Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta college. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta college. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 3 de noviembre de 2016

He was a friend

   The problem with having people over was that Tom’s place was always a mess. He tried to keep it clean; to make it look like someone responsible lived there, but it was impossible for him to keep that façade up. He had to confront the fact that he was not the most organized person in the world and that he shouldn’t have said “Yes” when asked if he could have his friends over for their weekly gathering. They had that tradition since they started having their own places. It was an excuse for seeing each other more often because if it weren’t for that dinner, they wouldn’t know anything.

 Marina had almost always hosted the dinner. She had the most beautiful apartment of the group and her husband was very relaxed about them meeting up so often. Sometimes they only met every two weeks because she had something else to do or her husband needed his space so they just didn’t get together. If it wasn’t her house, they sometimes used Greg’s place but the problem with his house was the fact that it was too far away from anyone else’s and that he had a baby so they had to keep it silent and very short.

 So Tom had a lot to do before his friends came over. By his request, the dinner was changed fro mthe usual Friday to Saturday. He knew that if he needed time to plan the whole thing and it was going to be an important meeting because the New Year holidays had just ended and it hadn’t seen each other in weeks. They would normally call for a pizza or something like that but he really wanted to impress them as he had always been the loser of the group, the one that never did anything too impressive, the one that was still single and working a menial job.

 Yes, Tom wanted them to see another side of him, a side that he would hopefully actually have. As he started planning, he realized he was really as dull and simple as anyone would think. His job was really not interesting so they never spoke about that but he always got so tired from it that he had almost no time to actually read or hear about other things in the world. He didn’t have any real knowledge about the interesting things of life. He only knew about the boring corner he occupied in the world and that was it. So he really had to make an effort.

 The first thing was actually planning the dinner. Even in the New Year’s Eve dinner with his family, he had his old timey notepad and a pencil with which he would write ideas for things to eat. His brother insisted he should just order a pizza and garlic bread but they always did that and he wanted to impress them with something they couldn’t see coming. The garlic bread was a nice idea, so he wrote it down and his mother told him a good salad is always welcome so he wrote that down too. The idea was to have many simple things around.

 The days before the meeting, he decided to buy most of the things he needed for his dinner in order to do them first and see if he could do it all by himself or if it really was a better idea to just ask for a pizza. He used the oven and borrowed a bunch of kitchen equipment from his mother, as he didn’t have anything to do proper things at his place. He didn’t even have a blender, just a couple of pans, a cooking pot and the microwave. Tom had to borrow his father’s car too to be able to take all of that back to his place. They thought he was going crazy.

 The first thing he decided to do was the salad, which he thought was the simplest of the dishes he had wrote down. He decided to do one mixing vegetables and fruits. It was supposed to be something refreshing and filled with flavors. He did everything the recipe called for but at the end, he doubted the result was the same as in the recipe. Apparently, the fruits and veggies he had chosen weren’t in their best moment. Some of them were too “green” and others were too ripe. It wasn’t to be surprised, as he had never picked up so many things from the supermarket.

 He put the salad on the side and decided it would be nice if he kept it on the refrigerator. Then, Tom decided to make the garlic bread. It was a rather simple thing to do. His trial test was going to be with cheap bread he had found in the supermarket. Again, he had made the wrong choice, as the bread was much too hard, like a rock. It was almost impossible to cut it. But once he did, he smeared some garlic paste on it and put it in the oven. The thing was he forgot about it when doing another recipe, so the bread got burned and his second attempt another disaster.

 What he was doing in the meantime was mixing the ingredients to make nice thick waffles. He had found a website that advised against the mix they sold in a box and encouraged people to do the mix themselves. The whole kitchen got covered in flour and a couple of eggshells ended up in the mix. He let it harden a bit when he got the garlic bread out of the oven so when he mixed it again, it had a very rough texture, not very similar to the one in the pictures of the website. When he tried it in the pan, it just got stuck there and burned like the bread.

