Monday, February 8, 2016

I've got a lot of work to do transitioning my spy novel...

August 21, 2007-DJ

            Otto’s alarm clock woke me up at 6:30 AM.  I didn’t mind because I had to get up and ready for my 8:00 AM World Geography class.  I got up, showered, and dressed.  Otto and I were ready right around the same time.  He had an 8:00 AM Biology class, so we went together across the valley to the student cafeteria for breakfast.  We fixed our plates and sat near a window that overlooked the Alexander Brest Baseball Complex and the St. Johns River.
            “So are you nervous about your first day of classes?” Otto asked me.
            “Uh, I guess so,” I replied.
            “Me too.  So what did you get into last night?”
            “I went to get some wings with the Phi Delts, and then we came back to the apartments for a little party.”
            “Ah man, homes.  I wish you would have came and got me.  I was alone and bored in the dorm all night.  I hpe you don’t mind, but I hooked your Playstation up to my plasma television.  That football game is fun.”
            “It’s all good, Otto.  John will be appeased by your praise and commitment,” I spoke of Madden like he was an omnipotent god.  “Well, what team do you play with?  You can get in on my franchise.”
            “I’m an Arizona Cardinals fan.  My dad actually met my mother while he was on a business trip to Tempe.  My parents own half of the team now.  It was an anniversary gift from my dad to my mom because they both love American football.”
            “Your father owns the Cardinals?”  I almost choked on my toast.
            “Half owns, yes.  You’ve heard of Olverpirses, right?”
            “Hmmm….,” I played dumb and shook my head.
            “Well they deal in oil, and my pops runs the business.  He wants me to take it over someday, but…”
            “I understand,” I was ready to change the subject.  “but about last night.  I didn’t mean to leave you hangin’.  I didn’t figure you to be the party type.”
            “I’m not really, but I thought about what you said last night.  I’ve come all this way to get away from my father, so I might as well have fun too.”
            “What did I tell ya,” I was actually talking to FLIP.
            “You said my daddy ain’t here.  Don’t think I’m a total square, Travis.  In my country, if you can see over the counter, you’re old enough to drink.  I’ve been an alcoholic since grade school, homes.”
            “That’s wassup.  I’ve got a feeling this will be a good semester.”
            “Wow, who is that,” Otto almost broke his neck twisting around to gawk at a girl in the omelet line.
            “I don’t know,” I couldn’t put my finger on where I recognized her from.  “I see you’re into dark chocolate sisters, huh Otto?”
            “That’s an exotic rarity in my country.”
            “Well, go talk to her.”
            “I can’t.”
            “Don’t be a pussy, man.  So what if you’re shy.  You’re talking to me right now.  Now go talk to her,” I urged him.
            “I don’t know what to say.”
            “Anything’ll do.  Ask her if she’s a freshmen.  Compliment her pajama pants or something.  Small talk dammit, but hurry up before it’s too late.  I think she’s going to be sitting at a table full of sorority girls, and approaching her there will be like going into a lions den with steak strapped to your balls.”
            “Okay, I’m going.”
            Otto made his way over to the omelet line.  His back was to me, so I couldn’t see what he was saying.  He gestured at the girl to get her attention.  She turned to face him and smiled brightly.  I could read her lips.
            “Hey,” she beamed.  “Oh, I like mine sloppy.  I just like to put whatever inside of it most mornings.  For you though, I’d recommend ham, chess, peppers, salsa… must be a freshmen…..Wel it’s nice to meet you, Otto…..My name is Chrisitan……Do people ever call you Automobile……Okay you’re welcome.  I hope you like your omelet.”
            Otto returned to the table looking like he accomplished something noteworthy.
            “Well?” I was eager to find out what he said.
            “I asked her advice on what kind of omelet to get.  It was the first thing that popped in my head.  Her name is Christian,” Otto said.
            “That wasn’t the smoothest line, but that’s cool enough for small talk.  Did you find out if she’s single?”
            “Not yet.”
            “Well, that’s fine.  Baby steps are fine for now:  initiating conversation is half the battle.  This will  be a long semester.  Not only will you become a big party animal, but you’ll be the second biggest player on campus next to me before it’s all over.”
            “That’s what I’m talking about, homes.”
