Manifest Young Scion Chapter 6

Arguments almost never end with one person admitting that the other is right. You do take the sting out by saying that they aren’t trying to convince each other that the other is wrong (although many fights start this way). Arguing effectively is just trying to get your point of view out there so the other person will know how you see things and why you react the way you do. You don’t argue what you do, you present why you do it.
I also think you are somewhat right about anger. I don’t believe that it makes the parting any easier, but it does turn the argument around. Anger is one of our responses to danger and when you argue with someone who is angry you get the sense that, if you keep arguing with them, you are playing with fire.
I also think that anger is simply the result of frustration in an argument. Depending on who’s arguing it may be because they can’t get their point of view across or because the other person isn’t taking their side into account or, and very commonly, the other person has just proved them wrong. This is why arguments are very rarely won. People are stubborn, and even with all the facts right there saying they are wrong, they will continue to go at it. Good ol’ belief perseverance.

The van’s windows were manual. The heat was automatic. The New England Autumn danced a line between chill and sun that the caravan surrendered to the uncomfortable temperature swings.
The Blogger used the moving van to force the musicians to view his hard drive of photoshopped logos.

“Most of these don’t even mention the name, or even refer to it,” said the Cook, stretching his neck to see the condition of Donald, who drove the band into the wilds. Donald took the hint and pulled the van over and tagged out. Donald wasn’t weary from driving, but he hadn’t slept much since Jess left.

“I told you: Eloquent Elephant-Fuckers isn’t radio friendly,” said the Blogger.

“A pink elephant in a white circle isn’t radio friendly either. Besides, the rest of us think the acronym EEF works for web radio shows. When can you get us some college air time?”

“When you drop the ‘Fuckers,’” said the Blogger.

The Cook slipped a pill from Donald’s pocket and hopped into the pilot’s chair. Donald took shotgun.

“I can’t promise I’ll be able to keep off the bandits with my bare hands,” said Donald.

“When my mom handed me the keys back during Junior year, I got a sawed off that fit in the door compartment, you know just in case,” said the Cook.

“Why did you dump it?” Donald said as he gently felt for the handle of the gun and finding only air.


“There isn’t a gun here,” said Donald and glanced back to see the blogger slinking down in his seat and pulling out his laptop.

The Cook nodded back towards the blogger, watching from the rear-view mirror, a scowl grew, “First you took the gun, now the “Fuckers”, what’s next you bastard?”

Donald gazed towards the unmoved dead hay that was the public parks of Allston. The best leaves fell around Thanksgiving, when parental beers were just around the bend. The dead woods of November held a charm for Donald. He wondered if his December birthday allowed the wet, decaying rot to bring such excitement. Donald envisioned the coming snow as they pulled in to their first stop. The Meatlocker, which was just a duplex that came with an awesome basement with a six-inch raised platform that served as a stage rented out from one of the Slumlord Inc. corps that owned the city.

His blood would be thinned tonight. The band had a cooler that provided the Nati Ice because you could only drink them if you got them. There was a joy in drinking from nostalgia. It was a hollow sadness that let it be fooled into believing it could be filled. It was dawn without closed eyes and churning stomach acid.

The Blogger assumed that arriving early would be of some benefit, but the locked doors proved the renters of The Meatlocker disagreed. Sitting in the driveway, Donald saw that it displayed a recent relayering of gravel. He wondered if the granite pebbles came from the quarry where his childhood neighbor worked.

It grew dark, and the crispness of the breeze seeped through Donald’s tattered jeans and reminded him of the days to come. The creeping chill warned of lost nights and shattered bottles. Donald lit a joint to ward off the spirits. The Meatlocker avoided outdoor lighting, as the parking lot was a driveway The patrons need to leave the house and The Meatlocker tolerated the illicit activities that went on in quiet cars.

Donald meandered to the Cook.

“Want to get stoned somewhere else?” asked Donald.

“Need to kill this time somehow,” said the Cook. “Heard from Jess?”

“Phone died a few days back; I haven’t been to the dorm room in a while.”

“Going to charge it?”

“No need.”

While family friends built shadowy CDOs, the Gunthersons kept the old ways. His great grandfather dined with Carnegie, his grandfather with Kennedy, and his father spent his free days among the Redwoods of Palo Alto. There would always be a placard for a Guntherson in the halls of America. Maybe beyond if Donald could get enough letters for Oxford.

It seemed both the Cook and Donald found their golden tickets. The Aristocrat and the Meritocrat, the word stood for Oligarch. Donald at least feigned responsibility stemming from his good social standing.

“Let’s go to the park down the street.”

Donald gave the Cook a joint as they walked up the hilled driveway.

They smoked in silence for a few deep inhales.

“What are you so hung up on Jess for?” asked the Cook.

“There’s more to me than material wealth,” said Donald

“That isn’t what I said, but, well, look. You could take any girl in the school, in the city, to a decent diner with a big tab and come winter here for the weekend by the fire — Fuck, I bet you have houses in Europe,” said the Cook.

“My grandparents do.”

“And they would let you borrow them or drop some cash for a hotel full of bed bugs from the European aristocracy.”

“Jess isn’t just a girl.”

“No, but she wasn’t enough to stop you from fucking Dagny.”

“I didn’t know or I don’t know. I just wasn’t sure about Jess. I thought no one wanted to date anymore.”

“Yea, next time you want to feed me shit,” said the Cook. “Just try telling me you’re middle class again. The Commander knew, but not me. Fuck.”

The Cook dashed off from the park over to Commonwealth. Donald looked at the park and questioned when was the last time he had a tetanus shot before heading to Commonwealth himself and headed to Kelton. There was a pizza sold by the slice in a corner of a brick storefront by the T stop. They served Greek pizza cheaper than any Italian slices in close walking distance which there wasn’t. They even gave you a soda with two for five. He ordered a second before he finished his first. He took his time getting to the show. The entrance crowded with beards and plastic framed glasses. Snake bites metallically afflicted a majority of the people standing and drinking about.

Donald stood friendless. The Cook walked out hours before and Donald hadn’t the drugs to fix the wound yet. She wore glasses that might have been real. The eyes behind them pierced the room with pale sapphire irises. Donald parked near her.

“Mind if I smoke?”

She shrugged.

“I’m Donald by the way, and take whatever you think is fair from the pack”, Donald offered the opened box.

“I’m Lindsay,” she took 5 from the pack, “Two for the road and one for now and two for the luck.” She put them in her wallet in a small black leather bag.

“You go to school here?”

“Yea just transferred a month ago. My dad got moved here for the solar panel operation the government wants to set up.”

“Where are you from then?”

“Probably California. Both my parents wanted to get some more letters to their names, my parents keep adding doctorates and Mass is like the headquarters for degrees,” said Lindsay. Donald lit her cigarette. “Do you go to college?”

“I’m at Brahmin University, but took a mental health break to see my friend’s band.”

“No fucking way, I really love Eloquent Elephant Fuckers. I’m actually going to buy the cd.”