 And all of that happened in a single day, the Monday previous to his gathering with friends. He wasn’t ready at all and he was even more of a disaster than he had thought. Tom had never cooked anything for himself and had no idea about entertaining people. He was a shy person, the kind that would always be asked last about a subject, if asked at all. He knew they had put that burden on him because no one else could do it and that thought made him realized he didn’t want to be that person.

 So early Tuesday, he grabbed the phone and called every single was one of his so-called friends and told them that he had decided against organizing their little event. He didn’t explain why or anything like that. He thought it was best not to say anything that they could use against him, although he knew they were going to talk anyway. After making all the appropriate calls, he decided to go to bed and rest because he hadn’t been able to sleep properly just because of that stupid meeting being in his brain for weeks and weeks.

 A surprise came in Wednesday, after having been able to sleep for ten straight hours. A girl from college called Alicia had come to his door to visit, out of the blue. When he buzzed her in, he didn’t really realize what he had done. But then he did and he started picking up the trash from the floor but then stopped and realized that didn’t make any sense. If Alicia was there, it was because the others had told her about the cancelled reunion. She wanted to know more and he shouldn’t just fake that everything was perfect when it wasn’t.

At the end of the day, that mess in his house was what made him Tom. He was that mess and it was the most original version of his own self. Nothing more could be as perfect to describe him as that pile of things all around, ranging from papers and notebooks to all the ingredients that he hadn’t used and wasn’t going to use for anything, never again. He even had some clothes on the floor, mainly the ones he would pick up and put in bag to take to washing machines in the basement of the building. It was one of those places.

 When Alicia arrived, he greeted her on the door and didn’t ask her to come in. He just wanted to know what she was doing there. She said that a bunch of people, including her, were worried about him because he had cancelled out of the blue. She reminded him that he was always so worried about arriving on time to their other meetings and often gave money for more pizza, so it was weird that he would just cancel the gathering that he was in charge of. So Alicia was just there to receive an explanation and she really got one.

 Tom said he was tired of being the last person they always thought of, except when they needed money or some idiot to do shit for them. He told Alicia to told every other person in their so-called “friend group” that he wasn’t going to be the same idiot that he had been since college. Maybe he wasn’t brilliant or successful or anything, but he still deserved some respect. He closed the door on her face and decided it was a nice time to order a pizza, all for himself.

sábado, 3 de septiembre de 2016

Phalanx mystery

   Everyone that crossed William’s path was always amused by what he did for a living: he was the marketing manager in a company that sold condoms called Phalanx. He was very popular at parties, telling one and ten stories about the funny things that happened both in his department and in the factory where the condoms where actually made. He even knew some other stories about people that had called the Phalanx hotline in order to ask silly questions that no one ever knew if they were real or false.

 The point was that he had a lot of fun at work and out of it. However, for a person that saw condoms so often at work, he didn’t really get to use a lot. In one of those ironies of life, William had not had a real sexual encounter in a long time. He was a very busy person and he always failed to have time to party or socialize except for the events hosted by Phalanx. The few times he met people was in those parties but they were always funny for a while but not for the long haul.

 Every single Monday at the office, they held pitching sessions in which any of the employees of the company could present new ideas to make the product more attractive. Normally, they would laugh a lot more than do actual work but sometimes, once every six months almost, they got a very clever idea that could easily become a big thing in the world of condoms. Anyhow, it was a very fun thing to be in and most people were very serious about their ideas.

 There was the typical things like making condoms into different sizes or different flavors and colors, but then they were the crazy people telling them to sell condom certain foods in supermarkets, or not only having flavors but also smells, which everyone thought was absolutely awful. They laughed a lot the time that someone proposed to print images on the condoms and even the possibility of personalizing them with your signature. It seemed like a good idea but it wasn’t.

 There were some good ones like having a guy dressed like a penis or condom in some popular area and make him do funny dances and stuff and then handing out pamphlets about how important it was to use condoms. Others had made proposals about the packaging and image that they were really considering. As in any industry, they needed to keep innovating and doing different stuff or they would get obsolete.

