The Shenzhen Diaries #5: Little Trouble in Big China (Part 2)

Again, I woke up before six.  Again I headed out to Pingshan with no promise of anything fruitful coming out of it.  I came armed with a book of pronunciations and a full shirt and tie, with a cup of coffee as my guide.  I was on my own and needed to take the hour and a half train ride basically out of town. My mother said that a good night of preparation involves a good night sleep, but due to this unreasonable train ride and an early appointment, I was probably only working with 10 hours at my disposal out here.  Sacrifices needed to be made. Besides, there was plenty of time to sleep on the train.

I finally got my adviser to come along with me.  Sleazy he may be, he was just as interested in getting me a job as I was.  In a rare glimpse, our goals were aligned. Not to mention his most valuable trait by far was his ability to speak Chinese.  He could find a way to weasel me in. Perhaps a tad Faustian, but I don’t think that Western superstition holds any sway over here.

We met the same teachers and I was courteous, but nervous all over again.  It was like Groundhog Day, but I took their friendliness as a good sign. Maybe they slept on it and realized charm was enough.  Maybe they were playing hardball with the company. Maybe they were desperate enough for a teacher that they would lower their standards for me.  

They stashed me in an office where I met the Irish couple I was talking to before arriving.  They were great people and they seemed super confident that I would get the job. They didn’t seem overdressed or pretentious in any way, which lead me to believe this whole nightmare was a scare tactic.  They even seemed perplexed why I didn’t get the job yet. They were aware of the girl who had the job before me. They didn’t seem fond of her either, but when I asked if she could be the reason they were holding out.  “Could be,” they said. Nonetheless they had the utmost confidence in me.

It started off wonderfully casual.  My adviser is the adviser for the area that I live in, Pingshan.  So when we are put in the office to wait, he is familiar with the Irish couple on the grounds that he is also their adviser.  We talk about the area and the school. I was pretty nervous, so there were times where I clammed up and they would talk about school and company related business, which at that point went over my head.  The guy of the couple had to leave for class, but we progressed pleasantly enough. Eventually the conversation wheeled its way back around to the demo. A simple, harmless question: “What do you plan on doing for it?”  I told them about my funny little drawings and my game. The girl asked, “Oh, so you’re not doing a PowerPoint?”

“You’re not doing a PowerPoint?” my adviser said, turning solemn on a dime.  I said no, they weren’t required. Affectionately, sagely, professionally, my adviser replies, “Oh, Jesus Christ,”  in the panicked sort of tone a child would use when you broke an expensive vase while his parents weren’t home. The office breaks into a frenzy.  We only have twenty minutes before class begins. The girl begins pouring through her computer for old presentations, while I jump on her husbands computer and begin slopping a PowerPoint together.  Having the high PowerPoint standards that I do and not enough memory of PowerPoint to navigate it in Chinese, I found none of these good enough and I began googling ESL PowerPoint and flipping through pages and slides.  My adviser was promptly having a panic attack and calling his boss, as was his customary play in these situations. Eventually, threw out the name of a supervisor of the company and told me to call him immediately.

When I did, the deep voiced British man answered like he was a Sunday afternoon.  I spat out my troubles and told them that I didn’t have a PowerPoint and I wasn’t going to pass the second demo.  He kindly informs me that it is not required. When I asked why my adviser was freaking out about it, he calmly replied that the man was very bad at de-escalating situations and that I surely had nothing to worry about.  The man’s deep British voice was hypnotic and I hung up the phone with a sense of brainwashed ease. I eventually settled on a cheesy Simpsons PowerPoint that just had the family members and the words like “Mother” and “Father” on the slides.  I figured I would use it as a flex.