“I don’t think Pirate Bay has it yet,” said Donald.

“Oh I don’t torrent. See, when your parents leave for most of the year, they invest in your hobbies and mine is sound recording. I usually just rerecord the track from MySpace or Youtube or Vimeo if I’m lucky,” said Lindsay.


“Sure, but I mean you’re at Brahmin and that’s one of my top schools. What’s your jam?”

“Creative writing and Media Epistemology,” said Donald.

“My dad worships McLuhan and I think Eco is pretty awesome. Why’d you double major?”

“Everyone does. The liberal arts requirements only take a third of the total, as do each major requirement. Some can people opt for 4 minors instead if they play their cards right.”

“Can we get stoned and discuss this later? We need to get back quick. I’m going to do a deadhead or like Guns and Roses style tape tonight. Could you pass them out in Boston for me, but don’t really mention it. Just like in the real estate ad boxes, I don’t want my name attached,” said Lindsay, “How old are you?”


“Shit, I thought you were older. You can have your smokes back. It’s probably a pain to get more.”

“I have a fake.”

He passed it over.

“You don’t look 21.”

“I can grow a beard and it scans and that works here,” said Donald. “Want to smoke weed?”

“I got a gram” said Lindsay as she pulled out a dime bag the kind with poorly inked smiling faces.

Donald pulled out his stuffed grinder and a small spoon.

“Did you use that fake to buy that?” she said.

“No, had this friend of mine go into the headshop.”

“Getting high with Dougie Howser, Artiste,” said Lindsay, smoke curling to the ceiling.

Donald puffed.

“I’m 18 next week.”

“Still need a beard to get into a bar. Especially with that I.D.”

“I guess. I don’t get the appeal of bars. You could buy a six pack instead of each glass.”

“The social aspect. The bar is a cheap and reasonable place to meet people.”

“Facebook is going to kill the dive.”

“You can’t get laid on Facebook,” Lindsay said as she scooped the bowl from Donald.

They missed the sound check, but Donald had become captivated by Lindsay’s hand packing, she refused to take his weed, probably guilt from the cigarettes. Hand packing a bowl stood for a craft in Donald’s opinion. One could simply break apart a few buds, but the crystals would fall to the surfaces of the room rather than super-heated particles in the lungs. Many a heady eighth had fallen to drunken fools. Donald had assumed from her dimebag, her technique would be that of the weekend warrior.

“Good technique.”

“Did you make your dress yourself?”

“Yea, how did you know?” said Lindsay.

“You don’t strike me as the person who puffs all day, but the way you pack the bowl shows skilled fingers. I might need to commission a wardrobe from you in the near future. Think of it as a good portfolio piece to add with the sound recording.”

“We should probably head in; the band might be coming on.”

“No rush, they won’t play til 11,” said Donald.


“They got to play til they get kicked off stage and they only have an album.”

“Folk singers got it easy,” said Lindsay


“They got a terabytes of history to play their cover of and it’s an homage. Can’t do that in rock.”

“Fair enough,” said Donald.

He lit two cigarettes for the walk back and passed one over to Lindsay. Donald felt the space open as his arm returned to his bubble. Some men just want to fill their existence and Donald joined their ranks in the chill evening.

The Eloquent Elephants were perhaps eloquent in their lyrical compositions, but the reverb blaring through the aging PA system made the claim hard to verify.
Donald swayed willow-like, unsure of the proper concert dance for low-fi. His body always went to Hell and the shadows of the rear called to Donald.

Donald wanted a McDouble, something to reaffirm his self-loathing. Instead, he exited his body and let the Cook have his parade. Sourness corrupted and tonight stood to exit otherwise.

Donald’s ears ceased functioning and he took his cues from the stage. Donald reacted to the Cook’s mouth and from the turns of the Cook’s hips.

After the show, Donald went to the van outside.

“You guys need more hands?” said Donald. Lindsay crept in the backdrop, awaiting a sign to proceed.

The Blogger sat on a stockpile of fast food; Donald eyed the goal and lit a smoke. He tossed the pack to the Blogger, who took two and passed it back. Donald called Lindsay over.

The crew smoked and judged and fretted. Donald lifted the amps and cords and once expensive equipment into the van.

The Cook and his bandmates entered from the back of the venue.

“Looks like you guys could use some Emergen-C.” said Donald, noting the sniffles going around the new arrivals.

The Cook grasped Donald’s shoulder.

“How’d you like the show?”

“You proved your acceptance to Brahimin’s music program.”

“Glad you thought so,” said the Cook. Lindsay shuffled towards the boys.

“You should meet Lindsay here,” said Donald sweeping his arm towards his former table companion.

“Pleasure. Most people call me the Cook these days.”

They all wiggled into the van giving space and reverence to the equipment while bruising against the frame.

“One can blame the Puritans for everything in these parts,” said the Cook as they watched the bright lights break the darkness for no reason other to send miners down to die. The blogger drove them back to the house.

“The first order of business on homecoming should be to rechristen shotgun with the shotgun,” said the Cook.

“Anyone still hungry, BK has a drive thru,” said the Blogger.

“We need the shotgun for that idiot,” said the Cook. “You’re a moron.”

“Alright, fuck you man. Truly fuck off.”

The Blogger drove past getting it his way straight to his rental where the Cook pissed in the sinks. The van scraped the vinyl sliding not damaging the toxic plastic nor the aluminum mirror but Donald noticed it on his walk to the front porch, about four or five plastic chairs long with a plastic glass table with some cheap metal frame. Sturdy enough to last the winter, Donald chilled a bottle of Vodka in the snow last winter, he forgot to grab it before he passed out. Kurt’s plastic handle of Mr. Boston survived, He remarked about resilience of poverty then apologized. He and Lindsey smoked a cigarette on the porch as the Drummer and Bassist unloaded the gear. The Blogger posted some photos and the Cook lit up a smoke as soon as he crossed the threshold.

“Do you have anything to drink?” said Lindsey.

Donald glanced at a half full gatorade vodka on the table. The temperature wasn’t quite low enough to be called FDA refrigeration.

“I think it might be a time to go buy some.”

“The liquor store down the street looked pretty big.”

“To fit all the fakes they catch, there are plenty of places around though.”

A pair of two skaters rolled down the sidewalk, picking up their boards.

“As I was saying I shoot black and white film because I haven’t mastered it yet.”

“Why can’t you shoot on digital?”

“I tried. Look at my blog. The digital photography. The color is too strong or too soft and bold even when faded. It’s vulgar compared to any shot of Wes Anderson.”

“What if all the celluloid was destroyed? What if only the black and white stock?”

“In either scenario, I would have to quit. My mother didn’t raise me to be vulgar.”

“You’re a skater.”

“That doesn’t make me a punk.”

One looked up at Donald.

“Could we bum a couple of smokes?”


They came up the steps.


“Yea you saved us.”

“Need a light?”

“Nah, I got one.”

“Seeya man, thanks again.”

