He sat there, just drinking his coffee, having finished the paper quicker than he thought he would. So now what. The day, ahead, and no plan, “That’s healthy, no?” He thought. But he kept to his chair, reading and re-reading, and reading again after a heated re-read. He wanted there to be something wrong, something to fix but there was.. was.. nothing. Just, what to do with his day. Class wasn’t till 6, and the laptop screamed 9:30AM. “What?” He said. And aloud. People looked. He smiled, hoping they’d forget. But they kept their eyes to him, like there was something wrong. He wished. Everything was sound, safe, set, done. He read it again, changed a couple sentences, cutting the words with his green pen, the one he came across cleaning out his downstairs coat closet.
Reading again, he thought is was a bit different, but not as much as he wanted, and what did he want? “I don’t know,” he said. This time not aloud.
“Make another mark, I dare you,” the paper said.
“I don’t know if I should. I need an ‘A’.”
“My program.. uh….. My department.”
“So they tell you what you need. You let them tell you what’s needed, and what you need. You’re missing something? They cure you?”
“No. They… No.” He put the paper away and left the café, drove West, 35 to Half Moon Bay. He didn’t have a plan, or a place he wanted to visit, stop for coffee no he’d had enough, he just wanted to drive. “I’ll email it, I’m not going to class,” he said, no one to look at him, or judge or monitor his state and station. He drove, the curvaceous course up the green mountain, then town to HMB. He parked, took the paper out.
“What are we doing here?” It asked.
“I needed a drive.”
“Good. You did.”
“Yeah, and I–”
“So you drove. Now what?”
“A point? Are you asking if I… have one?”
“No, I’m just telling you what you did, I don’t think you notice everything you do.”
“Maybe not.” He shot it back in the back, stepped out the car and sped to the truck. Open, tossed in. “I’ll kill it, I will.” He thought. Back to wheel, drive just a few blocks, maybe six or so, to the beach, Cowell Ranch. He’d toss it in a garbage bin, or can.. no witnesses, and he’d be rid of it. Then what. Then what could it say. And if he had to delay grad, then he would. This was not him, this set of pages and the rush and stress of study. He had to start over. And the only way was if it was taken care of, cut short and quieted.
Out. To trunk. “What is.. what are you doing? No! Don’t!” It said. Over to that rusted red bin. Shoved in. Run back to car, away. To that café, the one on Miranda, a little drive. He needed it.
He’d write again. The whole thing over.
Something jabbing him, front-right pocket. Green pen.