Novelty is very complex, because it all depends on how long you expect the novelty to last. If the novelty of their differences only lasts but a few minutes, then your theory might hold true. However, if it is enough for them to find their conflicts mutually interesting and to start spending more time with each other, then it is very possible for them to develop common ground just by that shared experience. -Kurt
Another Saturday on the dining hall roof.
One thing America did right in the 90’s was manufacturing the dark green leather couch, 3 cushions long. If they didn’t exist, Donald probably would never sleep in the slightest.
Donald awoke to bacon-wrapped burgers guarded by a melted shell of cheddar with a chicken patty in the center to hold the sandwich together. A real structural beauty, if one asked Donald. He checked his laptop and was grateful to see that, not only had he sent the message as intended, but that Kurt had responded in kind.
Their exchange of message was proof the date had inched forward. Donald hoped he made it to class. Sometimes, days went away. Donald decided DHW fleeced him and the Blond Commander, who would have none of it. He believed in the quality of character. The pork roll had been as promised.
Dagny lay next to him. He knew she’d been there since his last nap. He didn’t know her deal yet, but he liked the way their curves locked and their beats synched. They were a pair of new souls.
The Ex had a name and they’d synched heartbeats for a time. Not Jessica, but Jess. Her hair flowed when he saw her last, but when they met it was lice proof. The pricks when it rubbed against his curled chest hair. It felt much like a monk receiving the Eucharist if their philosophers were to be believed or like fresh cut grass against the soles of one’s feet. She had a shaved head, sun dresses and steel toes to charge through the beaches that were public high school.
By comparison, Dagny believed tights to be enough for service and, for her, stripes were a lifestyle. She mentioned visiting Donald’s barber for a regular boy’s cut. He thought the pixie would give her face more space for the smirk that appeared when Donald was wise and when he was foolish; Donald took it as inside joke between herself and the Lord. He didn’t mind being aware of his flopishness just as he didn’t mind the chill of her fingertips against his palm.
They spent their open daylight on the Esplanade. Less cops, more boats. Dagny was also a classical. Donald often read while Dagny sang. On occasion, she worked on her compositions which were the coursework of her other major. Donald dreamt he was Dracula and feasted on her talent instead of blood.
The Cook, aroused and dressed, sat next to the Blond Commander, who passed Donald the pipe. He took a small hit as to not offend, but to not waste the high before he ate his burger of instant sobriety.
The burger disappeared before Donald received the pipe twice. Eating was filthy and Donald hated cleaning. So he preferred to mess once and clean before others noticed. He failed the second part usually. The addition of barbeque sauce was the most humbling. He fled to the bathroom. Only the mystic power of animal fat could defuse the situation. Dagny followed after him, but Donald closed the door behind him.
Donald washed in the semi-private upstairs bathroom of the Dining Commons. Dagny knocked. Donald blushed and hoped this wasn’t a heathen lockless bathroom, the kind his CCD teacher warned him of.
He wanted Dagny to be a person, but couldn’t get his memory right. There was a fog that left Donald in the dark about who he was and who the people around him were. Donald floated through his day too often, it seemed. He was the moment, but couldn’t recall just which one he was in. He dried himself and left. Dagny entered the restroom.
Donald headed back towards the roof, not to get a little high but to get stoned, the languid state caused by brick weed. High was a proper term, a clear open liberation. He’d never been broke enough to suffer in the languid hell of shoddy Indica, but today he chose to make his body a prison.
Donald needed a drink more than he needed to get stoned because at the center was always another drink. A drink was why he paid the bills and said hello and never pulled the trigger and fopped and flopped and coughed and it would be a drink, not a country, he would die for as if there was a value in life to begin with. With a drink, he could sleep. With a drink maybe he could connect with Dagny and learn why he chose to keep breathing.
Donald paused in the staircase not quite ready to sit back down with his friends on the roof. He wished his parents arranged his marriage like a normal human experienced. Donald’s parents robbed him of a comfortable silence and decades of affairs. Real men don’t cheat; real men don’t marry or act in emotion. Born into a weakened society and birthed to bleeding moderates, who die for neutrality.
End tolerance and revive emotion, Donald cried. Never aloud. They’d put one in a padded room for that kind of statement.
One could be 18 and an adult and bills on the plate, but your parent could lock you up until one’s dying day. Freedom died with the towers, but not like Loose Change. No conspiracy, just the constant guarantee of fear. The commonality of simple minds made Donald wish there were enough drugs to normalize his vision.
Donald’s own need to be desired was troubling enough.
There was more than a blunt waiting for Donald when Dagny and he returned to the roof. Jess sat. She had been texting him and he hated being texted. 140 characters to hell, if someone made some website about that form of atrocity, Donald would join it and wish he hadn’t. Next to Jess was a pizza and he would need that to get to the next dawn. The Commander and the Cook sat on another couch chatting with Jess.
Donald could kick it with that mellow pizza and escape the universe around him. It could be to a worse reality, but he needed anything different.
There was no time for words as each explorer grabbed his ship and set sail. They would meet again on the high seas.
Donald looked at the Ledge, Border, Boundary, End, Edge, and Siren. Jess followed.