They hopped back on their boards. The Cook shouted upstairs.

“Want to come with?” said Donald as he left the porch.

“Probably, I need mixer too.”

“I saw a Superette at the Corner.”

“I don’t got the money for that kinda markup.”

“I got you,” said Donald.

Lindsey lead the way forward, Donald questioned if this was her first time on the Pratt/ Wadsworth corridor. He hoped one of them knew the way.

“Why do you like the elephant fuckers?” said Donald.

“That’s your question?” said Lindsey.

“How old are you?” said Donald.

“I think older than you.”

“You still live with your parents?”

“I’m still in high school.”


“So you can’t buy beer,” said Donald later.


“So then yea my question is why do you like those fuckers.”

“I’m not their friend.”

“Fair enough.”

They reached a shop without a sign and few lights. It had a rack of chips and a bulletproof barrier.

“Kid, you’re not 21 and I ain’t looking at your paper that says otherwise,” said the Cashier.

“Any trusty worthy guys out by McDonald’s I can bribe?”

“Definitely not the silence guy who offers you an one hitter. The cops pay him in value meals. He deserves an apartment for all the kids he snitches on. Look, the party you’re at will have something with a little higher price tag than mine, but you keep your ID.”

“It’s an afterparty for a band and I’m their assistant.”

“Can I buy their album?”

“Not yet. Maybe on iTunes.”

“Then they don’t have the money to cover their liability. It isn’t like finding forty dollars after you break a few bottles.”

“What about eighty?”

“What a day.”

“Well, I respect your business and I apologize.”

Donald left the store and waited for a few minutes before peering out in the small alley by the dumpster. There was a duffle bag out back. Donald took it and left a Franklin. The earlier Adderall binge had left Donald. He found Lindsey in the dark shadows of the block over.

“Man, I need some Adderall.”

“I get the same way, where’s your script?”

Donald looked at her.
“I left it back in my room. I can’t believe I forgot it.”

She popped a pill in his mouth.

“I get twenty mil extended release.”

“Thank you.”

They stopped by the Superette, the one with the cat hair limes.

“Can I give you forty to get stuff and maybe another twenty for two packs of American Spirits and a Dutch Masters?”

“Yea no problem. Worried he will take the booze?”

“Nah, I’m allergic to cats.”

“How will you ever get a girlfriend.”

“We all suffer.”

“I’ll be right back.”

She returned with plastic bags inside some gatorade, two two liters of Coke ,and the American Spirits.

“We might need to come back.”

“Then one of them can go, ain’t like they paid for it.”

“Fair enough.”

The yelling had quieted into joyous shouts when they reached the porch before going up the stairs to the apartment.

In the living room, the band and the Blogger sat about saying that the moshing at the Meatlocker paled to some other cement shithole, they played.

“Where the fuck did you guys go?” said the Cook.

“Got some booze and mixer.”

“Fuck mixer.”

“Fuck you, man. Where did you guys get drinks from?”

“I keep the closets full upstairs,” said the blogger.


Lindsey sat next to the Cook and Donald found an open spot by the Blogger across the coffee table. He poured them both gatorhols into two solo cups from the bag on the coffee table.

“We should put some music on or something.”

Donald noticed the five tvs stacked on the far wall were all tuned to the same experimental video. If Donald and Lindsey counted as guests, it would be considered tacky or pretentious, but they weren’t guests, just Allston groupies, not the Almost Famous kind. The Cook stomped a bit and the drummer took out his iPod jacking it into the plastic stereo that once costed more than at least four of the television sets. The speakers dinged and their quality stable not blown but not exactly anything but loud. LCD Soundsystem filled the room as was current fashion, MGMT would have been sufficient as well.

They continued to sit and drink. The music prevented most conversation. The Blogger posted from the couch on his laptop.

“This blows,” said the Cook. “I need some weed.”

“Let me go grab a blunt,” said Donald, who found his backpack in the closet, he still had a few rolled from his adderall boost. He came back with three of them. They were tight and dense. He owed the Commander a fair amount for the weed probably, but he could wait.

“Shit dude, where were you hiding these.”

“So you can steal them.”

“Fuck you man.”

Donald lit the first one and passed it to Lindsey across from him. She puffed once before passing to The Cook, who puffed three times.

“Pass it man,” said the Bassist next to him.

“Ahhh you’ll get a puff,” said the Cook taking another one.

“Come on, man.”

“Alright, alright.”

He shared the blunt.

The night did not improve before Lindsey asked for cab fare while it was just him and her on the front porch. He walked her to Cambridge Street and they waited ten minutes for one to pass. As he returned to the apartment, he wondered if the Cook locked him out. The blogger went to bed about five cigarettes before and the others peeled away soon after. The door opened with the jiggling of the knob. He crashed on one of the sofas.

He dreamt.


He didn’t care for the color of the throw rug in the hall, it was a woven thickly layered linen. Pretorn for premium cost by the artisan in the flea market in front of them like a shedding rug is what people want to bring home. He didn’t, but someone else made that choice. The sun warmed the back of his neck as it sprayed through the glass, the window would be cold to the touch according to the leaves in the maple out front.

He was with Brittney Cooper clutched Donald on the couch and they discussed a house on the Cape in June before the horse flies grew too terrible and the bay filled with seaweed.


A light blinded Donald and he turned to see it was not an Arri, but the sun. He had fallen asleep, Donald guessed around the time Brittney Cooper and him cuddled.

He got up, unlocked the kitchen door and lit a cigarette on the porch. He checked his phone, which ran low on battery, no messages.

He stubbed out the butt. Inside, he plugged in his phone and grabbed one of his remaining blunts before looking for coffee. There was a Kirkland tub and a cheap plastic and glass coffee maker. He brewed a pot, smoking while waiting. He ate the leftover pizza from two nights ago that remained in the fridge. There band had another show in some basement. He believed in the Wadsworth Pratt Corridor, which would be the passage, he was on. The sun too high in the sky for the set to be anytime soon. He had no clothes and no bags, just some drugs in his jacket, which he figured would be safer on his person than within a house of the Cook’s. He wanted to shower, but instead stole a good long spray of Axe. Once he left for the day, he couldn’t get back. He closed all the windows. He secured the locks and went into the light. He thought of buying new clothes, but he would also need a bag for his old ones. He spent most of his dough and needed at least three or four more meals until going back to campus. If he ate them all at McDonalds or BK and maybe Wendy’s then he had about thirty four dollars left to get clothes and stuff. He would probably need more booze if he gets locked out. His shirt wasn’t stained, so he decided against going into the Buffalo Exchange instead regretting leaving the Blogger’s place when he saw the Blogger getting off the B Line. He waved and walked towards Donald.

“Hey man, how’s it going?” said the Blogger.

“Pretty good man, how bout yourself?”

“Not bad, just finished with class. What you up to?”

“Just killing time until tonight, I guess. What are you up to?”

The Blogger handed him a post office we missed you note. The Landlord sent some certified mail.

“Oh shit, what happened?” said Donald.

