My Parents Definitely Didn’t Tell Me I Was Born a Cyborg

Okay, so hear me out. My leg has been hurting all day, and originally I thought my knee was the source of the pain, but two seconds ago when I got out of the shower I noticed a strange bruise on my leg. NO, I discovered, this was not a bruise at all, but a dent. There is a DENT IN MY LEG!

You must think I am exaggerating, but swear there is a sizable indentation in my lower left shin! I tried to get some solid photographic proof for you, but the camera on my phone sucks and I couldn’t get a good angle. Still, my credibility should not be called into question because of my lack of evidence for you. My word should be enough, because I’m an incredibly trustworthy person.

*Cough*

What? It’s not like this blog is based on… lies… or something.

But, seriously, who would lie about there being a dent in their leg? That sounds like a really stupid lie. And for the brilliance of this argument, you know I must be telling you the truth!

There is a DENT in my LEG!!!

I don’t know what to do about it, either. Should I approach my parents and demand an explanation? Was I, a robot, switched at birth with a human baby? Am I, in fact, made of metal? Really, that’s all I want to know! Am I a robot, and why the hell is there a dent in my leg?!?!?

I swear. My life is ridiculous.

In other news, it’s only five days in and I’m already super behind on NaNoWriMo. Anyone else? No? Just me. Cool.

It didn’t help that I had a 45 minute presentation, a paper, a test, and an event to put on all this week (and it’s still only Wednesday).

I hate it.

I’m hoping to be able to make up some of my lost writing time this weekend, but the planning is the easy part, isn’t it?

Okay, that’s all I have for now. That massive presentation is tomorrow morning, so I have to go away and finish doing that. Even though I would love nothing more than to continue chatting with you, my lovely reader, but alas, homework kinda-sorta-maybe-definitely needs to get done at some point, right?

Ugh, I quit. I’m a cyborg anyway, right? Why must I do human things like educate myself? I’d much rather be looking at pictures of puppies.

Even robots must like puppies.

Mel

Also, and this is totally not me stalling, but I am fully aware of the difference between robots and cyborgs, I just happened to be using them interchangeably in this post because, frankly, I can.

Ain’t nobody going to stop me! Mwahaha!

Okay, seriously, I’m going to do work now.

Okay.

Bye.

My Halloween Costume

This is the first and last time you will see a picture of me, because 1) I hate taking pictures of myself and 2) I prefer my blog to be anonymous.

Here goes anyway :)

If anyone asks me what I am, my response is that I am the physical representation of a stereotypical boy-band member. My genre: the mysterious one.

The simplified answer is that I am Zayn from One Direction.

I’m not sure how well I accomplished it but you can judge for yourselves!

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I tried for a faux hawk ponytail.

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Happy Halloween everyone! Be safe and have fun :)

Mel

P.S. I enhanced my beard!
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Cheddar Bay Betrayal and Things Only Survivors Can Do

I have been betrayed. Completely and utterly betrayed.

The unforgivable kind of betrayal that you only find out about after the act itself.

It was of the cheese and garlic variety.

My roommate–you know who you are!–went to Red Lobster. Without me.

Rude.

No, but really, those cheddar bay biscuits are to die for. And if you are one of those people who claim to dislike Red Lobster biscuits, whatever your excuse is, I’m not so sure I can trust you. Unless you’re allergic, in which case: I am SO sorry.

I think my roommate thought I was actually going to be mad about the fact that she went without me (we were casually talking about planning a trip for endless shrimp and cheddar bay biscuits), but the thing I was really mad about was that she told me about it before I could use my awesome “cheddar bay betrayal” line!

I had it all planned out in my head: I was going to ignore her until she said something to me, and then I was going to make a face and say “I’m not speaking to you right now.”

She would ask why (because, duh, everything always goes the way I plan it in my head.) (Yeah, clearly not.)

And then it would be the time–my time to shine–and I would respond with, “you thought I wouldn’t notice the scent of your cheddar bay betrayal?!”

(There were leftovers in the fridge).

It was going to be awesome! I was going to finally be able to land a joke! I was so excited!

And then what did she do? She came and told me about it first!

I’m still a little bitter. The joke didn’t have nearly the same impact after that.

Ugh, oh well.

On a totally separate and completely unrelated note, I was going through old blog post ideas the other day and found this for a potential post: Things Only Survivors Can Do.

I read it and thought: oh, this might be interesting. Except, when I flipped the page over to see what exactly was part of the list, there was only one thing written there. (Because, if you don’t know by now, I really like listing things. Even blog posts that don’t start out as a list, somehow always manage to become one. Bizarre phenomena, really…)

The one example of a thing only survivors can do said the following: Write a How-To Manual

I almost died. For some reason I just thought that was the funniest thing ever; probably because I would be one of the idiots who couldn’t write one due to the fact that I died in the process of doing whatever it was the manual was about.