 But there was one presenter William remembered for weeks after they moved on. William had always identified as a straight man but somehow that man had captivated him and he had no idea why. It was something more than looks and his idea. It was something he could really pinpoint.

 The man’s idea was very simple: in each one of the condom packaging’s, putting a drawing of a different position in order to kind of make it like a challenge towards the couple that was going to use the prophylactic. Everyone received the proposal to mild enthusiasm and only William seemed to be distracted by the guy that was in front of him. For weeks, he had him inside his head moving around, appearing in the weirdest moments and it was a long time after that, when they were executing some of the ideas people had pitched, when he realized why he thought of him so much: he knew him.

 That day, after all work was done, he went to the archive room and asked fro the file on that man. Apparently, he had been working in the office for as long as William had been there. He was his same age and had gone to the same college too. The difference was that that guy hadn’t been able to ascend in the company whereas William had climbed that ladder a lot faster than anyone else ever before. He was very talented at what he did.

 When he got home that day, he was relieved to realized he didn’t like the guy for his looks or something like that but because he unconsciously knew something weird about him. He couldn’t really remember him from any of the classes in college but apparently something inside his brain did remember him and had been curious to reveal that.

 As tired as he was, William relaxed that day with a bubble bath. He was so tired that he fell asleep inside and only woke up because he was slowly sinking into the water. When he got out of there, he just dried himself up and fell asleep naked as he was on the bed, above the sheets. He must have woken up at four in the morning only to crawl under the covers because of the cold.

 After the weekend, he stumbled into his old college partner in the elevator on the way to his office. It was kind of an awkward moment: there was some tension between them but William had no idea why. He knew now that he wasn’t interested in that guy physically and that was the only thing that had been weird before. But now everything was tension and looking down to their shoes and it was very strange.

 For the rest of that day he didn’t really pay attention to anything else because his mind was still trying to understand what had happened in that elevator. He tried to remember anything about that man but he just couldn’t remember him in college. Maybe crossing him one or twice in the hallways but that was it. He was so distracted during the pitching session that day, that he missed every single one of the funny presentations. His fellow managers would laugh and he would just smile.

 The following day, he was lucky enough to have dinner with a friend from college he had not seen in a while. She had always been one of his best friends back in college and now she worked out of the country in a job that paid very well. So they got together and talked and laughed and drank and ate. It was a very fun evening. When the dessert was brought to them, William remembered the man from his office and instantly asked his friend about him. He described him as well as he could and she was surprised by the degree of detail he was able to give her.

 His friend had no idea of whom he was talking about. Then, William looked for a picture on his cellphone and showed it to her. Crazy as it seemed, William had taken a picture of the file on the guy in order to remember his face the next time he saw him and now he got to show to his friend so he didn’t see how awkward it was.

 Then, she immediately recognized him. Trying not to laugh at her friend for having some random guy’s picture on his cellphone, she reminded him that that guy had been a good friend of the people they used to hang out with during college. He would even go to some parties with them although she didn’t even remember his name. He wasn’t a particularly social person but she knew she had seen him a number of times around there with them.

 William thought about that for a long time. He looked at the guy’s picture that night before going to bed and then spent a good half hour trying to sleep but really thinking about why he had no idea of who that person was. The next day at the office, he got the rumor that many people were being laid off because the company had decided to wipe out a whole section in order to make room for new people that were going to be in charge of social media and such.

 As he went to get coffee, he saw the guy from college with a single box, eyes very red, standing in front of the elevator. He had no idea why, but he walked towards him and asked what was wrong. The guy was obviously surprised to see William but he just answered the question: he had been fired. William offered to help him with the box and in the time from there to the first floor, he was able to remember who that guy was.

