of course! not always a third, though.
My little brother, ladies & gentleman, fighting the good fight on the FB wall of the college he’ll be attending next year.
I’m at a Doctor Who/Harry Potter convention and I’m in a group contest in which people are traveling through tracks on rafts, a bit like a water ride, and the idea is to push other riders out. Mostly they’re children, and as I look over the edge I see them falling, buffering off the edges, onto ramps, and safely rolling away. At one point, two of the children riding in my raft fall out to the side and I grab both of them. I hold them through a turn and then pull them back up and settle them back into their seats. “No more leaning over the edges,” I tell them. They laugh.
We pass through a tunnel, and as I exit I realize I’m on my stomach, going up a conveyor belt toward a drop-off. There are screens hanging in front of me that are showing the upcoming drop, and an automated voice repeats over the images, “Will you be number one?” I realize I’m out of the raft and alone and perhaps the last one in the contest and I understand that this final section will be the scariest. I look behind me for a way to bail and see that if I stand up, I can walk along the metal edges of the conveyor belt, out of the ride. As I walk back through the tunnel a girl rides up underneath me, passing through my legs and also on her stomach. She is obviously still in the running, turns her head to look at me, and scoffs.
I pass under an arch into a dark space and shout sort of blindly saying that I don’t want to do it. “Get her a mic,” someone says and suddenly the lights go on and I’m standing above a room talking to a man who is also miked. He is yards below me and wearing a headset. My voice is being broadcast and I see myself on video screens.
“What’s going on?” he says.
“I, uh, I don’t want to do it.”
“Because I never even signed up for it and I don’t care about winning and I just don’t want to do it.”
No one understands, I can tell, but they let me down anyway and I tour around the facilities with the headset man as he leads me to the food court. He tells me about a Lego convention that was held recently at the facilities. “We only ever rent out the place for events of this scale,” he says, motioning out a big window.“The cash is amazing, plus, so many American engineering jobs. And also, the environment.”
I nod enthusiastically and think that I’ve won him over. I find out I got fifth place.
I’m holing myself up tonight in a semi-public workspace that my job has given me access to. It’s a Friday night and I’ve brought a bottle of wine and some food, my laptop and a pair of headphones. I am going to write until I can’t anymore.
There are I think four different offices in this workspace, all of which, of course, are empty, and beautiful. The one I’m in now is dark wood-paneled.
It’s hitting a nerve; I’m reacting in some instinctive way, linking it to a moment in my past, or more likely an amalgam of moments: hibernating in my parents’ room over the summer when it was the only room with AC, holding the key to the honors cottage at Fordham and then just using it after hours to make out, getting snowed in at Michael’s and watching Community for two days, pulling all-nighters in the ETC & the SU & the library lobby.
I suppose it’s a form of nesting, a form of isolated control, certainly a form of solitude. My interactions with spaces are often more evocative than my interactions with people, so I mean, there’s that, and who knows what it means.
Basketball Babes is my favorite game.
(How to play: watch basketball with my brother and look for babes.)