I tried to brainstorm for a little about the different possibilities of what else might be on that list, but nothing was better than a “how-to manual,” so I stopped. If you have any ideas, let me know, but I just thought I would share this with you; so that, either way, it would see the light somehow :)

Anyone prepping for NaNoWriMo, by the way? I just outlined my schedule and I’m already nervous! I just have to brush off the nerves, square my shoulders, and say: LET’S DO THIS!

And then, you know, actually do it.

Mel

The Pros and Cons of Being a Writer- Part II (Kind of)

*This post, unlike the first one of the same name that I published over a year ago, will not consist of a list so much as the struggles I’ve experienced recently with writing and what I am attempting to do to overcome them, etc. 

Hey it’s me. I know, weird, right? How long has it been since I’ve written an actual post? Way too long, that’s what. To be completely frank, here’s what’s been up with me:

I gave up.

Writing is hard; extremely reward, but very hard. Even writing this post for me is hard because in my head I know there are the things I should be doing (reading 50 pages of the Odyssey–fabulous text, by the way–for my Mythology class tomorrow, preparing a potential novel for NaNoWriMo, looking for internships, reading 100 pages for my Algorithms and Complexities class (also due tomorrow); and, no, I will not tell you how I landed myself in a class that sounds, at least for me, like it emerged from the bottom most pits of hell (trust me, the professor makes all of the difference), but I will tell you that it is not as bad as it sounds.) All of these things I should be doing.

And what do I really want to be doing? Writing.

But then I don’t do that either.

Why?

I’m not sure if this happens to any of you, but for me, I’m not so great at balancing my work with my writing; as a young writer, this is probably the #1 thing I struggle with most. Here’s why: when I want to write (which is an urge I experience multiple times every day; I think it just comes when you’re passionate about something, be it writing or something else), it tends to distract me from whatever I’m doing at the time. It’s why I have sticky-notes lying EVERYWHERE in my room, on my desk, in my backpack. If I have a sudden thought, I write it down. I even have a binder that is solely dedicated to sticky note ideas–whether they be about the editing of my novel, or an idea for a new one, a short story concept, etc.–that I keep tucked under my bed.

However, and this is a big however, it makes it hard for me to do the work that I don’t want to do (but needs to be done), which leads me to do nothing at all. Theoretically, you might think that if I was being so distracted by my writing, I would write instead of doing my homework.

If only. At least then I might feel a bit more accomplished than I do now.

No, what happens to me is that I get so caught up in the idea that there is work I must do that I’m not (because of various writing and non-writing distractions), that I freeze up and can no longer write. It’s a catch-22 that drives me insane: I’m too busy thinking about writing to work, and then when I try to write, the thought of the work that I have to do stresses me out to no end and I feel that the only thing I can write is complete and utter crap.

One of the things that used to help me out a lot with this was this blog. I didn’t have to worry about character progression or plot holes or bad grammar. If I wanted to write a supper long sentence with no punctuation whatsoever that would probably make an editor cry but that made me explicitly happy because it was simply my thought process and nothing else I could write that.

But life always seems to get in the way, doesn’t it?

So then there was no more daily writing, which admittedly sent me into a writing depression, and all I could think about was how life is hard and maybe I’m not meant to be a writer, even though it’s what I love, and maybe I am going to have to get a job with people who hate what they do for one reason or the other, and that’s what I would do. Forever.

A terrifying thought if you ask me.

For me, a person who relies a lot on “vibes” and how I, as a human being, am sensing those around me (which sounds corny, but I don’t know how else to explain it), the thought of being around negative people for long periods of time is daunting. And worse than anything, I was becoming a negative person, which just added to the dragging feeling that was taking over my life.

Now, I’m not telling you guys this to be all “woe-is-me,” because reading stuff like that pisses me off, so I know it must be frustrating for you too. What I’m trying to say (and I have no idea if this is even going well or not), is that this experience–if this is happening/did happen to you–is something that is common.

I just now came back from a presentation where author Steven Gillis, a literary fiction writer, was talking about the various novels and works he’s published in the past (he’s now a publisher himself: Dzanc Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan; he’s a really interesting guy, even if his work isn’t what you like to read.) The point he kept emphasizing over and over and over again is this: write the best book/ poem/ short story/ screenplay/ etc. as you possibly can, and then try to get it out in the world.

For me, I know that the idea of getting an agent, getting published, having people read my book; yeah, well, for a long time that’s what was stuck in my head, not the story I wanted to tell.

That is NOT the way to do it.

And that’s what I’m going to be working on now: writing the best novel I can write. Getting the characters, so many of whom are stuck in my head and won’t leave me alone, written down on paper, and then rewriting the crap out of it until I’m confident I’ve completed something I am proud of and that I think stands for something.

And, especially for me right now, after a long period of having nothing written down whatsoever, I think just getting some different ideas and novel concepts (that have been spinning in my head forever) written down on paper–first drafting them–will help me immensely with figuring out where I am and where I want to go.