In a last minute decision back home, I threw a flash drive in my bag on the off chance that I would need it.  It is a little Pop-Cap style storm trooper with a big head that I have affectionately have begun calling B3N-E (Benny).  (Many of you probably get the callback to a run in with a ‘Benny’ that assisted me on my way out there. For everyone else, this will be a blog post someday soon.)  It turns out that it is very fortunate that B3N-E made his way out here with me. I would call what the schools have out here somewhat of a ‘PowerPoint fetish’, but on the other hand, I can’t fault them for fully embracing technology in the classroom.  Probably even more so than American schools. That being said, they are obsessed with ‘P.P.T.’s as they affectionately call them.

Finally, young, Chinese Andy Warhol came to get us wearing pretty much the same black turtleneck as yesterday (see previous entry).  Either the legends about Chinese people not bathing were true or this guy had the same sweater for every day of the week. Either way, it turns out that my adviser was rather chummy with him.  This lightened my spirits. He was kindly to me and again assured me I had nothing to be worried about. (Funny, he said that last time.) My lesson started on time this time, but the brick-faced headmaster never showed up.  This lead me to believe that my future was in the hands of the teachers in the back. There was a clarity to my lesson that I couldn’t hit on my first time around. There was something horrifying yet familiar about it.

If you call me racist, I would get it, but I assure you this is just punching in the dark American ignorance.  The page that Turtleneck showed me in the textbook was about specific English pronunciations, specifically ‘ear’, ‘oar’, and ‘air’.  Not completely clear on my role out here or what anyone on this continent expected out of me, I figured that he wanted was for me to iron out some of their pronunciation with a real homegrown accent as reference.  Seems logical. So I centered a lot of the class around call and repeat. I introduced myself in my goofy way introducing my family with some adjectives like ‘kind’, ‘hard-working’, and ‘funny’. Then I progressed into a story about a grandmother and a math teacher from the book.  I tried my best to accentuate the phrases he wanted to.

I demonstrated good control over the classroom, and I really do think that I had the interest of the students.  Whether this was because I was a good teacher, I was exotic, or I was a loud enough personality in the classroom, I think it was working.  One of Turtleneck’s overblown criticisms from the day before was that I was picking out a couple of the same students over and over, rather than dragging the answers out of some of the quieter ones.  Trying to lead a high energy classroom, and coming from a college classroom, I kinda felt that if you want to participate you should be rewarded. But in reality, it was often dictated by financial constraints.  If your parents could pull together some extra money for an English tutor, it was no wonder why you did better in school.

I completely understood what young, Chinese Andy Warhol was saying though.  To partially complain a little bit, but mostly to defend myself, please understand that these are classes of 50+ kids.  Not only have I never been in front of this many kids at class, but there weren’t this many in my summer camp where my only job was to organize soccer games.  Any individual attention to these students would leave over 49 kids to their own devices. Considering how long it takes a non-native speaker to formulate sentences and emulate foreign sounds, that was a pretty fair amount of time that I was leaving over half the room out of my attention.  In reaction, it seemed much more efficient to keep the energy high so the entire class is paying attention and emulating the same sounds. Any errors they were making could be corrected by the crowd. Can you say a lot of the prayers from church by yourself? Maybe, but it’s easier with the choir.  

So class ended.  Again, I thought I did well.  I left my cleats on the field.  I gave it my all, Coach. Again, the teachers congregated, this time with my adviser involved.  At his side, I hung out in the circle, but they all knew very well I didn’t’ speak Chinese. I was pretty sure that they were speaking about me, and I tried to read their opinion, but either Chinese people are stone faced poker players and I could not pick up on foreign tells, or they were discussing options for lunch.  Then again, in my paranoid conspiracy mind, you wonder if they really were elitist and their hard to read edifice was only possibly because their opinion of me was similar to a dog or furniture.

The group broke up one by one and they all departed with a smile and a nod.  Turtleneck was last and offered to pick up lunch at the cafeteria for me. Pity or congratulations?  Probably neither, but I was reading into everything trying to get a handle on the situation. On the walk over, I began to pepper him with questions.  “How did it go?”, “What did you think of this?”, “Did you like that?”. Again, he liked my style in front of the room, but this time he didn’t think that I interacted with the students enough.  He seemed to be offended that I “just read out of the book”. You know, the one he gave me and said I didn’t use enough the first time around.