“We get one every month these days. Cook can’t make rent and won’t let us cover him. Calls the Landlord to make sure, we haven’t paid the rent.”


“The Cook doesn’t like that the slumlord only wants a single check a month.”

“Jeez, mind if I tag along?”

“Can we smoke after?” said the Blogger.

“Hell yea.”

“Alright, the P.O. is down this way.”

Part of what makes Allston between Packard’s Corner and Harvard Ave. so college student ready is that most of life’s necessities are within a quarter of a mile from your apartment. Rent and food paid for by others or borrowed from tomorrow’s paycheck created a world without failure, but children write their own order.

The Post Office itself was cost effective to the point of disservice, but affordable post is a priority. The building concrete and glass. The line at this time wasn’t out the door, but there were more citizens than postal workers. The radio played soft rock, the kind that people used to buy through Columbia House Records.

“How’s your classes going?” said Donald.

“Good, I can’t complain I usually slept on campus when I have morning classes.”

“Are you a freshmen?”

“Yea, but I took a year off after high school. So I could take some time to just focus on what I really was going to do after my academics.”

“That’s smart, I wish I did that. What’s your major?”

“Marketing and audio production focusing on studio recording.”

They moved to the front of the line by this point.

“Shit, I need to sign this. Do you have a pen?”

“Uum let me check. Do you have one in your pocket?”

“I use my laptop for notes.”

Donald dug through his pockets.

“I got one.”

Santanna came on, some track from Abraxas. The old postmaster behind the counter called for next.

“Hi, I got this in the mail,” said the Blogger handing over his certified mail certificate.

“ID,” said the Postmaster scanning the barcode on the faded pink card. “Pratt?”

“Yes,” said the Blogger handing over his license.

The Postmaster glanced at it before sauntering off to Santanna.

The saunter evolved into a steady shimmy as he poked through all the baskets keeping with the beat. Swinging his arms with his body. Donald thought he saw him pick up the letter, but the song still hadn’t soloed yet, so he figured the dance would continue which it did.

The postmaster swayed back to the desk and the Blogger signed a slip.

He opened it on the street.

“Yup, a notice to move to evict.”

“Shit, when are you going to pay it.”

“The Cook is probably back right now. Checking his guitar strings and maybe switching with a set on one of mine in the studio.”

“Is he even on the lease?”

“No, but he is officially subletting, said if he was going to sleep there he wasn’t going to threaten to void the lease. Did the other band members ask too?”

“They had to after the Cook called the landlord. I give them back their money though.”

“That’s kind.”

“Well it’s just fair to them for having to deal.”

They crossed the street and made their way on the side street to connect to Linden to make the slight left onto Pratt.

The Cook was drinking a Bud and smoking a cig on the front porch.

“Where’s the rent, man?” said the Blogger.

“I’ll get it,” said the Cook.

“They sent us another eviction letter, you’re killing me.”

“Those court proceedings take like six months, fucker. I’ll get the money.”

“Jesus Christ,” said the Blogger pushing past the Cook on his way upstairs. Donald followed.

“Just pay it and fuck him. Charge him interest,” said Donald. “Let’s just get high after.”

“You know it, fuck him. Want to stay or come with me? The Landlord’s office is near the Post Office.”

“I don’t need to be around him at the moment.”

They left through the door to the back porch in the kitchen.

“Fuckers.” said the Cook as they past.

“Whatever man,” said The Blogger.

The Landlord’s office looked like a small getup, but the CEO ran like some five hundred units. Students felt more at ease here than a bank or maybe he didn’t give a ratfuck. The parents cosigned so he never worried.

“Blogger, how are you, my friend?”

“Good, can I just sit you out for the rest of the term?”

“You leaving.”

“Nah, just tried of this play. You can block the Cook’s number for all I care.”

“He kick you out of the band.”

“I got this place for me and I care about my credit.”

The Blogger wrote out a check on the desk.

“I think this covers it.”

“It does. Thank you my friend. Anything else I can do for you”

“Thank you for your patience. I hope you have a good day.”

“You too. Does your friend need a place?”

“I’m good for the moment, but thanks,” said Donald.

He turned and left out the door, there wasn’t even a stairway. Back on Pratt, the Cook left for the moment. Donald lit a blunt.

“Where’s the show tonight?”

“Uum twenty two Wadworth. I forgot what they call it these days. Awesome space. Big basement and stage. Bigger than the Meatlocker.”

“Awesome, when is it?”

“Like six hours, gotta start prepping actually. The bassist and the drummer should be here any minute.”

He didn’t move until they finished the blunt and the first movement didn’t come until at least some tracks later as one of them had put on their iPod, but he didn’t own one so it must have been the Blogger.

He closed his eyes.


Brittany Cooper and he drove to New York; they wanted drinks in the Village or in Bushwick. Just anywhere an endless tank of gas could get them. A trunk full of books to decorate a new apartment. He noticed the ring and ring tanline missing from his finger. The softness of his hands alerted him to his own youth, his hands still new soul lines. They would branch as he aged a shifting legacy to live.


He woke in an empty house. The sun burned the cold red of winter, the telegram of the shifting seasons. He went down to the front porch after checking his pockets for his wallet, smokes, and a lighter.

He watched the few people drift by. No polite party began before ten, but in thirty minutes, the pregame crowd would be drifting in.

“Hey,” said Lindsay walking down Pratt.

“Want to hear the set again or bop about this place?” said Donald.

“I think I’m going to go meet up with the band, but give me your number so we can get fucked later,” said Lindsay handing Donald her Razr. Donald attempted to ditch the Razr after the fourth shattered from being left in the car in winter, but found it was the only free replacement he could choose. His current cell was that of the blue collared man and the blackout alcoholic designed to resist all damage and wear. With the contact saved, Lindsay fluttered towards the heart of the corridor.

He went upstairs.

Donald snorted his alertness into existence and jaunted towards the lights. His mind wandered to the BU library on Commonwealth, which now stood before him. Brahmin University had twenty four hour libraries as well, but the desperately gifted used them all hours of the year. They gabbed and collaborated throughout the stacks. He found a beat up copy of some 70’s translation of Greek Mythology released by Penguin Classics.

Donald fingered his pocket and felt lumps and a soft lump: drugs ,but held off using. He wanted to come up with the others, the band he would be seeing later. Donald believed that starting together was important to create a positive sphere around the adventure. Each wave thumping together, tunefully, blissfully, all aware at once.

He was too wired to find serious words in the bindings of the book. Donald put down myths awhile back, but felt it was the right moment for a refresher. Donald flipped through for any pictures, but this was supposedly high literature and had none to be found aside from the cover. Donald placed it down and went for a cigarette, and that turned into a joint.


Donald turned to see a flashlight. Donald never ran track, he had reading to do. Donald’s parents did imprint daily runs into his psyche. Donald ran as a wolf, steady and enduring. Youtube streamed a collection of parkour and freerunning videos in high school, one can find most of them in Donald’s search history. The other fact on Donald’s mind was campus police don’t carry guns. Donald lurched forward. The Guard faster tripped him.