If you are at all feeling the same way I am, or if you’re a young writer looking at this (thanks for making it this far with me, by the way, I really appreciate it :) ), please don’t give up. Especially young writers. Like I said, writing is not easy, but it’s very rewarding. Creating people, places, situations from nothing can be taxing on your psyche and your mental fortitude. Why do you think so many famous authors were alcoholics or ended up committing suicide (something you SHOULD NOT DO–if you are ever feeling like you are having such a hard time you would turn to one of these extremes, please talk to someone. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, and more people do it than you might think. If you are a university student, there are almost always clinics on campus where you can meet with someone and discuss what’s happening in your life and why you are feeling so badly. They are there to help you, and more students take advantage of these programs than you know. You are not alone!)

I don’t want anyone to read this post and feel bummed about writing. For me, my struggle is keeping my life balanced, but this is something that comes with everyone who has a passion/ life goal that they are working toward. There is always going to be stuff that you want to do and stuff that you have to do, and these two things might be worlds apart as far as scheduling and, for lack of a better word, “funness” are concerned.

Just keep writing. That’s the advice that I hear all of the time from other writers (published and not published), professors, editors, publishers. It’s how you are going to find your voice and it’s how you are going to, eventually, be able to discern the gems from the shit.

This is what I am going to attempt for myself; something I am working on incorporating into my daily schedule, and NaNoWriMo will be a test of it.

P.S. If you don’t know about National November Writing Month, it’s an awesome organization that challenges writers to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. You join, are set up with a support group of other writers taking on this challenge, and you can track your progress throughout November to, hopefully, reach that 50,000 mark at the end. There’s also awards given out at the end of the whole thing to people who have accomplished the (super daunting) task; but to be fully honest, I’ve never made it quite that far :)

BUT THIS IS A NEW YEAR AND BY GOLLY I’M GOING TO DO IT!

Perhaps I will share my progress with you guys too to help keep me motivated :)

Okay, so now I really have to do my homework, but this is something I’ve been wanting to write for a while and I felt like I needed to sit down to do it. Expect more lighthearted posts (and potentially more pieces of writing) coming your way in the near future. I’m also trying to get back on a weekly blogging schedule, but that’s a lot at once, so we’ll see.

I love you all, thanks for sticking with me!!!

Your average friend,

Mel

Gentleman Prophet

This is a short story I have been working on here-and-there over the last month or so. It was based off of a conversation I had with my friends that slowly spiraled into…um…whatever exactly this is. It’s unedited and I have no idea if any of it even makes sense, but I think it’s amusing. Please forgive me if the tense changes or if there are any basic mistakes, I didn’t really do much to make sure it was consistent, it was more of an exercise to just write.

Anyhoot, that was my disclaimer. Enjoy!

Mel

P.S. I’m not a huge fan of the very end so I might edit that later. Might being the key word.

~~~~~

I am a gentleman prophet.

How do I know?

It might have started with the visions. Or it might have started before that.

How long before that?

Maybe it started when I was young. Yeah, it probably started then. Some people say that weird shit starts happening to you when you hit puberty. You know, that’s when Superman got his powers. Or was it Spiderman? Either way, puberty messes with your shit, and then you don’t know which ways up, or how you got so many zits, or why that guy from third period science won’t answer your texts.

Probably because he never actually gave you his phone number; you just happened upon it when he left his phone on his desk and you ‘accidentally’ picked it up. And kept it.

And only returned it half an hour later when you’d had a chance to add him to your contacts.

Technicalities, really.

Or maybe it started at birth. Maybe I was born weird. I mean, it doesn’t sound too awful far from the truth if I’m being honest. I think it was the eyes.

You see, the thing people hate more than something they can’t explain is something they can almost explain; something that is just strange enough to cross beyond normal, but not bizarre enough to warrant true suspicion.

My eyes, for example. One is brown, the other is hazel. But not ‘kind of’ hazel—like the ‘oh, it just got a little screwed up in the making process’ hazel—but orange hazel. Like a cat; a freaky cat with orange-yellow eyes. And one brown one.

People don’t like it; they don’t know where to look. Should they semi-stare at the normal brown one, or fixate on the eye that they’re truly interested in? If I’m being truthful, I have the same reaction when I look in the mirror; like somehow I’ve forgotten since the last time I saw myself that I am half-cat.

And yet, somehow, this strangeness gives me the ability to do something most people can’t. I say most because that way I am not completely alone. I don’t really know either way, but this way makes me feel a bit better, so that’s what I’m going with.

To reiterate: I am a gentleman prophet.

What does this mean?

It means that no one is going to tell me a (successful) lie. Not if they are of the gender that involves a significant amount of outdoor architecture in the lower region of the human physique. Don’t get me wrong, they can certainly try, but as of 2:53p.m. two years, seventeen days, and thirteen and one-sixth hours ago exactly, I have been boy-vincible.

And yet, as of seventeen hours, forty-six minutes and twelve seconds ago, I cannot for the life of me read Bloomfield Parker’s mind.