I tried to impress this guy with the amount of change I made overnight.  I wanted to show him that I could make his stupid little workbook dance for those kids, and it turned out to be too much.  Of course I was under qualified. All I’d ever taught was community college students with bad attitudes. This whole experience is making me a better teacher, but it was pretty hard to hear the complaints equal and opposite of the previous day.  My nerves were shot and finesse became harder and harder to come by.

The verdict seemed to be that “They would let me know”, which for my frazzled foreign mind seemed to mean that it could either be “We didn’t really like it, but we’ll mull it over some more” and “Let us try and convince the brick-faced headmaster that we really need you and you’re not tragically bad”.  Apparently they had some kind of scoring system they had on me and they were going to take it to the headmaster and spitball.

Turtleneck let me in the cafeteria and broke off to hang out with his sewing circle of other teachers.  My adviser sat with me and said that he would have preferred that I use a PowerPoint (fetish, am I right?), but overall he thought I did really well.  He was very stern and quiet throughout the meal. I poked my salted fish (not fish like the meat, the entire fish they throw on your plate as it stares at you like it’s saying ‘you’re eating my liver’) and thought as I tried to eat.  My stomach was in no mood for nutrition. Call me sullen and paranoid, but I began thinking. What if they wanted to hire me but the price was too steep? What if my adviser was leveraging me? I really liked the school and the students, but if he didn’t like the price I wasn’t going to get in?  

He was ticking away at his phone, juggling text messages and keeping contact with his superiors when I sprung the question on him, “Did they want a lower price for me?”.  That would explain why they were being so critical, especially in the wake of a fucked up situation with the last teacher. (Honestly, they were well in their rights.) He paused his texting to process the question, but never really looked up at me.  

He danced around the question citing that it was complicated and he was trying his ‘absolute hardest’ to get me in the school.  Given, this was because his boss would be more pissed off the longer I was unemployed, but I did believe he was doing his best with the parameters set for him (even if that included price).  I found out recently that we actually are very expensive for these schools, so it is not out of the question that this was a big issue. If they’re paying ¥30,000 (~$5,000) per month for us, you didn’t take a sub-par middle school teacher (which I may or may not have been at that time).  

When I pushed the issue, he cracked and said, “Hey man, life is hard.  The world is messed up.” Thanks man, I never knew that.  He ended by reiterating that he liked my demo and he was confident that they would get me in, but he did stress the importance of first impression.  The idea of the brick-faced headmaster catching a glimpse of my tattoo burned in my stomach. My fate was in the hands of Turtleneck and friends and their conversation this afternoon with the headmaster.  

It turned out to be a sunny day.  I was in a suit. This was the best I could hope for.  If my conspiracy theory was true, the other side of it was that they knew that foreign teachers came at a premium.  I just really hope that I was worth working with. Why would they ask for me back if they weren’t open to me being a teacher there?  China wouldn’t be that cruel? Would it?

On the way out of the cafeteria, a pair of curious green eyes flagged me down.  They belonged to a girl with a crew cut and sharp, intelligent features. It turns out that my adviser knew her as well, so we sat for a moment.  It turned out she was part of a group of Israeli engineering teachers coming over to teach STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) (Future shit like building bridges and 3D printing).  Not to mention her accent was very attractive.

She was accompanied by a fit tan man with salt and pepper hair (Hopefully too old to be some sort of boyfriend, or worse, husband).  He looked like a damned commando and spoke with a heavy Mediterranean accent. He spoke of the engineering program and the future with such confidence and wisdom.  It really just put proof to my feeling that Israeli people had a certain magic about them. Maybe it was just their conviction. When you grew up in a place that the entire world was leaning on and war was a constant reality, it really seemed to dry up the ‘fucking around’ in your life.  