            Otto and I disposed of our trays in the dishwashing window before we headed out to our respective 8 AM classes.  My geography class was in the Gooding Building.  The professor’s name was Dr. Bartram, a well travelled man who was knowledgeable and passionate about his field.  If I was called on or raised my hand in class, I knew the answer because FLIP fed them to me through my blue tooth headset.  I looked like the star pupil. I was just pleased to know I wouldn’t have to study or apply much effort to do homework.
            It was more of the same during my 9 AM Macroeconomics class with Professor Wendy Lane.  Thanks to FLIP, I was a wiz in class, but he teased me about being the brains of the operation.  I didn’t care.  I knew I’d need all the free time I could get from scholarly obligations to focus on the mission.  After my 9 AM class, I had time to go back to my dorm and chill before Beginner’s Golf at 1 PM.  I took some bong rips and played a quick game of Madden.  I beat the New York Jets with my Miami Dolphins 23-17 in overtime.
            I got to the golf coarse a little early for class.  The instructor had yet to arrive, but Otto along with a couple of other students were there waiting already.  He told me about his morning Biology, Recording Techniques, and Acting 101 classes.  I told him how my classes went.  We were both surprised to see Christian join us when the rest of or classmates arrived. 
            “Hey, Automobile!  I hope your first day of classes is going well.  Who is this?  I know you from somewhere,” she turned to me.
            “Hmmm…,” I shrugged.
            I didn’t know how to react to her extra giddy and hyper and outgoing demeanor.  I’ve heard of high on life, but Christian was close to overdosing, and it was somewhat overwhelming.
            “This is my roommate Travis.  Travis, this is Christian,” Otto formally introduced us.
            “Oh, now I remember you.  You were at that party last night,” Christian recalled.
            “Yup,” my recollection was more clear now.
            “You probably saw me there with my boyfriend, Eddie,” Christian stated.
            Otto gave me a gloomy glance.  I could tell hew was trying to hide his disappointment during class after Coach Banks arrived.  First, Coach Banks taught us the basics of the game of golf.  Then, he split us into groups of three or four to practice fundamental techniques.  Otto and Christian were in my group.  When class concluded, Otto and I said goodbye to Christian and walked together through the valley back to our dorm.  Otto slumped down into bed.
            “Don’t look so bummed out, O,” I tried to sound concerned.
            “But she has a boyfriend,” Otto sulked.
            “Listen, I watch Girlfriends and have a secret subscription to Cosmopolitan magazine, so I’m an expert on women and relationships, and 85 % of unhappy women confide in their plutonic male friends when they can’t get a hold of their girlfriends.  Do the math.”
            “So, you’re well on your way to befriending her and setting a solid foundation for a plutonic relationship that could prove to be most beneficial to you.”
            “I’m still confused.”
            “This is a great situation.”
            “How do you figure?”
            “On one hand, you can be a genuine friend that won’t have to obsess about getting in her pants when you know you have little or no chance of getting laid.  She’ll respect you for that of course.  If she ever has a rough patch with her man, you’ll be waiting in the wings.  If not, you’re still a good guy and she knows plenty of other eligible bachelorettes because she’s in a sorority.  Fact: girls talk to each other about guys they know, so you want them to have good shit to say about you.  There are other fish in the sea, and Christian can end up baiting your hook for you, son.”
            “Wow, you’re like a genius.”
            “I keep it real like a ghetto Dr. Phil.”
            My advice calmed Otto’s nerves.  We played Madden on the plasma TV well into the night.  I started the franchise over so Otto could join in with the Arizona Cardinals.  After three games a piece, my Dolphins were 2-1.  Otto’s Cardinals were 0-3.  We each downed a few brews before we decided to call in a night.  I woke in the middle of the night to roll a blunt.  I went for a stroll around the dark campus to smoke and talk to FLIP.
            “You were right about Christian,” FLIP said.
            “Of course I was,” I was cocky sometimes.
            “I intercepted a phone call from Christian’s campus apartment room earlier this evening.  She spoke with Tenisha, one of her sorority sisters.  Christian told her about a cute Hispanic guy in her golf class.
            “That’s fine and dandy, but we’re not here to make a love connection for Otto.  How are we going to get him to drop out?”
            “I honestly think we’re on the right track with the party animal angle.  If he parties too much, he’ll loose focus and burn himself out.
            “You never cease to amaze me, FLIP.  Maybe you are the brains of this outfit.”



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