~~~~~

Bloomfield Parker was named the way many rappers are named: the city you live in, and the name of your first pet. That’s his shtick. He doesn’t go around telling people that, of course, that’s just what I was able to draw from the darker recesses of his mind one day during Algebra.

(What? I wanted to make sure he wasn’t an axe-murderer or something!) He’s not, by the way.

But he does make it known to his friends every-so-often (aloud for all of our homeroom to hear) that his not-so-normal name is not the strangest in our school’s history; and thus, is not one to be made fun of.

Take Michelle Blewhymn for example.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Bloomfield Parker is special in other ways, too. Like how you can’t just say one piece of his name, you have to say the whole thing all at once or it’s not right. Or how he has silver eyes—silver!—did you know that was a color eyes could be? Because I certainly didn’t until I met him. But he’s most special when it comes to knowing stuff about rocks.

He knows a lot about rocks.

It sounds really lame and, I mean, it kind of is, but he knows so much about them that I can’t help tuning into his mind channel every so often just so I can listen to the prattle that is his rock-train-of-thought.

Petrology is what it’s called, the study of rocks, a sub-field of geology, and that’s what he wants to specialize in when we graduate high school. I can’t help but wonder if that’s even a thing. At the very least it would be a peculiar conversational piece.

What is your major?

Liberal studies. How about yours?

Geology with a specialization in petrology.

Oh, um, cool. What’s that?

It’s the study of rocks.

Oh, that’s nice.

Nice: the words you use to describe the things you actually couldn’t give less of a shit about. Oh, you went on vacation to the Bahamas? That’s nice. Your favorite color is mauve? Ooh, nice.

I sometimes wonder how far that kid will make it, but then I catch myself and remember: it’s Bloomfield Parker. Where won’t he make it?

It’s not just his looks—the stick-straight auburn of his hair, just dark enough to make his silver eyes shine at a peculiarly high velocity—or his passion for science that will get this kid places. It’s just…him. Bloomfield Parker isn’t just his name, it’s his way of being.

Bloomfield Parker just is. And he’s great at it!

It’s just that sometimes I wish he would be a little less great at it, and maybe that would give me a chance to understand his thoughts. You see, other than the rock stuff, there is something peculiar that happens every time I try to listen in on the mind of Bloomfield Parker.

It’s empty.

Not completely empty, there are thoughts there, but it’s like they have been shielded by a door, a thick oak door with a small man, kind of ugly and surely unhappy with the state of his life, standing behind it, and I don’t know the password.

In the two years since I woke up with this aching nosiness in my head, this is the first time thoughts have been denied to me.

I don’t like it.

I wouldn’t say that I used my newfound superpower for either good or evil, because in the moment how are you really supposed to know? (A rhetorical question that doesn’t really work for murder, but we’re not talking about murder). I would simply say I use it to my own benefit, including things that I think will benefit others, make of that what you will.

Like two weeks ago, for example, I overheard Mike Micklewadd (another one of the unfortunate names that plague our school) thinking about how the local amusement park is getting a surprise performance from Green Day in two weeks (his dad’s the CEO, not that managing the chief executive officer position of Wild Walley’s is surmountingly difficult). The tickets would be given away via a call-in to the local radio station. I spent an entire week working out my telephone dialing strategy and working with my friend, Janine. We were going to get these tickets if it killed us. Now guess who is taking her best friend to see Green Day backstage?

The performance sold out in under a minute. I was the second caller, right behind Mike. Ironically, Amber, the girl he had meant to impress with this information, was the one hundred and twenty-seventh caller. She didn’t even get a seat.

It just so happens that Mike also got backstage passes, four of them, and so of course he invited Bloomfield Parker, seeing as how they’re friends and all. So now, here we are: the day that will probably lead to the best night of my life. Two straight hours of Green Day and Bloomfield Parker; in the same room!

I can hardly contain the girlish giggles that threaten to burst from my throat in English class. It gets even worse when the final bell rings and Janine and I head to the bus—she’s coming over so we can plan outfits and make-up strategy—and it just so happens that Bloomfield is going home with Mike today, too. And Mike rides my bus! Things are falling into place.

On the way home I try to listen in on the boys’ conversation, and what I can’t hear myself (they’re two rows behind us and buses are noisy), I manage to etch-a-sketch from their thoughts. Mike is easy to read, it’s all BLTs and Sports Illustrated, but once again, I am stumped by Bloomfield Parker. What about him is so special?

What about him is not special?

I’m about to give up hope when Janine nudges me in the side and wiggles her eyebrows, our sign for: did you just hear that? Which, of course, I didn’t because I was too busy eaves-dropping on people’s thoughts; or trying to, at least.

“What?” I mouth silently and she sighs, rolling her eyes.