The conversation quickly came to whether or not I was going to be working at the school.  Sure, I said, because, why not? “Do you have an apartment?” she asked. Going all in on this, I told her not yet.  “Why don’t you check out ours? My friend and I are moving out soon?” Even stupid month ago Christian knew that when a pretty foreign girl asked you to check out her apartment, you say yes.  So I did. We chatted the whole way up, and it turned out she was fascinating. She was really into swing dance. The apartment was beautiful. It had three rooms and was still under my price range.  She made special note to show the color changing lights, ‘in case you have company over’. She winked.

It was perfect.  Everything seemed to be falling into place, right?  We said our goodbyes and we hopped on a bus to join the others.  Two more of my compatriots were out here. The cockney British guy that I spoke about earlier in the blog, and the another of my friends:  a thirty something year old who speaks quickly and quietly like a cartoon character and has a lust for learning language but fails to manage meaningful communication with anyone, even in his mother tongue.  We were going to their interview at another middle school in the area. It quickly became my place to take on the paternal role that I had had appreciated the day before from my friend in the car. To be honest, they were probably a little intimidated when they saw me blow my ‘95% chance’ to get the job and have to run back around to try and scramble something together.  The cockney guy texted me earlier in the day, and I echoed his sentiment back to him. He said act like you already failed, and that will free you to approach the situation without any fear. I think there’s a Japanese proverb to this effect, and it did embolden me, or at least it took off some of the edge of the burning in my stomach.

We assembled in an office where they were interviewed and I simply introverted.  The school was probably the same basic shape as the other one, but it was not nearly as nicely taken care of.  I learned later on that different funding was allocated to different schools. If you went to a nicer school, you had a better future.  This does parallel America, but it seems a little intense to start this process in primary school.

They were interviewed while I brooded outside the door.  We were taken up to a sample class so that they could present their demos.  The original-original plan was that they would, like I did and most anyone else, have a forty minute period that they had to fill with a lesson and activities.  On the way up the stairs they were informed that because of the interview period, they would have to condense down to fifteen minutes. This was scary, but then again, we were assured that these schools were tripping over one another to get foreign teachers in their classes.  The fifteen minutes was surely a precaution to make sure that we weren’t going to pass out in front of the class or have some sort of anxiety fit. They were just going to pick the most important parts of their lessons and throw it out to the kids right away. They were disturbed by the cut down of time, but I was there to reassure them.

They were fretting, but I was done, right?  So I just had to be confident for them. We were introduced as foreign teachers and the first session began.  They were in there maybe five minutes, before my adviser turned to me to tell me I was next. “Excuse me?” I said.  “Just in case the other school doesn’t work out,” he assured me. This stank, and I’m sure he knew that I knew it. The thirty minute period was now cut down to three ten minute sections.

I don’t want to say that I crumbled, but I didn’t want to work at this school.  I didn’t want to compete with my friends for their jobs. I didn’t want to give up on the nice school, and the Israeli girl, and her apartment.  I couldn’t use the lesson from the class before because it was directly out of the book specifically for that school. Again, I took to my cheesy drawings and goofy personality from the first class.  

When I got up there, it was probably pretty clear that I was surprised and tired simultaneously.  My timing was off and 10 minutes seemed like a much harder to mark to hit than I was anticipating.  I moved through the material too quickly because the class was half as responsive as any class before this one and I didn’t have the energy to dig them out.  It probably didn’t help either that they just saw two teachers before me introduce themselves with completely different angles and twice the energy as me. They knew this was all presentation.  Even the children knew I was a fake. I gave it my all, but I didn’t have faith in my lesson plan. I already watched this one fail and the faults called out to me in the quiet class.

Finally, the long ten minutes was over when the headmaster, a short, fit man in a tracksuit flagged me down and told me I was done.  Quietly, sullenly, we were escorted back down to the office and served tea. I was defeated and hurting. I had honestly no idea what they were looking for or how this was looking to shake out.  This was yet another lesson in just accepting the way things were. And it was hardly going to be my last.