“Thoughts” said Donald, posed as a Gargoyle
“Very fake, but sincere” said Jess
He looked at Dagny across the roof
“Very Fake, but Sincere” means not a poser, but they plan to leave the lifestyle and go to suburbs and be normal and teach at their old high school and always talk about those few years, they weren’t Or maybe they don’t go back and marry a lawyer or doctor or become one and live miles from the city in the gated enclaves and commute hours each day to eat and sleep
He returned from the Border Jess returned to his body’s crook, Donald didn’t remove her They stood for as much time that could exist and mostly that which wouldn’t
There was a rightness in Donald’s mind. He would need that rightness in the times to come.
A marching order whispered down the lines, the people demand Esplanade and nothing less: A picnic needed ordering: A rackpack of wine and 3 jugs of orange juice
The only thing Donald knew was each day brought the next one closer and he had plenty of days ahead
Those days existed to the left and never to the right and those were lips
He left the lips, he hoped they weren’t his
A rumor of a trip to the river rained within his world.
He grabbed the blunt box and the wine jug and Jess and ran to the door. Shadows followed. More than he could see.
The river gave you chilled diseases. Birds went for throat
He had the wrong blunt
He suddenly felt like it was 11pm and all he had was a fistful of almonds and half a can of Pringles for supper
He took a swig, maybe of wine, maybe of orange juice, maybe it was both
It tasted of Fruit, but weren’t all origins the same in that they share a maker, designer, producer, CEO, chairman, all priest
A damn shame for those who hated and thought of others more than themselves in that those who were shamed say those who were hated as lesser
He wanted to swim in the river that poisoned the fish that breathed it
Not true, Donald said, we poisoned the river and the fish and the child and always the moment: We exist between the moment and the moment again
Jess became Dagny or always was and that would be answered at a point to be decided
Or maybe it was Jess, Donald’s eyes were standing their ground for the protection of imagination and were not to be as much believed as reflected
Donald took a hit
He promised a friend once; he would make Mary Jane’s Bistro and serve traditional home meals and other monstrosities Donald took a Stone Soup approach to cooking He had his fair share of failures but people kept around so it sometimes worked
Dagny/Jess expected words but Donald had none
Donald cackled and hoped it solved the questionable dilemma of communication
Dagny/Jess became the Commander Donald found the result to lean toward success
They sat on the banks of the now blinding river as the sun burned towards the horizon A spot full of harmony that the tree that grew nearby chose to lay down and grow along the water’s edge towards the sea rather than reach for the unattainable freedom of true height The spot felt Donald He would be here now again and eventually in all true moments A spot to prove existence and the worth of having such the toxic river even shined here
The Commander painted but Donald did not intrude on other men’s prayers and let the mystery of what was and would and could sit. It was the last measure of strength in society to control the outflow of life
The taste on his lips was the unmistakable Somerville gem of Cossack It was the taste of home and nostalgia for new experiences that came before The taste of sleeping on dusty tile and dufflebag blankets The taste of youth The taste of flawed idols and parents The taste of sexual peak meeting sexual angst
The screams contained in each sip got him closer to something and that was what the moment required
When Donald was eight, his Grandmother gave him an index car with the words “Doing What’s Required” scribbled on it The line, paraphrased from Churchill, seemed to be the only piece of permanent wisdom to Donald
As the Commander and Donald sat, he knew there would be no Allston art gallery It would only be a chain against their flight towards achievement They needed unasked paintings and dirty dishes and dreams crafted over decades To achieve too soon would be to accomplish the least
Donald sat with the Cook by the Wolf Statue built by a woman in love with her dog or vice versa or possibly by the tribes that ran the swamp of Boston in honor of the canine the Harvard graduate of nature
A howl of words began and the students turned witch doctors became possessed by the damned spirits of the Baby Boomers who were banished for reneging on their victories of youth and need to boast of long loss wars against the machine that keeps them breathing
Donald yearned to apologize to Dagny and be with Jess than switch the roles
He chortled in angst and damned his maker
He didn’t want to be himself The guy who did what guys do at school at home at work at bedtime at the dawn He held himself to Darcy and understood the folly of the notion and the utter bourgeois nature of his primal desires Not even Dean Not even Dean
A life stolen from lyrics over half a century old about different times but the same battles raged into Donald’s twilight
The taste in his mouth burned the cuts from sleepless nights and bored teeth Donald arrived on the doorsteps of Orange Juice, the closest to hydration he imagined within his reach He deemed himself ambivalent on the substance throughout childhood
Too many inferior products in the same category Away from his Mother’s arms, the drink transformed into the absent feeling and once more Donald became whole
Donald walked to his room through the Garden and enjoyed a hookah offered by ghosts of his future
Donald’s sheets became entangled by Jess; Donald discovered when he woke chilled. Donald entered her cocoon and added his mass to the shell surrounding her. His donation came with personal access to the dorm fire escape, which gave him the chance to smoke without going downstairs and tempted Donald with thoughts of inhalation at all hours. Donald would need all the inhales he could get. Donald let the urge to smoke pass as he enjoyed Jess’ slow exhales on his neck and her arms slow stretch to encompass his form. Donald powered on his phone and cleared the memory. The accuracy of machines was the single largest threat to the collective power of the human imagination that Donald had encountered yet. The second, Donald cradled in his arms.
Donald knew his response to Kurt and saved it as a draft of a text.
True, but if they have common ground, they are no longer opposites. Thus they can now succeed, but if that common ground doesn’t develop, the attraction will fade quickly. How long can two opposing forces share the same table without breaking out into conflict? The common ground can be as simple as resolving the outstanding issues. Can the reaction against the opposite become the thin thread that holds the relationship together? For the moments when it works.