She leans in close to me, her voice rising in pitch as she excitedly squeals, “They were just talking about you.”
“Like what? What did they say?” There were loads of things they could have said about you, and seeing as how Mike’s thoughts were still on the Miss December Sports Illustrated model—about half a year belated seeing as how it’s nearly June—it couldn’t have been all that important, but I strain harder to hear anyway.

“—tickets too,” Mike is saying, and my chest gets all befluttered. They must be talking about the concert. “There were only eight sold, so that’s us, Billy, Joel, them—cause she’s probably taking that blonde friend of hers—and two other people.”

“Who are the two others?” Bloomfield Parker asks and my inflated heart sags ever so slightly. Why does he care who the other people are?

“Dunno,” Mike says, sighing and flipping the page of his not-so-secretly hidden magazine; he makes a noise, somewhere between a chuckle and a grunt and it gives me uncomfortable goose bumps. I mean, really, can you not? This is a public space that you’re reading that magazine in and you’re sitting next to Bloomfield Parker; how could you possibly be doing both of those things in the same sentence?!

“Do you think your father could find out?”

“Dunno,” Mike says again. “Why? Are you hoping they will be some hot models or something?”

Bloomfield Parker doesn’t say anything, but the way he doesn’t say anything sounds a lot like a shrug. Did he shrug? I’m not sure. I don’t dare turn around or he’ll for sure know I’m staring at them. I guess I could pretend I’m staring at Billy Ferterno in the row behind them, but I wouldn’t want to give him false hope. It wouldn’t be fair to Billy, and frankly, I don’t need that kind of stigma attached to my name. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Billy is a good guy, but he’s also Billy Ferterno. So, like, ew.

My stop is next so I don’t know what happens next in the conversation. Already Mike is distracted with Miss April and I don’t need those kind of thoughts in my head, so I pull out of his brain quickly before launching myself down the steps of the bus and onto the sidewalk that leads to my front drive. Janine is right behind me and as the bus pulls away, I glance one more time in the general vicinity of where we were just sitting. There’s the empty bench seat, the ugly gray leather just as depressing from outside the bus, and two rows back, there is Bloomfield Parker, perfectly perfect and staring right at me.

~~~~~

I’ve been stared at many times in my lifetime, all sixteen years of it. Only twice has it been by a boy. The first time was in the third grade when Andrew Milson swore in front of the whole class that I was, in fact, the girl that played Hermione Granger in all of the Harry Potter films. While I concur that, like Emma Watson, I do possess a sort of subtle elegance, I’m not sure I would go as far as to compare myself to her. Although, at the time I was completely fine with Andrew thinking so, I just never approved it myself.

But only once have I ever been stared at by someone I truly cared about, and my stomach gets all tingly thinking about the fact that Bloomfield Parker—the Bloomfield Parker—had been caught staring at me!

And now I only have four short hours to put together the best hair, makeup, and ensemble combination that will not only win me the attention of the cutest boy in Wingsburry Park, but also outshine those trampy models that Mike so uninspiredly guessed are also going to be in attendance at tonight’s concert.

Whatever, models or not, my silver-studded leather mini-skirt, Green Day baggy-enough-to-be-chic t-shirt, and (my mother’s) Louis Vuitton heels (that she doesn’t exactly know that I’m borrowing) are going to be the stars of a one-lady runway: me.

Janine looks great but not quite as glamorous as me. We both decided that if I want to get Bloomfield Parker’s attention, I am going to have to stand out in the best way possible. She has a turquoise shirt on with a pair of black skinny jeans and ballerina flats. Altogether, it’s a cute outfit, and it really emphasizes her long blonde hair, but not too much that it outshines the awesomeness of my legs in these shoes.

I tie my hair up in a loose makeshift braid, ponytail, bun thing that looks messed in all the right ways without seeming like I put in a bunch of effort into it. I didn’t really. It took about five minutes. Whoever originated this style should be given an Emmy. Here’s to you lazy high-school student who didn’t have time to wash her hair in the morning! I feel her on a spiritual level.

But not as much as I feel the anticipation of backstage passes and Bloomfield Parker! It feels like I haven’t even breathed a full breath before the long handle on the clock is swinging dangerously close to the seven, as in o’clock, and it’s already time to go.

~~~~~

If my spirit had a physical representation in this world, I can’t help but think that I would be a cheese platter. Here me out. Cheese platters are universal, kind of like rocks. They are the first thing on the list for an organized event, because really, what screams formal more than a stinky platter of cheese that only the truly snobby pretend to like, but really, does anyone? But still, it’s a necessary ingredient for every necessary get-together. That is not to say that I am arrogant or stinky, but instead, that I am a necessary part of any quality, big event.

Green Day has a cheese platter.

And so far, I think I have eaten half of it.

Janine and I arrived exactly on time to gain entry into the backstage with our passes, which I guess is still an hour too early, because it’s been a while and still no one of any really importance has shown up. Sure there are some other girls with mini-skirts just high enough to cover the space undoubtedly covered by a tramp stamp. But, like I said, no one of real importance.

