Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A particular girl named Claire sits beside some guy in their philosophy class. She is etching numbers and letters onto a piece of paper -- a game -- different values in a matrix of squares. The guy beside Claire does not know if the game has anything to do with the lecture, nor does he know this of Claire.

Claire’s classes, the history of rational thought, are merely subplots of attention, easily deducible into her grand narrative at the appropriate times. She does this with a wink too quick to miss; a hint of jocose luster. Her story has a calligraphic signature which makes one stop and say: “Look at those curves.” At age four she found her picture in the dictionary under symmetry, and at age seven her mother explained to her that her eye color, a new color, had been studied by scientists after she was born. Claire knows many things, like how to fence, and the human anatomy. Her sister refuses to watch Jeopardy with her, and her high school gym teacher was fired for saying flattering but inappropriate things. She can dunk. Claire stars in cloud nine musicals and her red hair looks regal while soaking wet. To this date she had reunited four children with their true parents, and has two citizens arrests. She meditates on the sky’s ceiling, and her dreams outlast the horizon. The girl is smarter than James Bond, and more certain than Heisenberg. The mechanics of her aesthetics point to a breach of the forms, leaking perfection into a closed system -- this is observed by satellites from space. A cloud of modish entropy surrounds her invoking jealousy in the suspected, desire in many, and audacious speculation in the young man who sits beside her.

The censurable individual is a folly of the ages; a novice soul who mismanaged his character credits. Bar graphs enlisted, his would be a comedic sort of ‘what if?’ His uniform is an irrelevant wonder, like the daily faces of a mime too easily amused by his box. An addict of the lateral, his imagination loops back on itself, getting nowhere, knotting up memory and dopamine. He is not in the dictionary, but has memory highlighted in the one he carries. This young boy never got wisdom teeth. He sleeps irregular hours, and ponders the lucid with mental prosthetics. He ran over a possum once by accident; small animals bite him, and small kids often feel the need to hit him. He stars in shady apartment pornographies, and sometimes benefits from criminals. His idealist dreams are set in a fog of intuition, and sometimes he sits on the threshold of sleep eating cheesies. He does nothing, a villain of productivity draped in lazy mismatched ensemble of horror. His social skill set is a question mark made of an unusual sensitivity to electricity. He is a schizophrenic calculator: he does not work on math puzzles, nor can he can afford to distract himself from lecture to wonder about them. He forces his display to the professor at the front of the room.

“...the results of the midterm have been posted.”

Midterm? The already tall boy grows hot with utter surprise, a red beacon of embarrassment. Claire etches another number into a square, looking over at him, noticing his presence for the first time with a warm smile: a look cool enough to halt matter.

“Some of you did rather well. Some of you...did not show up. That is a mistake of cosmic proportions.” The professor, a consortium avatar for every authority, twists her oiled mustache, cackling the laugh of social justification loud enough for the gods approval. The class begins to laugh as well, turning to point in his direction with great enthusiasm, along with the rest of the heavenly audience, and the rumble of hell. There are several spotlights on the this irrelevant fool now, along with a couple red laser sights.

With a polished spinal cord, Claire sits with her head in the crisp fresh air above all this, small clouds passing by peacefully: the idea of someone missing a midterm an altitude of absurdity far removed from even the most sky-scraping of possibilities. The boy sinks into his chair: the quicksands of confidence in the never-ending story, somewhere in the negative depths of the intellectual foothills of Mont St. Clair. He tries to remain calm, eyeballs deep in the eventuality of his narration.

“You think you know Hegel, and the Geist, but I dare say you do not, for I am the one who decides that. Do not fear the opal mask of death -- it holds the face of awe!” The entire Hindu Caste system can be seen in the avatar at the front of the classroom now, and one of the many arms of Vishnu part the sand he has tried to hide in. The jester’s lanky frame cowers in the chair naked, the very folds of shame the only insulation. Joseph Smith charges forward to smite him with wooden four-foot version of the letter F.

The chasm which separates the two is measured in light speeds, but for a moment during the attack she glances over, her head suddenly tilting sideways with the force of understanding, and the end of a known universe. “F...” she nods, rubbing her chin in approval as she stares through utter imagination. She etches this into the puzzle; a ripple of novelty and inherent negations.

“Anyway, for those who didn’t show up, you probably should next time. For those that did, well, within are your faults.”

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