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It’s April 1st. I emerge from my shelter deep underground. The world is still here. It’s over. I survived March Madness. March is a time when the male species is overcome with a sickness of sorts; a sickness that drives them to madness. They cannot do or talk about anything besides basketball. Society as we know it collapses. The world revolves around watching basketball and talking about basketball in the time between games. All other activities are abandoned and the streets appear desolate during game time. I have found that I am immune to the sickness – possibly due to a biological immunity or maybe due to the fact that I find basketball incredibly boring. For me, this month is torture. I wander the lonely streets griped by fear. At any time, I could be called to watch a game, and my only hope is to try desperately to make up an excuse. An excuse that will do me no good, as in their crazed state they will tie my down and force me to watch. Helplessly, I will have to listen to their crazed shouts as the game occurs; like a sort of tribal ritual. At any moment, by anyone, I could be asked my opinion of the game or how my “bracket” is going. Failure to have a vast knowledge of the game can cause me to be shunned from society. I will cease to hold the status of “man” to them. All the while they will look at me with contempt, waiting for the chance to embarrass me in front of the other superior males. At the height of their excitement they will consider sacrificing me to their players, their “gods.” The rivalries between teams can cause fighting in the streets with men fashioning weapons of whatever they can find. My lifeless body would be a symbol of their power and will to win regardless of the fact that they have no control over the game. As such I must lock myself away from society for nowhere is safe. So for the month of March I stay within in a bomb shelter 50 ft below ground. There is no computer as the Internet is a breeding ground for loud, constant sports chatter. There is no TV as the talk of basketball could occur at any time. There is no running water because all the water lines are filled with Gatorade for the month. There is just my thoughts and I. But finally now I am free! The madness is over. Suddenly a strong hand grabs my shoulder. “Hey man want to watch the finals later?” Before I can I answer, him and his buddies are dragging me towards their house. I had forgotten; the games are still going on. I scream. April fools on me.
-Jacob Savos ’16
Today is finally the big day. Today I meet the girl of my dreams. For six months now we’ve been talking to each other online. It seems like only yesterday that we met on a chat room for Jewish Singles. There was an instant connection. We are the same age, we live in the same city, and our parents happen to work at the same consulting firm. Neither of us post pictures of ourselves online because we have always felt a little self-conscious. We both have the same favorite number, 8, because that was the number we had on our respective soccer teams as kids. We both feel assured that neither is secretly a creepy old guy because we share the same favorite artist – the very hip Katy Perry. Our favorite song is “I Kissed a Girl” because we both happen to have sung this once due to a dare. We both dream of one day owning our own bed and breakfast where we will deny old people service. If we ruled the world cat ownership would be mandatory and “smooth Jazz” would be eliminated as a musical genre. Our connection is unmistakable; we are soul mates. I cannot wait to go to the restaurant and meet her tonight.
Everything is terrible. I got to the restaurant all excited and there was only a note that read:
“Steve – I am sorry to have to tell you this but I am not real. I am a figment of your imagination. After blowing it with Kathleen six months ago, your already frail mind split and created this alternate female personality. You have been talking to yourself this past few months . I like you a lot Steve but I think it’s best that we see other people. Don’t worry, your parents knew all along and they have cake waiting for you at home. They were just enjoying having a daughter for once. Best of luck to you Steve, you are a cool dude and I’m sure there is some real girl out there who could like you.
P.S. I will be using the body Friday night for my date with the captain of the football team.”
I guess I have no one to blame but myself. That would explain all the teenage girls clothes that my mom has been buying. Really this could have happened to anyone. Female me is right, I just need to get back out there. The good news is someone on the chat room just messaged me. I have a good feeling about this one.
The front door opens. It must be my wife. “Hi honey, my meeting got out early so I decided to just come home,” she says as she walks up the stairs.
Quickly I change the channel to sports and casually place the tissues back on the bedside table. She opens the door and I avoid her gaze, praying she can’t see the shame in my eyes. “How has your day been? I know it has been tough being out of work. All this alone time must be driving you crazy.”
If only she knew. My eyes followed her as she walked over to the closet. My pulse quickened for fear of her finding the shoebox in the back of the closet where I keep the tapes. I’ve developed quite the collection. From newer ones to the old classics; I even have some foreign ones. “Be downstairs in a couple minutes. Don’t forget we have movie date night,” she said as she left the room.
I quickly get up and remove the tape from the DVD player. That was close, I thought, she would never let me hear the end of it if she knew what I was watching. I let my eyes linger over the title of the movie for a second: “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
Yes that’s right. I love romantic comedies. I love everything about them. From the awkward moments to the predictable endings, there’s nothing that gives me a good cry more than a happy ending. But alas society has deemed it unacceptable for me to like such movies, insisting they are only for women. So now I am trapped, a prisoner of my desires that I can share with no one. I must acquire new movies in secret – wearing a mask as I exchange money for films from a dealer in a back alley behind a closed Blockbuster.
“Honey what movie are we going to see?” I yell down the stairs.
“Well it’s my turn and I want to go see that new romantic comedy. I hope you will be able to sit through it unlike the last one.”
The last time I had to get up and go to the bathroom so she wouldn’t see me cry. I try to calmly phrase my next question. “Who are the stars?”
“Oh it’s one of those ones where they have like 20 people starring. I’m sure it will at least be fun.”
A sigh of pleasure escapes my lips. “I’ll be down soon,” I announce in what I hope is a disinterested tone.
I am writing this so you know that I’m still alive and doing well. College is great -classes are going well, but it’s a lot of work. Don’t worry, I’m still sleeping and eating. Food is good, people are nice, and really I have no complaints.
Well there is one minor thing. Apparently we are located on top of what is known as a “rift in space and time.” The president and dean have assured us that this is perfectly safe and we should simply not feed anything that appears from the rift. Speaking of feeding things how are the cats doing?
Anyway, the rift only comes with a few annoyances. Like on Wednesday when the giant space worm tore through campus I was totally late for class – it was so embarrassing and everyone stared at me. Thankfully class was canceled on Thursday due to the Jewish holidays.
Then, I went to a fun party on Friday night. Correction: it was fun until the goblins showed up and drank all the alcohol. Once they started tossing people around everyone agreed that this had to be the rudest thing to happen on campus since the Smurf epidemic of ‘97.
Don’t worry, I haven’t spent all my time partying. I have been trying diligently to keep up with my work despite the howls of the man-eating dogs that run through the tunnel system below the school. The library was actually useful for studying yesterday since the cyborgs that live there were too busy attempting to hack into every electrical device on campus to try and vaporize me.
Still I find it hard to concentrate on reading – not because the fairies that live in the walls randomly make fun of you for your outfit, mostly just because I find history boring. Not to mention I have been feeling a bit under the weather lately. The doctors told me it is either a mutated strain of the black plague that had been transported by the giant rats or just a cold. Apparently Tylenol works for both so I am managing.
Sorry that I have to wrap this up so quickly but it is about to be midnight, which is when all the power goes out and is diverted to hell (Satan allows us to use power during the day so long as National Grid doesn’t find out – he’s a great guy!). Tell the family I say hi and I miss them!