“Stop eating,” Janine scolds and I flick the edge of a cracker toward her. It’s one of those expensive ones that taste like cardboard but cost fifteen dollars, and I plan to eat every single one of them. I spent more than two weeks’ salary at the ice cream bar on this outfit, and I don’t plan on missing out on anything.

“I can’t,” I hiss back and she frowns at me. “I’m nervous.”

“Then drink water.”

Could she have made a dumber suggestion? I make sure this is clear in my tone when I say, “But then I’ll have to pee.”

She shrugs, giving me the semi-defeated look of: Oh, I hadn’t thought of that.

Our bickering is suddenly halted upon the entry of Bloomfield Parker. As usual he looks magnificent. He’s wearing a black leather jacket that makes his sleek auburn hair look the perfect amount of edgy without being douchebaggy. He’s wearing a black v-neck, dark gray skinny jeans, and converse. All in all, Bloomfield Parker looks like a rock god.

His entourage is all right, I suppose, and Janine keeps whispering in my ear that she never thought of Mike as hot until right now, but I can’t tug my eyes away from the truly handsome of the bunch.

“I think he’s looking at you,” Janine says excitedly and I don’t dare look over at the approaching group of guys. “Oh my god, they’re coming. What do we do? They’re coming—” She cuts off abruptly as the guys finally make their way across the room to where we are standing at the refreshments table. If she hadn’t been so nervous I could have easily told Janine to just be cool, but sometimes I wonder if that’s even a thing she’s capable of.

Mike is the first one to speak; which, as gang leader, makes sense. “Hey Janine.” That’s it, no group hello, just Janine, and she giggles. Giggles!

She resembles a deer in headlights when she whispers back a startled. “Hi.”

I almost get mad, almost, but then the unthinkable happens. Before I know it, Bloomfield Parker is standing next to me, smiling, and nodding a shy, “Hi Penelope.”

Bloomfield Parker. Bloomfield Parker knows my name!

“Hello Bloomfield Parker.”

His eyebrows pull together in an expression of mild confusion and I realize my mistake. “Sorry,” I say quickly, “it’s just that…” What? That your first and last name are so perfectly in sync with one another that it’s just not possible for me to say one without the other?

I don’t want to freak him out!

So, instead, I say the next most brilliant thing that comes to mind. “Yeah.”

He laughs. At me!

Maybe not the greatest thing in the world, but it is progress from nothing, so I will take it.

“So, you’re a fan of Green Day, huh?”

Well no shit, but I’ll let it go since he looks so good right now.

“Yeah, the American Idiot album was my life for years. The entire thing is just one massive jam.”

“Agreed.” He smiles at me and I’m pretty sure my heart has frozen in place. No, really, how many seconds are supposed to come between beats? Because I’m pretty sure too many are passing at once for my heart to still not be beating.

Oh, wait, there it goes.

No!

Okay, no, yeah, it’s fine.

That’s all the conversation that passed between us for a good solid three minutes. And then the inevitable happened. No, inevitable is not the right word. Inevitable implies some sort of expectation. This requires a whole new set of words. It was maximally  horrendous. Excruciatingly hideous. Abominably abhorrent.

And it all came in the shape of a five-foot-two, blue-eyed, strawberry-blonde haired angel-devil. She was the first of her mini-posse to walk in the room, and immediately the group of guys could look at no one else. Her heels (Prada) could have caked dust on my semi-stolen Vuittons without even receiving a scuff mark, but what’s worse: her dress, all-leather with a flash of blue satin on one side, is a perfect match in edginess to Bloomfield Parker.

I could have moved on, I could have blocked her from my mind. I would have, too, if it wasn’t for one tiny little detail: and that is Bloomfield Parker himself.

The moment she walked in his face lit up like a thousand fireflies dancing behind his eyes. That’s the lamest simile ever, but it’s the best way of describing the sudden light emanating from him. He smiled and she sauntered over, wrapping her arms around his neck which required her, first, to lean up on her tip-toes, pressing her chest against his to do it.

I didn’t need to see the next part to confirm my suspicions, but I couldn’t help but watch it, like I was witness to some horrible accident and the morbid fascination was just too real. He leaned down slowly to place a kiss on her forehead.

My Bloomfield Parker.

It takes him a minute before he remembers proper manners; though I’m not really sure if he has any of those in the first place. That is, until he says, “Penelope, this is my sister, Laura.”

Sister. Right. I didn’t know he had one of those, but it’s Bloomfield Parker—the only mind I can’t read—so who’s to say he doesn’t. Still, I narrow my eyes suspiciously at her until Mike, who had up until now been in a rather enthralling discussion with Janine (judging by the twittering giggles that would emerge from the back of her throat every minute or so), came springing up behind her, and giving her a half-bear hug.

“Laura, the famous sister makes an appearance, I see.”

She slaps his arm, unphased by the sudden bombardment of teenage male flesh, and extends a hand to me. “Hello Penelope, it’s nice to meet you.”

