English Story!

October 16, 2007

A Conversation with a Friend

By Tyler Doyle

Professor Der-Yeghiayan


It didn’t take long for everyone to notice. Despite my best efforts, every precaution I had taken, I failed. Not the kind of fail like “Oh, I got a 59, just barely failed,” no, we are talking Maginot line here. I was the French, and they were the Germans invading my so delicately crafted protection. I’m starting to rant, and I apologize. Frankly, I’m not sure what I should do. For the moment, the circumstances are contained within a small group of people, few ‘in the know’ so to speak, but eventually it’ll hit Facebook, or Myspace, or heck, even Youtube. When it does, I will have no escape, nothing, zip, zero. Wait, I never introduced myself, I’m sorry. I mean, you already know who I am, but not who I am. My name is Tom Carver. I am 19 years old, and I live on campus at Lewis and Clark College. I’m currently, though not permanently enrolled as an International Studies major, possibly minoring in something random, Music Theory, Theology, something as such. My first year in college has, thus far, been a smooooth ride. Now that we’re somewhat acquainted, beyond what we already were. I can tell you my story. This is how I managed to get myself into a huge mess.

Monday, December Fourteenth, Two-Thousand-and-Seven, I managed to scrape through my finals with little bleeding. Lewis and Clark doesn’t like to let people fail (failers are bad numbers on college rankings), so they offer this nifty little service known as a ‘Math Lab’. Now, I’m not horrible at math. I’m not great, but I’m not horrible either. I just don’t like it. Numbers, equations, adding and subtracting, it’s just not for me. Do I care if 1+1 is 2? Not really, unless it involves cash, then I suppose I do, but otherwise, no, definitely no. As such, I go to this little office where people who have nothing better to do than to learn math, and like it, and assist me in my somewhat-impeded math homework. It’s a great system. I wouldn’t pay 30 grand a year to another school, just so I can have this neat little feature. Again, I digress. I made it through finals, alive, and anxiously awaited the weekend. When it came I decided: Hey, it’d be fun to go to Canada. Who doesn’t love Canada? Socialized medicine (hippies), Marijuana (hippies), and kilometers (hippies), are all loved and adored by many who visit. I wanted to experience this. Badly. I called my friend John.

“John, I’m thinking of heading to Canada, what do you think? I mean, even though we’ve been before, we weren’t in college. You, me, a car, and a debit card. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?” Needles to say, through a use a charm, wit, and a bit of bribery I was able to coax my friend into journeying to Canada. Canada, land of the… socialists, or something…

We packed and left. Rather than spending hours locked in a car with John, we opted for the train. Tickets are cheap, travel is easy, and there is a place to plug in laptops for the ride up. Now that is high-class.

“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to turn your music down.” To this day, I don’t know how or where this man came from. Perhaps a secret compartment in the ceiling. He waits, silently, observing the passer-bys. No one is bumming a ride on his train.

“Excuse me? I can’t hear you, my music is turned up,” John was interrupted, and angered. His music was his special time.

“Precisely the problem, sir,” the banter continued between the two for some time. When I finally decided to tune back in I believe the argument had been reduced to a mutual understanding between the two parties. John turned his music down, and the attendant watched his step when walking by. Pulling out my phone and hopping on EDGE, I attempted, somewhat successfully to check the web. Facebook – nothing new, e-mail – empty, news – boring, nothing was happening. It wasn’t until I was about to take a nap, did something pop up.

“Ring-ring-ring-ring-ring-ring-ring banana phone!” My phone’s ringtone managed to alert the entire train to Raffi’s musical stylings. The conversation that ensued involved important people, psych evaluations, tests, Prozac, drugs, and other related topics. What I don’t get is why you never mentioned anything about it before. Granted, you don’t talk much anyway, but still. Couldn’t you have at least hinted at it? Whatever. They’re wrong anyway. I know exactly what I’m saying and who I’m saying it to. I’m a politician who knows his audience. If I’m talking fast, I know you can keep up. And you might not answer, but whatever, I don’t care. Canada wasn’t the help I thought it would be. The doctors there told me the same thing about you that the American doctors told me. Have you seen Sicko? Wait, yes you have, we saw it together. Anyway, it’s like that, American doctors are all in it for the profit, and the HMO’s fuck everything up. Why don’t they just have doctors like the Canadian doctors? Although the Canadian’s were equally useless. Wouldn’t you know me better than them? Why don’t you just tell them?

Anyway, the whole point of this tale now comes to light. For years we had kept it a secret that I, Tom, was clinically insane. Technically, that is, I don’t agree, but who does if they’re crazy? When we were sitting in Canada, we had a discussion about some things. And in the heat of the moment, I forgot John was coming back soon. He came into the room, and you looked at him… I know you tried to warn me, but I wouldn’t listen. He watched as we fought. I started ‘acting weird’ as he said. I don’t know. It’s not like we went through and burned down a building of screaming babies whilst singing the theme song to Borat. No, definitely not Borat. I might loudly proclaim my love for a band, or sing, but not a burning building full of babies. We aren’t that crazy. Ha, there is that term again, crazy. What does it even mean? And how does ‘The Man’ define it? Am I crazy because I talk to myself? Are we crazy because we talk to each other? Our friends will find out, and then they won’t talk to me. They’ll realize that all those times I was ‘singing’, I really wasn’t. That the pills we stopped taking weren’t for my bones. When they find out what will they do? Will they still listen to me? None of them listen to me as well as you do. You’re the best friend I have.


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