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Took a while... but here's the first chapter! - Catching my Drifts... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
topaz3in6

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Took a while... but here's the first chapter! [Sep. 10th, 2005|09:36 pm]
topaz3in6
[mood |chipperchipper]
[music |Paul Van Dyk]

Since this will be a huge post... i'm doing as suggested by EtoilePB: a LJ cut thingy (Hope this works).
Anyways... this file i wrote in two nights in November of 2004 as the beginning of an attempt at the NaNoWriMo challenge... and what better topic for me to take a stab at besides my favourite book: the original "Utopia" written by Thomas More.
The first half of that book is just a conversation between Thomas himself, and a charachter who claims to have been to the 'perfect' world, Raphael Hithloday (meaning Helping Peddler of Nonsense in Greek). In the same light, I started my chapter introducing two geeks/thinkers who love to come up with 'stuff'. I dont believe i even got into the 'stuff' part, but in two nights of rambling to start a novel, i think i got some of the charachter building done. So... without further delay: Chapter 0: A student.
October 21, 1999: A student sits at his computer in his dorm room frantically typing away at an opinion paper. A young man of 19, Rich, occasionally referred to as ‘the writer,’ is a sophomore at UMass, Amherst. Despite his lack of preparation for this particular paper, it is his favorite class: the Political Economics class he has to be at by the end of the hour. In this class, he gets to write long rants about his distaste with current economic and political systems, suggest better ones, and learn of the many people who have done the same and become well known because of it. We say ‘gets to’ because he finds it amusing he receives credit for such a course, which has assignments seemingly tailored not only to his interests, but to his skills in reasoning as well. He has a knack for understanding social, technical, mathematical, and physical systems and phenomena yet, consequently, opts to procrastinate in these topics. If he can have friends over drinking and acting immature, watch movies and play video games, make love to his girl and wake up with her the next morning, and then still finish a decent paper by the time it is due, he will not only opt for it but be doing so with a clean conscience the entire time. The work is often incomplete, poor of spelling and grammar, poor continuity, and rarely ‘of appropriate length’, yet that doesn’t stop him. To him, content is all that matters. If a shortcut doesn’t keep him from proving to the professor that he understands the material, it will be used. // “I’m efficient because I’m a damned-genius… ‘damned’ as in ‘in one hell of a hole’ and having to use his wits to get out” he says on occasion.
At the moment, he remembers a quote he saw on a poster “Any spare moment you have to do Something... do Nothing... because it can sometimes save you time having to undo Something later.” He remembers somewhere there exists a poster with a two headed turtle on it that has several ‘procrastinator’ quotes on it. It is one of the many posters he has come across and taken quite a liking to. But he remembers this particular quote now because he woke up dressed after a gathering of friends last night.
* * *
Rich feels something on his cheek as he’s staring at his screen. He turns to see Dan’s finger poked through the hole in his fly, and being waved around. Rich grabs for his finger.
“Aaah! Dont touch it! Be nice to it. :-)” Dan pets his finger like a puppy with it still sticking through his pants.
“Nice to it? Dude, you’re nutz”
“You can see my nuts? Aah! You’re sick! You’re looking!”
Rich shakes his head at his friend with disapproval, yet he cant help but smile and laugh because his antics are always light-hearted and amusing. He goes back to staring.
“Somebody didn’t do their homework last night...” Says Dan as he throws his clothes on. He watches Rich struggle with a point he’s attempting. Rich is deep in thought so he grunts off an acknowledging “mmh.” After a few minutes, when he thinks he has his point made, he notices his roommate is zipping up his backpack. “Hey, Dan... going to class?”
“Yeah. You commin?”
“yes... gimme a sec, I just have to print”.
“Well hurry up, I’ve got farther to go than you.” He slings the backpack over his shoulder.
“Oh, well I was going to take my bike” Rich goes through the long mouse-clicking process to print his paper: “file :print... :print to local printer :1 copy: print.”
“Uh... That’s nice for you.”
“then take my old one”
“its a piece of shit!”
“then take my new one! I’ll ride the old one.”
“the Rich-i’m-a-fucking-huge-tank-that-weighs-fourty-five-pounds-with-dual-suspension-from-walmart bike?”
“dude... stfu! just TAKE... wait aren’t you going to physics?”