I smile and take it; if there is still anger on my face, it isn’t from the immense betrayal I had just felt, but because I had no idea he even had a sister. I’m supposed to know everything about Bloomfield Parker!

“You too,” I say, and I mean it. She smiles up at me and I can already tell we’re going to be friends. Call it a gut feeling.

But then the really bad thing happens.

She claps her hands together excitedly and her eyebrows shoot up, like she’s just remembered something great. Laura tugs on Bloomfield Parker’s sleeve. “Oh, and Justin is here too.”

His beautiful face falls immediately.

“Oh, yeah? So?”

She wiggles her eyebrows up at him, poking a finger into the corner of his mouth in an attempt to lift it into a smile. “So, I heard he broke up with—” She clears her throat. “You know who.”

Wait, I don’t like where this is going. You know who who?

“Really?” He perks up a little, his shoulders rolling back just a little bit further than usual, broadening his already perfectly broad shoulderline.”

“Is that a good thing?” I ask, inserting myself into the conversation, and both Mike and Laura laugh rather maniacally.

“It is for Bloomfield,” Mike says with a smirk.

“Shut up,” the auburn-haired god says with a slight blush. Blush!

No, I’m definitely not liking this at all.

Okay, so…what is going on? I ask the first thing I can think of. “Why? Do we not like Justin?”

Laura frowns. “No. We definitely don’t.”

I nod. “Okay, and that’s because…?”

Two more guys, the second more attractive than the first, enter the room (I thought there were only supposed to be eight of us!) The first is a tall blond, and judging by the way that Laura is frowning at him, I’m guessing he’s Justin. The second guys is even taller, at least six foot three, with dark brown hair, florescent green eyes, and a smile that could very well be just as heart-stopping as Bloomfield Parker’s.

Laura side-steps until she’s close enough to whisper in my ear. “We don’t like Jason, we like Jack.”

We.

The way she says it implies that it is not we at all, but rather he.

He.

As in Bloomfield Parker.

As in the boy that is absolutely, one hundred percent, beyond a shadow of a doubt, supposed to be irrevocably perfect for me.

As in the boy who is currently staring at Jack just like I’m sure I stare at him; awed and a little open-mouthed.

This is it.

This is the end of me.

I want to read his mind; I want to know what he’s thinking. No, screw that, I already know what he’s thinking, but I want confirmation. I want to make sure that I know that he knows what he’s thinking.

He does: I don’t have to read his mind to confirm that.

But still I try.

And this time something goes through. There isn’t the white-noise void that I usually get when I try to pick at Bloomfield Parker’s mind waves, and neither is there a lecture on rocks—the other of his brain’s favorite pastimes.

No, instead there are memories. Lots and lots of them like still-shot pictures hanging up on a wire. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful face inset with stunning green eyes. Pictures that aren’t meant for me, I’m sure, but when has that ever stopped me from snooping?

Pictures from years ago, with faces a little more round, arms just a little more gangly. Pictures of baseball, smiles, kisses, warm hugs, open fields, birthday parties, repeated ‘I love you’, and, worst of all, two happy faces that leave no room whatsoever for me.

Janine comes up behind me, tugging at my arm, but I don’t want to meet her pity look. It can’t be worse than the self-pity look that’s surely sprawled out over my face.

I sigh.

So much for being a Gentleman Prophet.

 

What To Do When You Are Stranded On an Island With an Idiot

First and foremost, I want to apologize for being so absent lately. This semesters workload (plus the current addition of the fact that I am sick) has given me no free time to breathe let alone post. Sadly, it doesn’t appear as though my schedule will be opening up any time soon, so I am not sure how quickly (if at all) I will be able to get out my study abroad tips and tricks.

I really do feel so horribly bad about it, so today I will be telling you the story of something that happened to me while I was away in the hopes of entertaining both you and myself; because, frankly, I’m going a little crazy over here.

If you are in the same boat as I am–swamped with work and responsibilities–I hope this cheers you up a little bit, or at least makes you laugh :)