 They had kissed once in a party. William had been very drunk. He was sure to have vomited at least a couple of times that night. And somehow, in between all that, they had kissed. He gave the box to the guy and told him to call him if he needed any help. The guy seemed confused by that and honestly William was too. He didn’t know why he had said it but he thought it was the right thing to do.

martes, 19 de julio de 2016


   Gustav had been waking up early for year. Since he was a baby, he had a thing for waking up his parents very early in the y day and not been able to sleep until it was later in the day, so late that their whole morning routine was disturbed by his actions. They didn’t need a clockwork because his timing which was always perfect. Every single morning at nine o’clock he would start crying and would do it for about two hours until he stopped and resumed later that day, in the evenings.

 After that, in preschool, he was considered a very different little boy. He woke up before his mother and his father and was able to serve himself a glass of orange juice which he drank as he waited for them to wake up. The bus picked him up at seven and he woke up at six every single day, no exception. As he got older, he was able to dress himself and work the shower in order to have the water in the right temperature, the one he preferred.

 In his preteens, he was teased by all the other kids because of such things. As per usual, they didn’t like him because he was so different. He wasn’t a genius or anything like that. His parents thought he would demonstrate at an early age his remarkable brain and that they would have to homeschool him because of how special he was going to be. But the truth was much different: he was only different because his eyes started to bother him from an early stage and glasses were needed sooner than expected.

 Gustav knew he needed the glasses but he was sure to take them out whenever he was able. He liked to take them off in the bus back home or in class when he was sleepy. Most adults didn’t like when he did that but the truth was he had never grown accustomed to sing them. Sometimes, on weekends, he wouldn0t use them at all, instead playing around the house like a normal kid having no problem with his vision.

 As a teenager he was still harassed by his classmates, pushed around occasionally, especially after gym class. It was the favorite moment of the week for jocks who were eager to prove themselves more important than everyone else. Even then, he was the first to arrive to school and that granted him with a special knowledge of everyone’s ways to do things.

 He realized the people that annoyed him had a really bad problem with sleeping so what he did was just avoid them in places they would never go on and if that wasn’t working, he would always know which classrooms were available to tell them in order for him to be released and them to have a nice nap or even for kissing their girlfriend. Whatever it was, Gustav knew it was useful information.

 Even in college, living away from his parents, he woke up very early in the morning to read the notes he had taken the way before. It was his technique for remembering stuff. The other good thing was that he always had a great seat in the earlier classes of the day and sometimes they did put up the most interesting ones very early.

 Different from high school, Gustav became one of those people that everyone knew in college. At first, he didn’t really have any friends but every single person knew who he was. He soon made real friends and in no time he was going to parties and drinking and smoking and doing every single thing teenagers do if they want to defy the authority out up to control them. After all, Gustav was only special in so many ways and, sadly, not really in a significant one that can save anyone from anything.

 Even after weekend long parties, he found himself waking up drunk or with a huge hangover very early in the morning. No one ever did that so that made him very notable in his group of people. It wasn’t that they made fun of him but rather that that they seem to be really captivated by how strange he was. And he knew they were all looking at him so he decided to be more interesting and started changing his clothes and doing more interesting things with that extra time he seemed to have every single day.

 He started to smuggle drugs into the campus the second year he attended college. Some guy he had met at a party told him about the huge amount of money he could get just buy passing the product from one person to the other, he didn’t really had to sell anything, he just had to help the product get to the real buyer. He never really knew who that person was, but he was very excited about being involved in such a thing.

As he woke up so early, he could easily grab the packages from one site and put it in the next without anyone saying anything. The only people that were awake so early were the members of the cleaning crew and many of them were also involved in the network of drug handlers. He was proud of himself because he had proven himself to be useful in some way. He had never felt that, not in his career and not before at home or elsewhere.

The smuggling business lasted for two whole years until some idiot was busted with a large pack of ecstasy pills in a park, at night. Apparently, she had the stupid idea of trying to rob one pill from the package and when she opened it every single pill jumped out of the small bag and fell into the grass in the middle of campus. The police was notified fast by some older woman and the girl was arrested and possibly sent to prison fro drug trafficking. The thrills ended for everyone that day.

