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Don't Let The Door Hit You In The Class On The Way Out by Ray Printer Friendly

I'm two classes down, which means only three to go until I'm done with the semester. Which is a good thing.

A while back, I got a little Moleskine notebook to use in case I got some incredible story idea or something. Shortly thereafter, I got a phone that has a memo feature and a full qwerty keyboard, eliminating the need for me to resort to committing anything to paper.

Of course, I had already spilled an entire shot glass full of whiskey on the notebook, warping the pages just right and giving them a distinct feel. So I figured I should use it for something. What I ended up doing was tucking it into my notebook and taking it out when classes got boring. Or, in one class, when it got so incredibly frustrating that I either had to occupy my mind elsewhere, or start punching people in the neck.

Sometimes I would just write a word every time someone said something stupid:

Other times, I would write segments of a short story.

One night, I went through and documented each of my classmates:


Smoking boy, stinking and stammering, I picture him sitting all day on a ratty couch, chain smoking and calling into radio stations to request obscure music. Or in a car, windows rolled up, burning through cigarette after cigarette, murmuring to himself about how they’ll all pay, they’ll all pay. So sure that he’s right about everything, loud until the others are forced to listen.

Slow-witted stutterer, she always begins speaking before she knows what to say. “I think…” Silence, as we wait, and it never pays off. Seconds stretch, the silence becomes more pronounced, more awkward, until she either forgets her own idea and changes the subject, or finally forces out whatever odd idea was trapped in her skull. Like watching someone choke on a chicken bone, but more irritating because she won't do the polite thing and die. Hand motions that don’t match her words or her message, as if her fragmented speech is important news.

Annoying interrupter, with broken English and nonsensical questions. Loud and intrusive, she never listens to the answers given, just continues to ramble about…whatever. Never recognizing personal space, she leans over your shoulder to read your emails, and watches your fingers unapologetically as you type in your password. And she always smells like something faintly spoiled.

Guy with glasses. Quiet, except when he laughs, and then his snorting can be heard for miles. Always in sandals, no matter what kind of shoe his wardrobe calls for. A nice enough fellow, but with the tension caused by everyone else, his laugh and his footwear will push one dangerously close to the edge of sanity.

Silent psycho. He doesn’t talk, only stares. No smiles, no laughter, only the stare, or possibly a glare. Maybe a helluva a guy, maybe just shy. Probably, though, he retires each night after class to a home decorated in the skin of his victims, and spends his free time peering into a freezer full of body parts.

Intelligent informer, in charge of passing on tasks and knowledge. Speaking only with a point, she doesn’t fit in with this group much at all, but here she is, nonetheless. Taking notes and taking charge, and so much patience that it’s almost a flaw.

Lost leader, he is supposed to keep this mess under control, on track, and he is the worst wanderer. Self absorbed and self involved, and ever so willing to tell everyone why. A wealth of useful information, yet it’s buried under a pile of bullshit, and there comes a point when one must stop and ask, “Is this really worth it, or could I find this stuff out online?”

She-male look-alike, although that seems insulting to she-males everywhere. She is every annoying pop-up window that blares, “HOT TRANNY AXXXION!” The leather-tan face connects to her dyed-stringy hair in a way that makes Frankenstein’s monster look natural. Lips poking out like a duck bill, and it’s difficult to tell if it’s from a botched cosmetic surgery of some sort, or if she’s so fuck-stupid confused that the look of perplexity has somehow permanently contorted her face. Breasts that are man-made or bra-sculpted, like putting perfume on a skunk. Her laughter is a cigarette wheeze of annoyance, and as she forces it out, she looks around the room to try to get others to join in. In a contest of wits, a box of dried up mouse shit would win.

What a night to leave my arsenic capsule at home.


I wrote that one night while my class sat around talking about why that guy in There Will Be Blood said that thing about drinking that other guy’s milkshake. For 42 minutes. You think I’m lying, and I wish I were.

Anyway, I’m done with that class now.


posted 12/10/08


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