Finally, my specialist called me and the quiet guy out of the room, leaving the cockney guy there with the teachers processing in.  Having the experience and the confidence of being out here for seven years, nobody worried about him getting the job. It was surely much more dire that we were being pulled out of the room.  In his shitty, theatrical fashion our adviser spat out that I didn’t get the nice school job, but I did get this one. Somehow, my adviser found it necessary to tell quiet guy in front of me that he didn’t.  They pulled in his friend and gave him the job. I felt for him, but I had already been thought that two times at this point. It was awkward.

Shouldn’t I feel relieved?  I had a job. I could start my life out here in China.  I had a win. It may have been at the expense of another.  There was joy in it for me, but it was nestled in with a lot of other emotions.  Also note how weird it was that I wasn’t in the room with the other guy who got hired.  Weird right? You fucking bet it is. Something wasn’t adding up, and I was still braced for disaster.  (I’m just being paranoid, right? Fear of success and the like. Self-sabotage. Waiting for the other foot to drop.)

So we hop in a cab for a long awkward ride to the center of town to meet up everyone else who was already hired for their respective positions.  Our adviser had a lead on an apartment for the cockney guy, but it was in a different direction that we were heading to meet up with the others. I wish I was joking when I said that he had the cab slow down, told the guy to get out and walk about ten minutes up the street to meet up with someone that he never met before.  “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” he said. Our adviser assured him he will be fine and told him he needed to go ‘now’. He obeyed and walked away pissed off. Weird that I wasn’t apartment shopping with him right? Whatever. Take it as it comes.

Frustrated with the situation and perhaps a little disappointed in myself, I offhandedly said, “I need a beer.”  Being the professional that he was and it being noon on a weekday, my adviser agreed, “You want a beer? Let’s go get one.”  The car dropped us off in a busier area. This was downtown Kengzi, a smaller residential area of Pingshan. I would learn later on that this was really where everything was happening in my area.  It seems in China like they drop malls off in odd places and civilization begins to form around them. Oddly enough, we found a KFC where my adviser told quiet guy and I to sit and wait for him to get back.  

It’s actually much harder than you think to sit next to someone whose job you took.  Even if you didn’t actually take their job and they really didn’t get the job because they were a bit of a mumbling putz, it was a hard barrier to break through.  The worst part was that I wasn’t even happy about getting the job. The school was dirty and the neighborhood left a lot to be desired, but I should be happy that my search came to an end.  Something was still bubbling beneath the surface here. Why were we sitting in a KFC and not looking for a place for me to live?

Outside of whatever problems that my adviser was concocting behind the scenes while he yelled into his phone in Chinese and furiously ticked away the strange characters with his thumbs, I think I settled on the real problem of it all for me:  I didn’t feel worthy. The Israeli girl, the apartment, the students, the higher end school. It just felt like I had been shown a heaven and then assured that I didn’t belong there. Perhaps a little anachronistic and a little sulky side-note, but after all this mess was settled, it turned out the people who got the job at Turtleneck’s school were a ghostly pale ginger American couple from the Midwest.  Maybe it was because they were more ‘American-looking’ than me. Maybe it was because they didn’t have tattoos peeking out during their demos. Maybe the school just didn’t want to take the company’s first offering. But in reality, their demos were probably just better. They probably seemed prepared.  They probably had a PowerPoint.  

It felt like I would never belong somewhere that I would ever truly enjoy because my abilities would always be just out of reach, perpetually coming up short.  My eyes bigger than my stomach. My dreams bigger than my hands. Never good enough for what ego told me that I deserve. It felt like is that they were just more beautiful people than me, and undesirables such as myself are not befitting of Elysium.  We would stink up the place. Lower the property value. The City of God was for the Chosen, not the Try-Hards. But hey! Everything was still good right? There might not be room in heaven for you, but down the street Bob with the funny eye has plenty of room at his place.  Farmers are farmers, and lords are lords. It’s just something you’re born into. It’s the real human condition. I was still going to make a living and that is a reward in itself. Social quicksand: the more you fight it, the quicker it will suffocate you. Maybe that was the next pill I was going to have to learn how to swallow out here, regardless if it was a suppository or not.  Maybe accepting that reality will make me stronger in my life to come. Maybe just everything works out for a reason.