The grass covered in fresh dew met Donald’s forehead as he crumbled over a cement barrier. Donald mule kicked and scrambled to stand.

“Excuse me, I’m a citizen,” Donald said as he shook the earth from his shirt.

“You ran when I called,” said the Campus Cop, costumed in his Nazi Youth Outfit with a real taser.

“I was out jogging and took a smoke break.” Donald began walking towards his car in the distance.

A hand on the shoulder. A foot to the knee. Donald genuflected. A palm to the face.

“Hand over the contraband.”

“You’re not a cop. Do you even have a degree?”

“I don’t got to take shit from a kid. You look like a trustfund baby, and they come here to get laid or to get high and I don’t see any bitches around.”

“Then get a real cop to cuff me, G.K. Chesterton.”

Most knees go for the face; the knees of this man went for the solar plexus. Donald threw the baggie.

The Campus Cop took a sniff of it, packed it, and returned to his Gator.

Donald fell to his back and let his eyes wander the stars while his body convulsed itself out. He still had a cigarette pack worth of joints and when his lungs recovered, he took his medicine.

He had a week until he had the cash flow and the Cook could eat dirt for what Donald cared.

Donald and the Commander always paid when they went out on weekends. Besides, there were enough nerds with funds on this campus to squeeze at least a handful of pills with the twenties in his wallet.

“Hey, homeless was last season,” said Jess.

Jess. Donald noted to get a MRI in the near future.

The stars turned into Jess and Donald accepted his new crippled mind. He wondered if the visions would turn into sugarplums at Christmas.

“Hey,” said Donald.

“Still pissed, just so you know,” said Jess as she placed her arms around Donald and laid next to him. “Remember when you first took me to the sand pits after you took me to that terrible movie, I swore you were an idiot. Than you babbled as is your tendency and I just wanted to be quiet and I kissed you.”


“It was a good kiss.”

Donald responded with a grin.

“Busy evening?” asked Jess.

“Always. Lost the drugs though, but probably didn’t need them anyway.”

“I saw, pious to the end. How are things on the homefront?”

“The Commander and me are on the outs.”

“Couldn’t do it?”

“I think I overdid it,” said Donald.

Donald shifted the spooning upright to avoid ash in the eye as he lit another joint then passed it to Jess.

“You need to accept the passage of time as the occasional requirement,” said Jess after a moment.

“I was trying. You said you dropped out of BU. Thought this would be safe territory.”

“Where did I say I was going?”

“I’d have to see if you texted it to me these days.”

Donald debriefed the week or two in passing. The real key to Donald’s narrative for him was the idea to begin a physical journal to record the days. A reference for later moments. Donald skipped the part where he missed class, but kept in Lindsay for full disclosure purposes in anticipation of the eventual blowback. Donald could only omit a narrow range of detail before he cracked, and partially dropping out in response to the breakup demanded more concealment than any modesty over his new companions and their plans. The story still left them with a bit of a walk to the car.

“I spent most of my time hoping about what I now know to be a pointless endeavor without crossing state lines,” said Jess slowing down.

She took the pack from Donald’s pocket and waited for the light. Donald flicked.

“Not my intention,” said Donald.

“Whatever, you know how we feel, and you can stop being a hatemonger on a dime, but you knew I could be here and needed space and you still fucking came.”

“I came to support the Cook and to give the Blond Commander space.”

“Could have given me a heads up. What are you up to now?”

“Going to see the Cook’s band.”

“Didn’t you see them yesterday?”

“I think I still got some stuff stashed at the Blogger’s. Anyway, I think I can get free beer there.”

She shrugged.

“Well, I should go give you back your space.”

“Alright, don’t get too drunk if you have a concussion or something.”
She walked off and he went to the Shaw’s to take the street behind it to Wadsworth.

He didn’t move quickly and sat on a cement barrier in the parking lot.

Lindsey texted him that the line outside was getting crowded.

The line was more of an extended line of conversation and Donald greeted various classmates and other new faces of a shared smoke break or in the dining hall.

He saw Lindsey smoking a cigarette.

“The penniless Dauphin has come a courting,” said Donald pantomiming a full bow and proceeding to panhandle with his cap.

Lindsay smiled and passed the cigarette.

Donald took a drag and mentally composed his message to Kurt.

Anger during a parting makes it easier to let another person go, especially if you love them. You don’t miss people; you’re mad because they seem like a threat. Once the anger wears off though, the feelings of sorrow will come into play with a hint of guilt. Example: If two people get into a fight and then leave each other’s lives. I don’t think I will touch death quite yet, the other will feel guilty that their last time together was a fight. Anger can lead to reunions. An apology can be a way to reach out years later. People respect people who can invoke strong emotions. That’s why people love politicians during the campaign. They make you feel pride. You always respect the people you love because love is the strongest emotion. Anger can be very passionate and thus, after a huge fight, the two warriors respect each other for pushing them into a rage. Some people will always hold grudges, but if the anger is caused by the parting then it will lead to a reunion most likely.
As to why anger comes out: when a person is put into a corner, anger is the reaction. One will want to flee or stand their ground when proven wrong; they get angry because anger might get them out of the situation. It often does; people will back off and end a conversation. Unless both people get angry then a vicious brawl begins, which continues until exhaustion sets in. Even after that resentment between the two will exist.

Manifest Young Scion Chapter 5

I agree with you there. I can’t dispute that, so here is a new topic.
People will do what they think is best, and not necessarily what they think is right, all the time. Two people who fight are only doing so because what either believes is best is different, or they are going about achieving what they think is best in different ways. For instance, when a police officer beats up a peaceful protester and sends him to jail, they both believe that they are trying to accomplish peace. The protester through his protests, and the officer for jailing the protester for disturbing the peace with said protests. -Kurt

Donald showered alone and tried to remember who was in his bed at that moment. Unsure, of who he wanted it to be, Donald pleased himself. His fantasies often blended his own form with that of Jess or Dagny. He focused on the entirety of penetration, an aspect his mind lost track of during the act. Alone, the thoughts of being pleased by him invigorated his cock.

The water turned cold and Donald knew he would have to try to finish later.

Donald pulled back the shower curtain to see Jess sitting on the toilet, pissing. Donald grew wary of a surprise morning visit from Dagny. She lived by the Commander, but Brahmin keycards worked on all buildings. Donald knew she came to Beacon for 8am Philosophy on TR, but he didn’t know if today was a TR or a MWF.

“Need help?” Jess said, swatting the toilet paper, “saw the water turned on you.”

“It’d be nice,” said Donald.

There was sucking cock and blowjobs and this fell deeply into the blowjob category.

“I think I’m good,” Donald said as he backed away and began to dress, “I need to get some food and run before class anyway. Hungry?”

“It’s too early for anything but bacon,” Jess said.