“NO... I have Writing today in the Lie-brer-reeee!” dan says ‘library’ as he’s clenching his teeth and bearing them. The irritation in dan’s voice is somewhat commical. He’s getting frustrated with Rich and starts picking up his legs like he’s doing the ‘pee’ dance then jumping around like a four-year-old. But he’s not very angry. The show is a combination of caffeen, A.D.H.D. and a ‘funny guy’ attitude which, as Rich knows, is an act he puts on to increase morale. It’s just that ‘who’s morale?’ is often the question. This time around, however, it follows a long streak of being late for this writing class of his. As Dan continues to show more hyped irritation Rich stares at the printer poised to grab the paper. Silently, Rich attempts to calculate the path he’ll take out the door to his bike and then to class, taking into account class time and traffic. This, he knows, is a futile attempt. All the pedestrian and auto traffic is bad at every crossing during class intermission.
“So, you don’t have physics?”
“Ack! No! AAAAh! Duuuuude i’m gonna be late! Look at me doin’ the pee dance! This means...”
“Done. Lets go. Keys.” he hands dan the keys... so dan can unlock the old bike, but dan doesn’t take them.
“No, now i think i’ll actualy go pee now. Hee Hee!” he says with a huge grin on his face.
The writer shakes his head in dissaproval smiling, “We’re taking the bikes, then.”
“NO SHIT!” dan yells as he runs down the hall to the men’s room.
“You’re right ‘no shit,’ otherwise we’d Definately be late.”
“Ha... you’re funny.”
“Go already!”
Dan holds up his shirt and shows the crotch of his pants. “I AM going. See the pants? Hear the ‘Pshhhhh’ sound? Pshhhhhh...”
What looks like Dan having pee’d his pants is water from a small leak in one of the pipes in the dorm room. At this point the writer takes off down the hall in a gesture to pummel him.
“AaaaAAH! no!” he quickly jumps into the men’s room. Rich stops running when Dan is in. He then takes this time to quickly run into their room and check his email. There are several messages unread. It tempts him, but he has to go. He thinks it will give him something to do later, but he might not remember. He locks the door and stands by the staircase track-style.
“Done. Lets go” says dan. They each leap down the stairwell six stairs at a time.
While they have made quick work of the stairs, once they run out the front door of their dorm… they stand there in confusion and frustration.
“Fuck. It’s raining!” starts Dan.
“Fuuuuck!”
“It’s fucking RAINING!”
“Aaaaa! Fucking… fucker… er... fuckit… I’m still biking.”
“Wow, we slept in… Oh fuck no man. Count me out. I’ll break my ass on that thing in the rain… I’m walkin.”
“Dude! water never stopped you before... and we’re late as it is...”
“Just... no. I just don’t want to deal with it right now. My day couldn’t get much worse.” Dan’s playful attitude quickly turns into frustration. This class is one of very few where attendance actually counts, and he’s already been late more than the allowed times before his grade is affected.
Rich can see he needs conversation and then they’ll both quickly revert to positive thoughts about this coming weekend. “Wait up, I’ll go slow” Frequently, when one of them has a bike and the other doesn’t, the rider will slow down to walking pace. Companionship while someone goes to class is more important than the need to be on time, but also the practice of staying balanced at such a slow pace is considered fun. Dan pulls an umbrella out of his deep trench-coat pocket. “Isn’t your paper going to get wet?”
“Eh... well, it’s wedged in there. I’m not really worried, anyways. It’s an opinion paper for Political Economics... they’re fun to write. This one was so easy, it’s just a rant about my distaste for Microsoft FUD.”
“What does that have to do with you not caring about it getting wet? It still counts for credit doesn’t it?”
“Oh... yeah. It does, but what I mean is it was just a brain dump into text. I suppose I could care more, but so long as I get credit for the content of the paper... I don’t care if it gets wet.”
“But the professor could care. Hmm? Hmm hmm? If I hand in a wet paper to this writing class I’d get a Zero for it being messy. I swear... even if it’s still fine... just wrinkled from water...” Dan shakes his head in pain and discust. “He’s an asshole.”
“Ouch, sorry dude. Hey, in a perfect world, I’d give you an A every time, regardless how little I can read it. Your writing is cool stuff.”
“Ppppp... so much for your perfect world, Buddy. This teacher sucks. I think he’s actually the chair for the course.”
“Ooo... so if-everyone-does-well-it-looks-bad-on-his-record kinda chair?”
“Yeah. I’m pretty sure of it.”
“See, this is the kinda stuff I’d like to see fixed."
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