Hello

Hello

Vincent watched her shuffling through the pages of her notebook trying to find an empty page to note down the symbols that the professor had just drawn on the whiteboard. She was sitting on the same row — a couple of seats away — and Vincent had a clear view of everything she was doing. Her eye shade was light blue and the color seemed to merge well with the light blue t-shirt she was wearing.

It was a semiotics class and Vincent usually had the habit of trying to interpret his classmates like they were each a unique symbol with tremendous hidden meaning. The girl wore black jeans and plain white sneakers and resembled a malnourished athlete.

A bit too masculine, Vincent thought. I wonder if she wears a bra. Her tits are too small. That eye shade just doesn’t go with the sneakers. Her hair seems long and lovely though. I wonder if she regularly washes it. It seems straight enough for my liking. But she’s too much of a tomboy. Fuck. If she just wore something more pink, or a good feminine top instead of that polo shirt.

When she took a quick glance toward him, Vincent quickly shifted his head upward and moved his fingers across his hair pretending to cure an itch that had mystically grabbed his attention. When she turned back toward the whiteboard, his attention seemed to just divert itself back to her like he had no control over it.

Why am I even looking at her? She seems so ordinary. Wait, fuck! That’s a Valentino t-shirt. She must be rich. A rich girl with a bad taste for clothes. Fuck.

It was after a long trail of thought that Vincent realized he was now thinking of what life would be like if he married the girl.

If we have kids, it needs to be a son. I can’t imagine a daughter with this girl. She’d be too distasteful and probably a geek virgin till 30. No, fuck it! I can’t marry her. Imagine having sex with this girl. She’d never wear what I ask her to wear. And after I’m bored of her body, it’d be hell trying to convince her to do what I want.

“Professor, I have a question,” the girl was raising her hand. Vincent’s thoughts were too loud in his head to understand what she was saying and his thoughts continued.

Fuck, she’s paying attention. She might know more of semiotics than I do. She might go to graduate school. I don’t think I want to go to graduate school. I love being intelligent in bed after sex. I like saying witty things with intervals in between. But what if she talks too much? I wouldn’t be able to be me. I should stop looking at her.

The girl took a quick glance again toward Vincent’s direction and this time he continued to look at her, but in a way that indicated that he was looking through her at the wall. The girl seemed not to notice Vincent staring right at her.

She’s dull. Fuck, I’m sure she sucks in bed. I think I should start paying attention to the class. But I can’t stop looking at her. She’s not even attractive. Stupid rich bitch with a bad taste for fashion. I wonder if she’s on Facebook. I’ll look her up later. Fuck, but what’s her name? There’s no name card in front of her. Maybe I’ll wait till the professor calls her out sometime. Wait, why do I want to stalk this ugly rich bitch? Her sneakers are so white. Does she play tennis? At least she could’ve played football. There’d be something interesting about her. But wait, tennis players have terrific bodies! Maybe she has a nice body. But that face, there’s nothing sharp about it. There are no proper curves and turns; the kind that a proper pretty girl should have. I don’t think she’s pretty. I should have just jerked off this morning. That’s why this is happening. Fuck it. Let’s pay attention to the class.

The class was dismissed and Vincent raced toward the elevator. As he waited for it to arrive at the second floor, he saw the t-shirt girl walking toward him. He felt the usual currents of discomfort that everybody feels when they become aware of who their elevator companions will be for the next few seconds. Everybody feels it with strangers, and Vincent was no exception.

Fuck, this bitch again! I hope she’s going up.

The elevator arrived and the girl entered before Vincent did.

Fuck, she’s going down.

As the elevator began to move, Vincent’s eye caught the girl who broke into a gentle and pleasant smile.

“Hello,” she said.

“Hey,” Vincent replied smiling. It was a whisper that came out in an awkward choking manner.

She’s sweet, Vincent thought. He suddenly became aware of an overwhelming scent of green apple laced with small amounts of lavender.

She’s ovulating. She has to be ovulating! Fuck, what a scent that is. Is that how she smells? Is she wearing something? Whatever it is, it smells brilliant!

The elevator reached the ground floor and the girl started to walk away slowly. While her white sneakers made no sound as they treaded against the ground, Vincent envisioned her wearing black pretty heels that made a loud noise with each step. Vincent turned around to walk toward the building exit. He was too naïve (or careless) to notice that his thoughts were now completely transformed.