“That’s why they made it a buffet”

They left Donald’s room the usual way: a little drunk and a little stoned. After all, Donald only did two things without fail: confess, toke, and drink. Donald never cared much for numbers, but he’d catch a stray bullet for the oxford comma until the day he caught that bullet.

Jess leaned into Donald as they waited for the elevator. Donald clung to her body as he would a log on a river.

“What if I didn’t go for a run after we ate?” said Donald.

“You’d get fat?” said Jess.

“I don’t have class til later and it’s still warm out for coffee by the Charles”.

“I have a few skips left, but I still want bacon,” said Jess.

“It is the most important meat of the day,” said Donald, “let’s skip the buffet and have a picnic.”

In the Cook’s fridge, Donald stored a wheel of Gouda in case of emergency bacon picnics because man cannot live on bacon alone, or so the Lord would have said, had the Lord had access to the modern dining hall. He kept a manageable supply of blunts in the crew’s shed because he was a boy scout at one point until his parents found out. The paramilitary was no place for a young, affluent, globally minded intellectual that was to be young Donald. Donald had been confused by this back then. He just wanted to learn which leaves were tasty.

He shoved the supplies into an old newspaper bag from his father’s childhood. October is a fickle month in Boston, just like its spring time sister, March. The winds of winter howl through the dead leaves one day and the next the town fills with sundresses and happy boys. Donald judged from the amount of exposed skin on Jess that today fit in with the later.

Her chill fingers curled in his always burning paws. Donald wondered why women’s hands existed within refrigerated space. Donald concluded that it was the need to engorge the penis that made men’s blood circulate to extremities better, but he then concluded he didn’t go to real college. Like science, some things destined to haunt his thoughts until the final sleep.

On the land bridge from Beacon to the Esplanade by the corner of the garden, bikers obligated by an ignored law to walk their bicycles across and not mutter obscenities as they attempt to splatter tourist families.

The type of people who visit New England for the leaves are the same type of people who walk the Freedom Trail without a single tear in their hearts. They are devoid of the true love of the sacrifices made for the nation and the men who built the ideals that these tourists now claim to represent.

“Suck on my smoke,” Jess said as she lit up the first blunt.

The horizontal tree still stood and the knotted trunk provided ample cover from the voyeuristic travelers.

“So are you fucking the Blond Commander?” Jess exhaled enflamed with her smoke filled exhaust.

“No. Why would you think that?” said Donald.

“It’s just that you follow him like you follow me and I’m pretty sure that’s cause I took your maidenhood.”

“I don’t think that I could commit that mortal sin.”

“We do it all the time, you’re full of shit,” said Jess.

“Not Sodomy,” said Donald.

“Call it anal like a mature sexually active adult,” said Jess

“Fine, we’ve never done anal,” said Donald.

“Sure, but our list is still long.”

“That will change once we get married and sanctify our bedroom. I can only confess so many times before the priest will question my sincerity for redemption,” said Donald.

“I’m not getting married,” said Jess.

“Not now.”

“No, Donald, never. I refuse to submit to your archaic notions of the institution. I may have a husband one day, but I will never be married as you believe it. Also, don’t say that shit around the Blond Commander, he is in fact one of your feared sinners,” said Jess.

“How could you know that from seeing him a handful of times,” said Donald.

“He told me when you and Dagny went down to the bathroom together on the roof the other day. before we tripped. The fact that he’s gay doesn’t matter. The issue is for such an obviously intelligent man that you are bound within such small perimeters. Galileo, at least, discovered the stars. When was the last time you moved?” said Jess.

“The Catholic church is the closest thread to the true Lord,” said Donald.

“They told you that the bread became his flesh too. I went to CCD and remember all the glory of the Transubstantiation. Accepting such matters and their sincerity, I have more important points of discussion. You eat cheeseburgers like I breathe, we went for lobster three nights ago, your cheap ass would never budge for 100% cotton, you jerk off like a poorly written film, and the one rule you chose to follow involves a topic that in no manner should be taken as public,” said Jess.

Donald stared in silence.

“I have a few skips left because I took a leave of absence while I could still get a refund. I’ve been fucking you for the past three nights because my room has a new occupant already. I’m going to North Hampton to do something. I’d invite you, but who knows how many lesbians could convert you there,” said Jess.

Jess took the smoldering blunt from Donald’s lips and strolled towards the Longfellow Bridge.

Donald gnawed on the cold bacon. Donald pulled out his grinder and packed a bowl in his road pipe. The hit tasted funny. Salvia. Jess would do him like that. Shot down by his darling, Donald settled in for the shock.

A Man wearing a marine’s jacket sat down and served himself a helping of bacon and Gouda.

“I’m you if you weren’t such a chump,” said the Vet.


“Misogyny never was our style and time; you got the vocab to match.”

“I’m a marine?” said Donald.

“You served your duty and left your thoughts behind while you achieved your nation’s orders,” said the Vet.

“But the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are both needless. The Taliban offered to surrender Bin Laden on October 13th if America agreed to a neutral court for a just trial. Any jury would hang the sod,” said Donald.

“Besides the point, you wanted a purpose and to be a man of principle. If you as a voter couldn’t see the solution than maybe you needed a change of perspective. I’m not telling you to run off in a few months, just that I am a You. A Donald. One who chose his Country over his Lord,” said the Vet.

“Was it a better choice?”

“The Lord can’t be all that wise if he lets those buffoons act as his spokespersons.”

“There have been many speakers that carry Jesus’, The Father’s, and the Spirit’s true message,” said Donald.

“Most without ever uttering a reference or a link back to your desired source. Morality simply isn’t only the domain of the Holy. I would argue any book without the St. in front of the author’s name that gives deference to his Holiness and God did so in an environment of coercion,” said the Vet.

“I don’t need to hide behind the words of others to defend my faith and the Lord. The bounty that is modern life should stand as example enough to the power of the Lord. He created the base and we cherished that act by serving as grateful children do,” said Donald.

“A thought pattern instilled to enact societal control on both a macro and micro conception. Raised from birth to better others. The major difference between the modern minimum wage 9 to 5 and the second shift from our serf ancestors is at least they died young and were happier. I’m not trying to break your faith or PSA your ass with some comment about how you don’t need anything to be yourself. I’m just trying to tell you that she has indeed stormed off and maybe it was time you get honest with your friends. Who are you and who are they?” The Vet finished the bacon and went on his way. Donald was already weary of the day and the clock had only struck 8 AM.

Donald lit a second blunt and prepared to become a new branch on the tree. The ash grew long.

“Hey Syd,” said the Blond Commander.

Donald slashed the blunt in his fist and swung the burning grass towards the Blond Commander.

“I didn’t mean it as an insult, but you kinda looked like Syd Barrett with the long ash,” the Commander puffed on the blunt and the two met on an even playing field after about an hour.

“I feel like a sophomore,” said Donald.

“That’s a few credits off,” said the Blond Commander.

“No, as in the Greek ‘wise fool’.”

“Don’t be stupid. It doesn’t mean that to anyone these days besides high school principles.”