 He knew he was lucky that he never got caught but, even so, Gustav was kind of sad that part of his life was over. Soon, he would graduate and he would have to confront the real world on his own. The truth was he didn’t feel ready to take on anything by himself. He used his morning time to walk around, to get to the roof of his dorm and lay down looking art the sky and watching the last stars of the night disappear. He thought of his decisions and his possibilities in a world that asked everyone to be exceptional, special in some way but no one really was.

 When he received his diploma, he came back home for some time. It was nice to see his parents again and feeling they were as proud of him then as they had been years before, when he thought he was the most special little boy to live in the planet. They were really nice people, honest and full of good principles that they had tried to put into his son. But they had failed and that’s why he couldn’t be in their presence for long. It could get very exhausting.

 Soon, he got a job in the city so he moved to a small place and started making a life for himself. He was lucky enough to land a job that required him to be very early every day so he didn’t really mind. He was a cameraman in a morning show and that always happened very early. His coworkers were always very tired in the morning, having to drink two or even three cups of coffee to actually work. He didn’t need that.

 His superiors realized that and decided to assign him to a reporter that was in charge of all the “night stories”. He went all over the city in the darkest hours to report on what was happening like road accidents, cases of violence, curious occurrences and all types of things that happened really late or early in the day. Gustav felt he was in the perfect place, being able to do his work in the best way possible.

 After his first six months, his boss was so impressed with his work that he decided to assign him the job of reporter after the one they had decided to drop out because of the “difficult job schedule”. Gustav was very thankful because he had never thought of being in front of the camera instead of behind it. He got some classes on how to speak properly and he documented himself on the city. By the time he started, every person looking just fell in love with him.

 For that work, he received a lot of praise including several awards that made him kind of a famous personality in TV. He eventually got married and received many other proposals for similar jobs and he would consider them all because he had finally understood he did have something that made him special. It was just it wasn’t the most amazing thing ever.

martes, 3 de mayo de 2016

Teacher and student

   His breathing was paced, rhythmically following the movement of his body and his partner’s body too. John had always wanted this; he had had a crush for Dean since the first week of class. But it was only now, during the first break of spring that they had come into real contact with each other and everything had unfolded in a matter of days. Dean watched John in the dark and John felt Dean’s face, as they both exhaled and inhaled in almost the same way.

 They shared a kiss and continued, John having his hands on Dean’s chest, moving slowly. Dean grabbed John’s face with one of his hands and he realized he could cover almost the young man’s entire face with it. He didn’t try to do it because it would have been distracting, but he realized he had never been with a man he could do that too. John was, after all, one of his students in college. He had never really paid much attention to him until an incident occurred in recent days.

 John had been caught cheating on a test and Dean, who had gone through that before, told him he wouldn’t get the administrative offices know about the mishap if he repeated the test another day. John, of course, agreed. The day of the repeat test, Dean was prepared to wait for John to finish but summer had started and he noticed how nice John looked in shorts and in a tank top. He began a conversation with him right when the test happened and the next thing he knew, they were having some coffee not far from college.

 Suddenly, Dean moved a little and John made a grimace out of pain. Dean asked if that had hurt but John shook his head and launched himself at him, kissing Dean passionately as if they were about to be separated. Dean kissed the student but decided to change places. He wanted to be on top now. John understood at once and positioned himself like John wanted to. They continued like that, John grabbing Dean’s hands strongly and Dean kissing his neck as they had sex.

 It was not the first time for Dean, being with a student that is. He knew it was a mistake and that it was dangerous but, somehow, he had also being lured into it by that other guy. He had been a year older than John and had been a really bad student for almost all year and he practically offered himself to Dean in order to pass the class. It wasn’t ethical but he wasn’t able to resist.

 The first time they did it was right in his office, just five minutes away from any person with the power to expel the kid or send Dean to jail. But they did exactly that for several other times, until there wasn’t any need for it to continue. The kid moved on with better grades and Dean just stayed there.

