Improvising Life and Randos
Inspired from The Office
It's your first day on campus and you enter the majestic Doe Library. As you look for a cozy place to sit, you see a tanned, slightly built bearded guy sitting on a bean-bag. He is alone, yet incredibly preoccupied: his territory is marked with bags of Swedish Fish, Marvel comic-books, and Russian literature. He briefly lifts a notebook; you make out the words “Poetry Anthology”.
You approach closer, only to be greeted by a foreign smell, a mixture between salty ocean water and cinnamon Old Spice. You graciously understand his imperfections and say hi. Abruptly, he hands you a Swedish Fish and says:
“Hi my name is Mark Douglas! I’m a third-year majoring in Classics, with a minor in English! What’s your name?”
Stunned, you mutter out a polite laugh to which he wildly grins at. He thrusts out a hand to shake - his hand is patterned with scars and rugged callouses. You ask about his scars; he grimaces and re-tells stories of surfing and repeatedly ramming into sharp coral. Yet, he claims his scars are part of his SoCal heritage: surfing, eating (vegan) poke and kale.
As you’re eating with him, you notice he writes things in his poetry notebook in random bursts of excitement between bites of a tofu burger.
“Why do you write poetry?”
Wiping his mouth, he says, “In this world full of Silicon Valleys, poetry is my escape from the blueprints of a cautious mind.”
“What?” …. the fuck did he just say?
“I like poetry because it’s dialogic, not monologic... Sorry, I’m still learning Bakhtin’s philosophy,” he grins shyly.
You return to the dorms with him and say bye. He holds up a shaka sign and wishes you’ll be in his GBO group. And although you feel homesick and a bit melancholy, you can’t help but laugh as that funky salty-cinnamon-Old Spice smell disappears as he enters the dorm, munching on Swedish Fish.