Untitled Project

There’s a soft buzz just ahead. He’s early – Max is never late – but clearly some students had something to talk about ahead of class. That was always the case, there was always something to talk about; more precisely, someone to talk about. One thing was certain though. They never talked about Max. He just wasn’t an interesting enough topic to bring up. If only they knew. Max methodically pushed the half-closed door wide open and walked purposefully into the classroom. He knew his destination, his prized seat, two rows from the front and right in the middle. It was just close enough to hear the teacher whisper and yet just far enough not to be classified as a teacher’s pet. He’d worked all of that out because he cared about what people thought of him; not knowing that people didn’t care to think of him at all. Slowly placing his satchel under his desk he gathered himself and sat, rather stiffly on the stool. That’s how Max did everything, with an air of royalty and calculation. The few that spared a thought for him (if only for a second or two) found his behaviour awkward. They just never understood him, partially because they never tried. Funnily enough Max knew this but didn’t mind too much. He cared about what people thought of him but so long as there was no hostility directed towards him he could live. He slowly took out his books, (Geography was next) and exactly 3 seconds after inking his pen Mrs. Elston arrived. Just on time. Max gave himself a mental pat on the back. Everyone shuffled back to their seats, the buzz of conversation slowly died down, albeit reluctantly. The question they were all anticipating and dreading fast approaching.

“Good morning class! Did you all do the work I assigned you yesterday?”

Silence. This was going to be one long morning… or was it?

“You really are setting a poor example here. How will the new student know how to behave if not one of you knows how to behave?” she said angrily although bizarrely there was a smile on her face.

A new student? Max thought. At this time of the term? But we’re nearly through.

“Maximus.” she mock-pleaded. “You’ve done your homework, haven’t you?”

Before Max could even take a breath she answered her own question. It was rhetorical then. Why? Because in spite of his elaborate seating plan it was a well-known fact that Max was the teacher’s pet, known by everyone – everyone but him. He was rather oblivious for the genius he was.

“Of course you have. So she’ll be taking notes from you. Teach her well.” She shot him a glance. Max thought it was menacing but he was an oblivious genius. A dunce would have understood that look immediately. Mrs Elston was being rather naughty but she liked Max and felt he needed a win in his barren social life.

“But I’m getting ahead of myself!” she exclaimed. She loved ramping up the energy out of nowhere. “Class, say hello to your new classmate. Her name is Maxine.”

Maxine walked gracefully into the classroom. A sharp hush fell over the room. Max decided to take a glimpse at the new student. Glimpse turned to look… and then to gaping stare. For the next few seconds all Max could hear was his own heartbeat and all he could see was her.

Hey Brother, It’s Been A While

Dear Ayanda,

Hey there. It’s been a while since we last caught up… so this might be a long message. I’m sure you won’t mind too much.

Some interesting things have happened lately, most have made me very happy and others have made me ask questions of myself – that’s a good thing, right? The standout feature of my time away is that most of my waking hours are spent at work. The hours racked up in direct proportion to the responsibility I was handed. Funny how I think it’s great that I have this responsibility, yet I used to detest it. I’m winning trust and responsibility each and every day. The joy that comes with it proves it’s something I’ve intrinsically aspired for… trust. As a result I’ve worked loads of hours, encountered so many guests; all of different voices, appearances and temperaments. I’ve had to handle certain situations that tested wit and patience. I think I may have grown in confidence and eloquence. I’m also much better at timekeeping as a result, can you believe it? The downside is that I don’t get to chat with the family as often as I’d like to. It’s not great but at the same time I understand that they’re always there for me but I must also learn to do some things on my own.

Away from work I’ve been really looking at the relationships I’ve forged over the years. I remember reading somewhere that the friends you make at this stage in life will be friends for life. This makes me glad that I still chat with my good friends from high school. I’ve also recently learned to burn certain bridges. I must say it’s not an easy or pleasant thing to do but neither is cutting a tumour and though it sounds rough some people just shouldn’t be in your life. So I’ve said some goodbyes. I hope I’ve made the right decision.

I’ve met some new people lately. One or two interesting recent graduates. Arts and Sciences. I’m not going to lie, I haven’t enjoyed a conversation as much as the one I had with them in a long time, no offence bro. They just had different ideas and points of view. We discussed the purpose of a chair and how a chair should feel when our massive buttocks gracelessly plop on top of it.

I do hope you are well. I’ll fill you in with more details soon, I promise.

Yours forever,

Joe

What Does It Feel Like?

Dear Follower,

I’d like to say that this break I’ve been taking is because I plan on churning out fantastic content on a weekly basis as opposed to mediocre to good content daily. If I said that I’d be lying. I set myself a target: to produce great pieces daily, no matter the cost. Obviously I’ve been slipping. So… I’ve decided to try something different. I’m fast approaching the 50 mark for blog post followers (yes… and thank you!). I believe it’s time for me to open up a discussion which might help me with a project I’m working on. The topic is:

What Does It Feel Like To Be Hit On?

If you would like to contribute please feel free to use the comment section. Anyone whose ideas I use for my project will make my “Thank You” page. They will also make my day.

So… Start typing. Thanks in advance.

Yours,

Joe

No

No. Such a short and simple word yet for some reason I find it very hard to say lately.

“But I say no all the time,” you say. “Why can’t you?”

Well I can. I like to think I’m very good at saying no, maybe even among the best.

Q: “Wanna go…?”

A: “No thanks.”

Q: “Wanna try?”

A: “I’m good.”

Q: “Would you like…?”

A: “I’m perfectly fine but thanks for asking.”

This is how it would go on many an occasion as I relentlessly pursued independence – individuality. Yet I eventually felt shortchanged. I’d been closing doors to opportunities, gifts and friendships because of my affinity to the word ‘no’. My friends and family felt the barrier I was putting up. I was essentially isolating myself. I had to learn to do otherwise. I had to learn to say yes, and like most things I put effort into I learned it really, really well… in this case too well.

Now we’re at the other end of the spectrum. My incessantly saying ‘yes’ has had a detrimental effect recently. It’s taken away my time and has slowly leeches part of my joy. I guess it’s time to take that back by saying what I used to say all the time when asked to do something beyond my means.

No.

Call Me Morgan Freeman

A memory just flashed across my mind accompanied by a tinge of nostalgia. Someone (I know not whom) used to call me Morgan Freeman presumably because of my voice… you know, as opposed to my looks (I’m only 21 after all). I cannot for the life of me recall who it was or when they said it but I genuinely miss the nickname for one reason or other.

Maybe I should stop watching all those “best-acting” compilations on YouTube. After all, Morgan Freeman is in a lot of those.