 He had being in a relationship with other men his age too. But he could never really work it out with them. They always wanted so much more: someone with a better body, someone that felt younger, someone that could go with them to crazy adventures every once in a while. And although Dean played with risky things, he really didn’t like to go hiking or diving with sharks or anything like that. He was over forty but he hadn’t been through his mid-life crisis. He just wanted to share a moment with someone and just lived through that. He wasn’t interested in anything more.

 That’s why John was so perfect. He would come in his shorts and Converse shoes almost every weekend, to his house, and they would have sex for several hours. He had lost the ability to know if that was right or wrong. He always reminded himself of John’s age: 21. That wasn’t illegal and they couldn’t do anything with that argument. It’s not like he was a high school teacher. But, nevertheless, he knew he could have problems.

 John finished first but gave Dean some time to finish too. They kissed afterwards and rested for some minutes, before John put on his clothes and announced he had to leave because he had to go help his mother with some arrangement for a barbecue party they were going to have for the whole family. Dean thought that was very sweet but he didn’t say anything. He just gave John one last kiss at the door.

 As he showered, moments later, he realized that when John left, he had wanted to go after him or asked him to stay. It was the first time he felt that. He had never had that issue with the other boy. He had been such a business transaction, that even the sex was not even exciting or interesting. It had been just something to do, and that was it. No pleasure or interest in anything from any side.

 Dean massaged his skin with liquid body gel, John closed his eyes and decided to remember John’s body, centimeter by centimeter. He knew his legs perfectly, his buttocks, his back and his chest. He loved his lips and his hair, cut in the way many young kid cut their hair, shorter in the sides and longer in the middle. He liked that and had even thought about getting that in the barbershop but he realized he would look weird in class.

 After all, college began again in only a week and he had to go back to been, or at least pretending to be, a very old man. Every single student thought that just because he had some grey hairs and was over forty, he was automatically an old man. But he didn’t felt like one. Yet, no one wanted one of those teachers that looks older and behaves like a youngster. That’s simply wrong.

 He opened his eyes again; once he was done thinking about John and about every other sexual experience he had lived in recent years. They weren’t that many although he had tried several new things to bring some spice to his life. Dean had tried saunas and discos and sex clubs, all very fun but definitely not for him. In every single one of those places, he had felt he was an invisible person waiting for something impossible to happen. It was pathetic how, when younger men came in any of those places, every guy looked like a hungry tiger. It was pathetic.

 After opening the windows and pulling up the shades, Dean walked around his house naked, looking for his cellphone. The apartment was not very big, so he got really annoyed when something was missing. He finally saw it on the kitchen counter and remembered that the day had begun with him offering some dark chocolate to John. It had been something very cheesy to do, but he really thought the kid would enjoy it.

 Back in his bedroom, he checked his phone and thought about what was always in his mind: did John really liked him or was it just because he was his teacher or because he needed better grades or maybe even just because he was an older available guy? He always asked himself that and the answers that he came up with were always torture. It didn’t make any sense to be thinking about that. It was something that happened and that was it.

 Then, he heard a knock on the door. He put on some boxers to go an answer. As he went to open, he realized they had not been buzzed in. Behind the door were a man and a woman. The woman presented her badge: she was with the police. She told Dean he had to come with them to the police station. Dean tried to ask what it was all about but the woman insisted on him getting dressed and joining them fast.

 He did so and some minutes later he was been interrogated in a small room. Everything got to his brain in waved the size of a tsunami: apparently, John’s parents had hired a private detective to follow their son, as they realized he was never home. They were apparently a paranoid couple. The detective had taken several pictures of them going up to John’s apartment and they were even infrared pictures and audios.

 Dean reminded them that John was twenty-one. The two officers looked at each other and told him that wasn’t true. They had John’s birth certificate and it confirmed he was actually seventeen. He had finished high school with honors with a very young age and decided to enter college right away. After all, it was his first year.

 Dean realized John himself had lied to him. But why? What would he get from that? Was it because he was afraid? The police formally arrested John and, soon, he had no job to go back too. A horrible chapter of his life had just begun and all because of a seemingly innocent lie.