“Please don’t make me sing The Verve,” said Donald.

“You made a girl kill herself?” said the Blond Commander.

“I think I am the girl.”

“I think it’s this bud. Zombie’d you out hard. Blow this.”

Donald being Catholic remained true to his nature: obedient. A snort is a tingle and a jolt. The nasal drip down his throat made it clear the powder was researcher’s little helper: Adderall. The taste in the back of the throat, instant smile. His engine got some serious rust and even the Emperor’s finest coke couldn’t get his sloth ass up. The Commander embodied the Southern Mule and hawed Donald into Cambridge. Their trouble required brick and cobblestone.

“Jess is gone.”

“Figured as much.”

Donald cracked a pack of Marlboro Smooths, the three-pack-a-day cigarette. Donald followed the Commander. They walked and their feet discussed the texture of the traditional street surface and the character missing from asphalt. The small talk cemented Donald’s mind.

For Donald, the gravity of his new-found knowledge locked his jaw. He pulled his flask to de-Tinman his body. There was no oil to be had. Donald found buying booze outside of his ethnic homeland of Southie a task best written by Camus.

The Blond Commander swung inside a doorway and inside Donald’s ears discovered an unwavering cacophony of joyous music. An ocean of men lay between the door and the bar. Donald appreciated the work of Walt Whitman. The flesh of man turned unharnessed existence into history. Self-love is important and every man should love his reflection.

“I wasn’t sure if you would come inside.” the Blond Commander had returned with two glasses of scotch.

“Why not?” said Donald.

“Isn’t this something you have to tell the good Father?”

“There are many things I must tell Him,” said Donald.

“But you do them anyway,” said the Blond Commander.

“Without fail”.


“I may be His son, but I certainly am not of His blood,” said Donald.

“I’ve bet it’s the only liquid in your veins,” said the Blond Commander.

“Why can’t people leave Transubstantiation alone, it is a physical metaphor for the acceptance of belief.”

“You would reject a racist conviction despite facts, even if it was by all standards voted on by a jury of American citizens,” said the Blond Commander.

“People are fallible,” said Donald.

“Not the Pope,” said the Blond Commander.

“Most of the time, he is. He still shits,” said Donald.

“To me, it seems that’s all he does”.

“I’m not sure if I’m that comfortable with where our words seem destined”.

“They have to travel there at some point,” said the Blond Commander.

“Not today,” said Donald.

“You focus too much on tomorrow,” said the Blond Commander.

“My nose is empty”.

“I’ll accept that condition,” said the Blond Commander.

The words would wait as Donald’s nose wanted to sniff the abs of a very nice gentleman after it had been refilled. Questions and thoughts would need to wait. Donald walked out the door and lit a smoke. He lit another one for good measure and went looking for some rain. He wanted a new head. A new exposition. This one was becoming treacherous. He wanted to try to put his faith in the Lord, but Donald forgot who He was. There was the humbling God of might and fear that his Mother lived for. The Word invoked by his Father, but his pew was the couch on Sunday. The Father James (the man Donald called Father, not the “our Father who art in Heaven” Father) devoted his seed and youth for a seat by the Almighty’s side. Donald hadn’t met his Aspect yet or if he had, Donald desired a replacement.

Donald found his head at Park Street and wandered into the church, which was more of a shop front than a Cathedral. The days were hard for the Vatican if the state of the house of the Lord were to be believed.

He needed a pew to kneel on. God escaped his mind as he focused ever longer on the altar. The idea of a God powerful enough to create an existence made for such a small and silly people remained beyond Donald’s reality. The Blond Commander existed as Donald loved him because of his life, including who the Commander chose to love in all connotations of the term. For a God to entrap people for the stars of their birth would to be far from the kind vision presented in modern sermon.

Maybe Donald waited for a man to sit next to him, but he found a pamphlet in the missal in front of him instead. The sect that ran this place claimed to be a different kind of Vatican. Donald put the paper down; he didn’t care for the stars anyway.

Donald walked into the Commons and crossed to the Gardens. The Commander was sacrificing a blunt to the metal Japanese lantern sculpture, their patron protector for another day, letting the weed burn in the air. The metal lip of the sculpture acted as an incense holder. Donald sat down and lit two cigs and passed one over.

“You owe me a conversation,” said the Blond Commander

“My nose is empty,” said Donald.

“You’re lucky; I’ve seen your bank statements.” They refueled, “Why God?”

A ray pierced the evening and the two rambled to the Esplanade. Donald itched for clarity and an answer. By the time his feet hit the land bridge, Donald settled for truth instead of a revelation.

“God is the structure of my childhood. My intellectual development intertwined with my Catechism education. The conflicts arising from the knowledge taught in the American public education system and the willed ideology of millions and their ancestors,” said Donald.

“One can live in a style, but belong within another classification. One doesn’t choose one’s parents or childhood,” said the Blond Commander

“One still experiences that childhood. There are Gods that accept all their creations and followers who teach and live in such a manner,” said Donald.

“Thank you because it’s okay for me to be myself only if I act within your perceptions of morality. I can be gay if I am gay for God, but not for myself. I understand and am fully educated on the various religious sects that cater to LGBT community and their supporters. I chose not to believe because I know so much more than can be found in any holy text. Not that within said texts an absence of poetry or logical philosophy occurs,” said the Blond Commander.

“The acceptance of God’s love is a joyous occasion. It is liberation from the judgments of flawed mortals,” said Donald.

“Your fundamental Catholicism amazes me. Being alive equates not to sin, but to a short celebration founded within unknown potential for a billion conclusions. Life exists not to be ashamed of the act of existence itself.”

“I think that using the traditional media representation of the notion of “Catholic Guilt” is oversimplifying the complexities of temptation for any human from any period. Confession exists as a release,” said the Blond Commander.

“You abuse your own faith system, the confession is only valid and redeeming if you don’t intend to commit the same sin again, which is never concurrent with your situation. I’m not intending to attempt to shatter your faith or judge your beliefs. If you want to be an apostle of this new open Catholicism then I support your right, but, just as I am willing to make that commitment, I need you to grant me the same basic courtesy. I’m not expecting that tonight, but you got my number,” said the Blond Commander. The Commander shifted his seat.

“Can I get a bottle for the road?” said Donald.

The Commander tossed a bottle over.

“Don’t worry about the receipt,” said the Blond Commander.

Donald went to his room. Sleep wasn’t coming and the pills weren’t the root, but the relief. Being awake should be fun or productive and he was riding the rails of anything within arm’s reach, which meant some mutant lovechild of the two. Term papers asphyxiated with ecstasy and glee. Density meant more to be consumed and all consumption existed as pleasure. His hands trotted south for the occasional breaks and breaks turned to holiday.

A syllabus month waxed and waned before Donald scuttled his trove of Doritos and Diet Mountain Dew. He swung from the simple pull-up bar and escaped for a run lest his blood clot. His research into that subject ended in a comic length period of death to Donald’s libido. The run cured his web diagnosed condition.