What a delicious chick. That t-shirt went so well with those jeans. A pretty athlete; how brilliant is that? I hope she’s on Facebook. My phone’s out of charge. Fuck! Once I get home then. I should talk to her in the next class. I wonder if she drinks. We could go out for a drink sometime. I’m sure she loves good vodka. She looks classy. She definitely likes good vodka. I can’t believe I thought of dropping semiotics. I should form a study group with her. And that smile in the elevator — so . . . soft and genuine. We need more women like her. I could just feed her berries in bed all day without touching her. I’d still be happy.

Vincent pulled out a cigarette to light as soon as he stepped out of the building. He looked around him and then adjusted the waist of his jeans to hide the pounding erection that made the cigarette tremble in his fingers.

 

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Tears are Real

Tears are Real

Erasmus looked through the silken glass at the best seller’s shelf, ‘The Dreamer’s Stagnant Poise’, a new book by Dr. Randall Bay. There was something about it that called him to it, asking him to give it a read, to stroke and feel each page, and swallow every word and make it a part of him. Another side of him taunted him strongly, to leave it and just walk off, it wouldn’t make much of a difference.

He knew what the book was about. It was a novel about a wealthy middle-aged man overflowing with talent who always fell short of complete expression of his innate gifts because of his addiction to dreaming about the future.

‘Sir, why don’t you come on in, it’s getting pretty itchy outside with this heat’, the book store teller urged Erasmus in. There wasn’t much on Erasmus’ schedule for the day anyway, he toddled his way in slowly, a part of him pulling him away, the major part of him submitting to curiosity.

Erasmus thought to himself, book stores smell really good, one of those places you could spend time at even if you didn’t want much to do with books. Erasmus tried his best to stay away from ‘The Dreamer’s Stagnant Poise’, pretending to himself that he could find some other book in the store that would make him forget all about Dr. Bay’s new hit.

He eyed the bookseller with contempt and irritation, wondering why he catered to his welcome.

To add to his battle between curiosity and ignorance, a very unwanted voice came ringing in from behind as Erasmus made his way through the other shelves of fiction. ‘You might want to have a look at this one sir, it’s been selling like mistletoe during Christmas’, the book store owner was now standing near the bestseller shelf, pointing at ‘The Dreamer’s Stagnant Poise’. Erasmus would never understand his weakness to the suggestion of strangers he sincerely wanted to ignore. He walked up to the bestseller shelf and picked up the book of conflict.

Without having a second look at the cover of the book, he paid the man, collected his receipt, and headed off out into the burning sting of summer walking home as quickly as he could.

It didn’t take him much time to finish the first ten chapters. Calvin the protagonist of the book was a gifted pianist who wasted twenty of the best years of his life in doubt, never expressing his skills to properness because of his endless fear of failure. Calvin was now forty, with all the wealth in the world he could imagine, running successful businesses for which he cared too less to hoard or be proud of. Calvin was a broken man, with a wife he dreamed of abandoning every night and a daily routine he loathed as much as his involuntary fear of failure.

The tears rolled all too easily onto the pages of ‘The Dreamer’s Stagnant Poise’. What had Erasmus done wrong? What had he done so wrong that he was left with nothing but an empty hollow within him that filled itself with uncomfortable adrenaline every time he read or heard of the success of his peers?

As he flung his newly purchased book across the floor, he buried his face in his palm and sobbed. What had he done so wrong that he was left looking forward to nothing but the embarrassment and failure of the friends he involuntarily loathed? Randall Bay was nothing at all before the monumental talent that Erasmus was. He was a man who identified perhaps a couple of skills and a few moments from his life that he worked into two of the best-selling novels in the last two years. There was no soul in these novels, but there was enough sweetness, charm, and conflict that would excite a million readers.

Randall was one of Erasmus’ closest friends. He had known him since he was eighteen. And now Erasmus was forty. While Erasmus was ever more skilled and gifted than Randall, Randall wrote, while Erasmus dreamed. He dreamed of what to write, and how to write. He did write, those rare few lines that carried power and magic, but few lines every three months or so. Erasmus dreamed, while Randall wrote. While the world read and entertained themselves to the technically crafted artwork of Randall Bay, the bitter tears that graced the pages of ‘The Dreamer’s Stagnant Poise’ remained to be the only testament to the once possible alternate fate of Erasmus Slade, a gifted writer who dreamed of many words, but wrote too few.