Sunday, March 19, 2006
A Life of Abundant Mediocrity
As I sit in the coffee shop (the bland, nameless chain store which we are familiar), I see the college students at their round table, clicking hi-lighter pens and whispering in glee. I know who they are--they are the bourgeoisie of the suburbs. Poor things.

They flip their Anatomy books to the chapter of study and ignore the material, partaking in banter about carbohydrates and body-building, Suzy with the firm ass in Western Civ, the latest basketball match. Their shoes are gently unlaced sneakers with expensive symbols swooshing here and there-- a vestige of high school, perhaps? Each one is really the same, you know. I would attempt to describe each individually, but as a whole, they are quite bland. Boring. Predictable.

So, I try to shut out their whisperings and snorts and concentrate
Which book is it that I shall buy?
Why am I purchasing a book when I should go to the library?
Have I read In Cold Blood before? Yes, I think so.

And then the snickering becomes louder. Brow furrowed, I look up from my book and see a young girl, sweater hugging curves, standing at their table. She flips her hair and looks at me briefly; I condescend with a smirk--I am not impressed. But the boys (those bland, boring shells of something masculine, smelling a bit like wet socks) are staring at another girl.

She is roughly my age and much older than these college clones. Her body is less than well-proportioned. Flagged, flabby legs tucked into a tiny pleated plaid skirt. Oh, the skirt is so sad and so lovely in its attempt to be lovely. Her limp, sad hair is parted (or separated quickly) into two ponytails framing her broad, expressive, plain face. The shirt is lumpy and rumpled. I see what she is attempting--sexy, cavorting Catholic schoolgirl. She has not succeeded in this venture and looks more like an outgrown woman in someone else's clothes. Her legs are bitten and scratched most certainly by that cat she rescued. She has a stack of books and is accompanied by a short, stocky woman with a mullet and a "Shrek" sweatshirt.

She has no idea the mediocre are laughing at her and I wish to help her. I want to stand up and yell: "THEY--THOSE SAD REPEATS OF ONE ANOTHER--THOSE DRONES OF CABLE TELEVISION--ARE MOCKING YOU!" I want to protect her and shield her from their snivels and snorts. I clear my throat in a matronly way, and two of the ballcaps turn to grimace at me. I squint at them and hex them silently.

They turn away and mutter, snickering at me, now, and that is fine, fine for me to be snickered at, because I have endured these small-minded, middle class, replaceable snobs my whole life. There is nothing new about them, and there is everything new about that woman, dressing to impress, dressing chaotically. Whose is the mind I adore? Hers. And these young stupid cutouts of one another will live a sad, terrible life of beer swilling, game watching, church going idiocy. And when their nights are dark, and they have nothing left to say to the prettiest women in all of this Atlanta Suburb (lying next to them in boredom and displeasure), the saddest girl in all of the coffee shop will be dreaming with her mind wide open, and she will be the success story.

So, it is these unfortunate Freshmen I pity. Put those Anatomy books away, children, you'll never make Organic Chemistry, and if you do, you'll fail the MCATS with such velocity, you'll forget heads up, tails down, and so hello! to the world of used cars and baby strollers and mortgaged homes.

While that young lady may not have any dreams that differ from the ballcaps, she will know her own strength when she marries or chooses to stay single, or goes to New York or lives in the basement of her mother's house. Her sad skirt will stay with her for many years until she no longer is able to button the waist, and then she will lie it aside and remember when she was the prettiest girl wearing the sweetest skirt.

Written by FRITZ
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Name: Fritz

Location: Detroit Rock City!
Where the weak are killed and eaten

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    We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well When the tongues of flame are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one. -T.S. Eliot "Little Gidding"

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