He needed something other than stale starch and sugar to complete this quest, and, if the games were to be believed, love and friendship. The last two requirements sent quivers through his palms. Donald’s solution was corn beef hash as was the style of his countrymen.

Donald went to the dining hall too late. He missed the hash but found the Cook. Donald stopped him from disposing of the most important meal of the day. While Donald ate scraps by the dumpster, the Cook acted busy for his supervisor. The trays sold as scrap equated to bonuses for the Cook’s coworkers and cameras protected the Party members these days. Some corners went missing in the eye of the iron fist, hidden dining rooms for the hungry.

“Where have you been?” said the Cook.

“Just doing some things.”

“I figured from what the Blond Commander told me. I told Hopkins that you had mono and would be emailing him with the blood test results. I said it looked like you’d be gone for week or more,” said the Cook.

“It’s Tuesday isn’t it?” said Donald.

“Yea, but you should come on tour with me if you still got any left in that bottle,” said the Cook.

“I can’t fake a blood test,” said Donald.

“Then lie to a shrink and tell them you went to the woods after a nervous breakdown and get a note. Worst case, you agree to see them for a month, and therapy has never hurt a rich white boy,” said the Cook.

“Fine. Probably get me some space socially as well. Where are we going?” said Donald.

“Then you’re coming?”

“Fresh air never killed no rich white boy either,” said Donald.

“I’m in a band.”

The Cook’s role in said band constituted representing them as the frontman. The Cook stood as the Man with the Guitar in a smoky Allston living room that housed the band’s drumset. A wall of TVs lined one wall and a New England Jesus judged from the other. Donald liked the setup. The living room was called Chair City for the lack of couches.

The members consisted of the Cook, the Bassist, the Drummer, and, in the far corner, the Blogger with the equipment. In the driveway was the Van. Donald stood to be the Roadie of the Week. Readers liked consistency, ranted the Blogger. Donald posed for a photo and took a nap on the nest of rugs.


Donald stood married to Brittney Cooper, a girl from high school for fifteen years and they romped in their youth about his Amherst ranch house and lay on the deck into the evening as they observed the solace of Space.


The dawn cut Donald’s eyes. He looked at the boxes of Papa John’s; they were still steaming. Sunset. Brittney Cooper, Donald had asked her out back in ninth grade and she informed him that no girl in her right mind would ever go out with Donald. Their marriage could be a well boding omen for this journey.

Donald was still in the Allston apartment belonging to The Cook and his band.
The Cook passed a box over and the seven meats matched Donald’s style. Ham, Bacon, Sausage, Pepperoni, Beef, Chicken, Canadian Bacon, “Italian” Sausage, and all the cheese allowed by law. Donald had missed a few meals and his heart needed to prove its worth.

Donald pounded the pizza and a 2 liter of Mountain Dew. The life of a roadie fit Donald as he began packing the gear. Donald’s mother despised SUVs; Donald fought to pack his bags into the Camry for the family vacation. Boxed gear to be tied down came down to Tetris level 1 on Donald’s plane.

The only bag packed with care was Donald’s bag of drugs.

The van pulled on to Cambridge Street, left on to Memorial Drive, and cruised down Route 2.

Donald borrowed the Blogger’s wireless internet card to write his response to Kurt.

People rarely do the right thing in any situation, but always do the best thing they can currently think of. The pressure of a situation combined with the mental/physical state of the person can narrow one’s thought process. Often the right thing to do isn’t painfully obvious until the situation passes and one can review all the details.
A man who hates an activity may fake a phone call to politely relieve himself from the situation. This white lie isn’t the right thing to do. The right thing to do would be to sit it out, but the man doesn’t like looking like a fool and he feels the other people will try to pressure him into doing it. By sitting out he feels he would ruin another person’s evening. So he fakes a call and lets the people do their activity unhindered. In hindsight, the sitting out would have been better, but he was tired, hungry, or both.
Fighting is always about what is best. Sometimes a fight happens when two people reach a crossroads and, to make the parting easier, anger comes out. A sad thing really, but it can make taking the leap of faith into the future easier, and leaving loved ones behind not as heartbreaking.
Your cop/hippie example is great as it describes most conflicts. Two people have two ways to reach the same ends, but only one way can be put to use. Thus they try to show the other, how they perceive it. If two people can perceive something similarly then they will most likely have the same solution. An argument is won not by convincing the other of why they are wrong, but why one is right. -Donald

Day 97: The Circle will be Unbroken

Cultural critique has become irrelevant to modern society as a whole. There are occasional reviews worth the words but the garbage heap has grown thick around them. At some level, the increase of cultural production (mostly garbage) is a cause of worse critique as well as content devaluing, if people pay less for culture, they won’t spend more to hear New Yorkers talk about it. Deep though I believe the decline is from stasis within the field.
Lacan has become a plague. What was once a fresh lens 60 years ago has become the intellectual equivalent of duck tape. Lacan’s sentences support themselves so well, they can support almost any other thesis. Like an Ouroboros, his prose circles back on itself. This isn’t against Lacan but against the abuse of his work. I shouldn’t feel the need to grab a red pen and email “come see me during office hours” with the mark up. 
I get the sense that most reviewers hate their job as well. The long rambling tangents on current events, musings on societal opinions, plain old academic discourse has become the focus. The actual piece being reviewed will have a synopsis often feeling like the wikipedia entry being rehashed. While 500 words on casting choices sounds like it is about the film, it is more about the political beliefs of the reviewer. Actual discussion of the piece that exists gets peppered in to appease their editor. The reviewer knows the reader’s opinion has been set before clicking through.

 One failure is the continued reliance for reviewers to be living in New York. Before the millions of remote working options, it makes sense to hire writers near the main office. Now that the laptop is the writer’s screening room and a conference room not so much. This creates a bubble best shown by “Girls”, a show on averaged watched by 1.5% of HBO subscribers and with ratings below that of other canceled HBO shows. However it was a must watch for critics who would spend the next Monday pushing out praise and roundtables. It might be possible to find the number of employed reviewers through viewership numbers. Critics loved seeing their neighborhood and friends on screen, their current definition of a cultural moment. 
In an age of seemingly infinite content, critique has become inefficient. The major cultural commentary outlets waste their resources screening pieces with major distribution making the article, a free ad for the production. Whether franchise, remake, adaptation, or the elusive original property modern audiences know if they will see it thanks to targeted social media campaigns and mass publicity blitzes. Before Google and the marketing delivery systems of the iPhone and Facebook, these reviews did serve as an informative method of discovering recent major releases. The challenge for critics now is to not be the emperor in the Coliseum but Shackleton in Antarctica. The internet is dark and full of terror to paraphrase Game of Thrones/ A Song of Ice and Fire. If I like Vice, what’s another lesser known but similar quality option? What indie films blocked out of major festivals deserve my attention? What soundcloud/bandcamp pages should I book mark? These are the questions critique should be answering.
-E.C. Fiori