Senior Week – Chapter 13

The sun was creeping down the horizon as we climbed onto our porch. A new night approached, a third round of madness. We all scattered in different directions to prepare for the evening, except me and Grace. She joined me on the trusty wicker bench. A pack of cigarettes and a lighter lay on the glass table. I grabbed one and lit up, even though I wasn’t craving it. Continue reading Senior Week – Chapter 13

You Know What, Gillette?

Imagine this for a moral lesson: A lucky group of teenage boys are given a new form of artificial intelligence, designed to help them suck less. How do you tie a tie? How do you shave? How do you speak to girls? The young men need merely open an app on their iPhones and intone their questions; moments later, a precocious robot responds in its mechanic cadence with a personalized answer.

Better yet, this AI is freakishly empathetic, and its raison d’etre is to coddle today’s youth through life’s deepest quagmires. How do you ask someone out? How do you show confidence? What makes somebody a real friend? How do you know when you love someone?

Don’t worry about these pesky, 20th century worries – There’s an app for that! Continue reading You Know What, Gillette?

Senior Week – Chapter 12

At some point Boris materialized, drawn to the positive vibes with his strange, predator-like way of seeking things out.

“How’s it been, man?” I asked.

“Excellent.” He cocked his head and gave an A-okay gesture, clenching together his thumb and index finger very tightly, practically pulsating, as if straining against his will to show his excellence. “I was just,” but he paused to exhale and wriggle his limbs, forcing himself to relax. “I was just goofing off with Ojas when I realized that I needed to do my own thing. Sometimes you know that you need to do you. And I know you know that, man. So I ended up walking along the water for miles – miles and miles, brotha.” Continue reading Senior Week – Chapter 12

Senior Week – Chapter 11

The kitchen countertop overflowed with bottles of hard alcohol and unopened bags of red cups. The lunatics flailed their limbs wildly, dancing in the center of the main floor. Two games of beer pong were underway in the room’s corner. The scene in its entirety looked like a facsimile of 48 hours ago. Of course the music – that pervasive thump-thumping – sounded the same. Continue reading Senior Week – Chapter 11

Senior Week – Chapter 10

Nathan continued laughing maniacally as Ojas crawled back into bed, promising to wake up in an hour. We returned to the living room where Phillipa and Shelly were sipping on their lattes on the same couch as before.

“Did y’all hear about Carl’s stingray incident?” Shelly asked with an ironic southern accent. “Apparently he’s in surgery now. Doctors say they’re doing all they can to keep him alive.” There was playfulness beneath her somber tone, but Nathan’s gullible frame of mind succumbed all-too easily, and his bliss transmogrified into mournful despondency. He looked pleadingly toward Shelly, hanging on her every word. Continue reading Senior Week – Chapter 10

Senior Week – Chapter 9 

I woke up early to vomit in the toilet for an hour. As my system cleansed itself, a strange out-of-body sensation overtook me. I was looking down upon and within myself to a chorus of faraway voices squawking sadistically at the sight of the sad primate hunched over a toilet in Mission Beach, San Diego, inexplicably alive. Back in the room everyone was asleep. It was only ten o’clock. I dug through Arnold’s backpack and gobbled up some of his weed brownie crumbs to help with the stomachache. I took a shower and found Ojas on the porch, sitting atop the trusty wicker bench and clutching his temples in a way that reeked of pure misery, not to mention the actual odor of vomit and stale vodka emanating from his person. I offered up a cigarette.  Continue reading Senior Week – Chapter 9