few minutes away.