In reality, my work load actually is lighter where I am now, and it actually is a good place.  But when (out of all the schools in the area my adviser could have chosen) we have our Chinese lessons at the the same school that I didn’t get into, and everyone compliments how beautiful the school is, and how nice of an area it’s in, and how much they wished their school was like this, It doesn’t change the fact that I do still feel a little sting.  Maybe I’ll just save my luck and spend it elsewhere. Rich men and heaven and camels and eyes of needles and all that.

In the time of the story however, my adviser came back with one of the weird, chemical looking copper pint cans of red bull they have out here and a determined look on his face.  It may sound sick, but the fact that he was struggling was a bit of a relief. I suppose in the long run it was somewhat my fault.  If I was as good as I wanted to be (or thought I was), I would already be settled into the job and everything would be falling together.  It’s not that I enjoyed his pain out of spite, but it was just nice to know that we were in the middle of an irregular situation. I’ve mentioned in previous installments that this was my adviser’s first full semester on the job.  Not knowing this at the time, I asked him how strange this situation was. With fear in his eyes that clearly demonstrating that he had no grip on the situation at all, he said, “I have never seen this happen before.”

Quiet guy and myself kind of got lost in thought, perhaps not so interested in talking to one another for our own reasons.  He was like a sulking child. I couldn’t blame him, but he failed one demo. I was doubling that count. Our adviser was visible coming undone.  He was sucking down his red bull like it was going to solve his problems (drama queen). Every couple minutes he would read something on his phone that would make him visibly ache.  There were terrible things happening, and he was very bad at hiding that fact.

Being the patron saint of success that I was in that moment, I offered an olive branch.  “It’s all going to work out, man,” I said. “No,” he said. “Everything is fuck up.” (Direct quote, not a typo.)  He went on to explain to me that I didn’t actually get the job. They called back and said they only wanted the cockney guy.  Honestly, in retrospect, they probably only wanted him in the first place and, knowing that I wasn’t going to get the high-brow school job, my adviser tried to force feed me to them.  They probably said that they’d think about it. Even more honestly, I knew my demo was shit and I was surprised they ‘hired’ me in the first place. My adviser just tried to wish his problems away by assuring me that mine were over.  It was equal parts relief and disappointment. At least I wasn’t going to have to teach in that shit-hole, but at the same time, here I was back in square one. The shitiness of people is hysterical as well. When quiet guy heard this his ears perked up and his semi-autistic ass came back to life.  “Well that sucks,” he said. It is probably a fault of mine, but I really don’t like anyone’s commentary on my problems. Probably a little preemptive, but I needed to nip at something. “Bet you’re just giddy about that, aren’t you?” I said to him flat out. He returned to his quiet state.

Trying to be this cool collected adult that I was attempting to manifest, I moved forward with a belly full of broken glass.  I tried to sort out what the hell was going on with my adviser and get some kind of truth out of the situation (Something he’s probably specifically instructed not to reveal).  He did his company pride and seemed to only get irritated by a foreigner trying to relate to his problems. “You feel bad,” he said trying to make us feel better. “You want to know something really fucked up?”  Not really, but let’s take it for a spin, shall we? He probably shouldn’t have told us this stuff, but it attributed to what was bothering him at the time and he was going to pop if he didn’t get it out. It turns out that one of our friends that came over at the same time, a girl from South Africa and another one of our adviser’s unfortunate charges, whom we all congratulated the day before for getting her job, was going through the same problems we were.  The school decided that they didn’t want her after accepting her face to face. This was as weird of a situation as mine, but little did I know how closely we were linked through all this.