Mel

~~~~~

 

Paris, France

It’s true that Paris is a beautiful city. Historically, there are countless numbers of monuments, museums, and locations of extreme importance to the country’s past as well as the history of the world. These things are all great.

But what’s not great is travelling the city with someone who, in almost every way, is completely unprepared for life as an adult; even if s/he is age 20. For the sake of a gender-neutral name, we will call this person Jamie.

Now there are a lot of things I could tell you about Jamie that would help you to understand what I should have prepared myself for prior to my trip to Paris. Like the following conversation that occurred while in England:

[Two guys we met from Oklahoma]: Yeah, we’re going to Paris on the weekend for Bastille Day, I think it will be really fun!

[Jamie]: Oh my god, Bastille?! I love them! I didn’t get to see them perform when they were in Detroit, though.

*Long awkward silence*

[One of the two guys]: Um, no, not the band. Bastille Day is France’s national holiday…

Okay, do you get it now? No? Okay. How about I begin by telling you the first thing that happened to Jamie when s/he arrived in Paris. Jamie arrived a couple of days ahead of us and we had agreed to meet up after our arrival (close to midnight on a Tuesday) at our hostel–Rupee and I were travelling together.

So what happened to Jamie when s/he first landed in France? Jamie got in the back of a man’s car. Why? To be completely frank, because he was Arab, and Jamie assumed this meant that 1) he was a taxi driver, and 2) he was, thus, trustworthy. Let me make something completely clear to you: this man was not a taxi driver whatsoever. Jamie literally got in the back of some random man’s car! And then he took her places! And by took her places, I really mean that he drove around in circles for half an hour and then charged Jamie sixty euros for getting him/her lost.

So this is what happened previous to us meeting up. (I should have taking this story as a sign, but apparently I wasn’t that insightful at two o’clock in the morning.)

The day after our arrival in Paris was the day we had planned to do the majority of our sight-seeing. This meant that there would be a significant amount of walking to typical tourist destinations: The Eiffel Tour, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, etc.

Rupee and I had planned originally to go to Paris on our own, but when Jamie had asked if s/he could tag along, we agreed, not thinking too much about it. We had a meeting before leaving for Europe about exactly what it was we planned to do, showed this idea-sketch to Jamie, and s/he agreed to it. Let me make this clear: we were never once wishy-washy about our intentions; it is not in either of our personalities to be that way. We stated firmly that these were the things we intended to do, and that if Jamie would like to come along, that was fine, but we really had no intention of deviating from this.

We said this countless times. Literally so many times. So many.

Fast forward to Paris. The first half of the first day progressed pretty smoothly. Then it started to rain. We were wet, lost, and profoundly unhappy. Why? Because during the time we weren’t trying to find our way through the water-logged city of Paris, we were arguing with Jamie about precisely what was coming next on our to-do list.

And why were we arguing?

Because Jamie was so flighty s/he couldn’t keep her/his mind on one thing for more than five minutes. The only thing I can compare it to is babysitting a three year old. It’s the age when curiosity is in high gear (and they can walk.) Every six minutes or so you have to circle back, reclaim the kid from whatever “fascinating thing” had caught its attention this time, and steer it back into the direction you are trying to go. Except, instead of a three year old, it’s a twenty year old.

I think the majority of our first day was spent simply trying to get Jamie to focus on what was in front of us instead of veering off to “go shopping” (at a place none of us could afford), “look at this building” (why, Jamie? That’s an apartment building), “let’s buy macaroons” (no, we’re buying those on our last day in France so we can take a few back to Rupee’s sister in London)–I don’t know how many times that last one came up.

Maybe you are reading this and thinking that none of what I am explaining sounds annoying to you. For that I take fault in my own writing. 1) That I’m pretty out of practice so my descriptions are not doing justice to the situation. And 2) it’s been quite a while since this actually occurred, so some of the finer details have faded from my memory. Still, you might have picked up…you know…just a tad…that this whole thing made me, I don’t know, livid.

My personality is not a very patient one. But, surprisingly, if you met me, you might think I’m very patient. This is because I have grown very good at masking my impatience. So the issue only truly arises when people can begin to see my irritation through this shield of fake-patience.

Which is exactly what began to happen.

I think I may have scared Jamie a bit, but to be frank, that’s fine with me. I was so angry by the end of the trip (though I have to say I really enjoyed my time in Paris as far as the city is concerned) that I’m pretty sure you could see steam coming out of my ears. At one point during these many rounds of babysitting I was ready to simply take off with Rupee and leave Jamie behind. That’s when I was scolded by Rupee that it is rude to abandon people in foreign European cities.

Still, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have done it if Rupee hadn’t of been there.

So, really, what do you do when stranded on an island with an idiot?

I would like to advise you to swim away. But the best answer, and what we probably should have realized from the start, is that it’s best not to go to an island with an idiot in the first place.

It’s Been a While, Huh?

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted, and I wanted to write this to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about my studying abroad series! There will be more posts coming soon, along with some new short stories I have been working on (based off of things that inspired me while abroad, and things that have happened so far this school year).

College really is all about jumping right into it, and for some reason, English majors seem to get the brunt of out-of-class work. That isn’t to say that other majors don’t get a lot of work too (I know there are majors in the math and science fields that require students to work in labs and things; if that is you, I’m sorry).

But I am also sorry for me.

Because English majors are always saddled with A LOT of reading. Don’t get me wrong, I’m good at it, but at the rate the professors want it, it doesn’t leave a ton of time for everything else. And that includes writing blog posts. But that is no excuse, and so as soon as I can get over this hump of reading and paper writing that is going to plague me for the next couple of days, I will hopefully be able to get out the next few posts to you (that have been in mid-creation for probably two weeks now!)

Good luck to those of you starting the new school year, and for those students just now beginning to wrap up their years–have fun with them finals! Woot, woot!

Talk to you soon. Promise.

Mel

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