That was terrible to hear.  I have never been one to feel better about another’s sorrows.  If anything I empathize with them and feel worse. But where my adviser rear’s his shitty head is when I asked how she was taking it, and he said that he didn’t tell her yet.  I told him that was ridiculous and he needed to tell her. He said that he was working on fixing it. He was determined to get out from a situation that he himself had caused. I think I mentioned in the last entry that I could probably relate to him sometimes, but he clearly took dangerous games very far.  

We spent another couple minutes in the KFC, trying to reconstruct the fucked up day in all our own ways.  Eventually, our adviser tapped his red bull and said, “Okay, let’s go.” I asked where we were going. He said that we had to meet with the others.  They were all moving in today and he needed to speak with the landlords to get their situations sorted out. We figured we weren’t doing anything else today, so figured it was best just to go along.  The least I could do was keep moving.

We met up with the rest of the gang in one of the residential blocks downtown.  Quiet guy, who has decided that he is my friend again (prick), and I are told to ‘take a walk’ while my specialist deals with it.  I am not sure how it translates, but it felt a lot like he told us to piss off. We hung out in the streets without any money. Any money I had at that time was coming from America and going to staying an extra couple days in the hotel, and it didn’t seem that it was getting replenished any time soon.  I really kind of wanted to be alone, but quiet guy is something of a lost puppy. We just sit on a bench and I try to ignore him. A couple cyclists drove by and gestured to us, asking if we needed rides. A couple old ladies gave us dirty looks. My adviser and our friend he was settling in were pacing up and down the street seemingly cursing to themselves about the incompetence of the other.  For all I knew, they were both right. Nothing out of the usual.

After what took way too long and everybody was settled in this neighborhood, we hopped in the car with the second group.  The South African girl who didn’t know she was unemployed sat next to me. She did her best to talk me up and assure me that everything was going to work out.  It was sweet and tragic at the same time. I really wanted to tell her, but I didn’t want to raise alarm bells that didn’t need to go off. How was I still putting faith in our adviser to pull this out?  Given my own situation it was pretty easy to be sullen and not get asked too many questions about why. It was a pretty quiet ride.

We reached a new block of apartments.  They were large and nice, but surrounded entirely by construction.  To be honest to be seemed bleak, but then again maybe I was a little jaded at this point.  We unloaded the last of the baggage out of the car. I handed this girl her suitcase and shuffled over to my adviser.  “Everything good?” I asked. “Everything is fine,” he said half to himself, but in reality it was more of a deflection.  What the hell did I know right? He showed this girl off to her apartment knowing full well she didn’t have a job to pay rent for it.  He’s not a sociopath, but he’s just convinced himself that “the world is fucked up” and these kinds of fucked up things are acceptable.  It’s like war pigs saying that there is no end to violence and using it as a license to do whatever they wanted. I’m not going to put that on China, but it just really sucks to know that these people are out here in the world.  And sadly enough, this is not the end of the story between her and I.

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But however, I am over 6,000 words deep and this seems like a good place to break.  This story is not nearly over, but I figured I would give myself some peace of mind and give you guys some content this week.  I am sorry about missing Easter, but I actually do some nice things in the area. I will probably end up writing about it, so I do not want to get too specific.  

In the meantime, thank you all so much for your support.  I will figure out whether I will stick to one post per week or every other week, but that will probably rest on how many views this one gets.  I have outlined an novel and I am pretty stoked about it, so maybe I’ll slow this guy down so the new work can get some love. Or maybe I’ll pull my shit together and get it all done together.  Only time will tell.

Again, thank you for reading.  It does mean a lot to get this stuff out there and it is really nice not talking to a wall.  Please tweet, email, or comment any thoughts. It would be cool to hear some of your feedback.  

Cheers.

 

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[Image:

B3N-E On My Keyboard by Me]

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