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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Natalie Lind Writes It All Down For Posterity #11

By Anna Chastain

I’m at breakfast, eating enough cantaloupe to satisfy a large-sized marsupial for a day and a half, as I listen to Toby outline his plan of attack for his latest paper (“what you don’t get is it has to marinate for a while: that’s why it’s always this last minute kind of thing”) and Warren hides behind his blueberry muffin. I mention there used to be pumpkin muffins all the time and I’d eat like six of them at each meal and Warren says, “I bet that’s why they stopped having them” and then Jeff pulls up to the table and blows his nose on a napkin. Kesia puts down her bowl of cereal and says, “What’s wrong?” Kesia has sensitivity. She perceives there may have been tears.

Jeff says he has a sinus thing. “I take Sudafed. Usually that stuff works miracles.”

Warren’s working through his second blueberry muffin and Toby is watching him eat and drinking black coffee while jotting down title possibilities on a napkin. Kesia waits for her bran flakes to get soggy and Jeff says, “My eyelid’s been twitching a lot lately. I guess that’s probably stress, huh?”

“What do you mean twitching?” Kesia says. “Show me.”

“But it doesn’t do it all the time.”

She leans in and Jeff leans away.

She says, “It’s not doing it now.”

“I know.” He stirs milk into his tea. He looks at me and I shrug. He’s less sure how to talk to us now he’s with Bernadette. I’m less sure how to care.

“Where is Bernadette?” Kesia asks.

“That’s not always something I know.” Jeff sets aside his napkin and starts on his eggs.

Kesia nods. She considers asking him if that was something he knew at four this morning when Kesia and I woke up, due to a collapsing bunked bed in the room next to ours, and noticed Bernadette still wasn’t back. She decides she won’t ask. She tries to ask Warren what time it is instead but he’s busy memorizing the saltshaker. And then Jeff says, “I’m seeing these flashes of light.”

“Me too,” Toby says. “I think it’s lightening.”

“It’s November though.” Jeff listens for the thunder.

“I still think it’s lightening.”

“Like since the twitching started I’ve been worried about my eyes.” Jeff explains. “And I don’t want glasses. I mean glasses look OK on the two of you,” he says, motioning at Toby and me, “but I don’t want glasses. Or contacts.”

“Contacts might not mesh well with the twitch,” I say.

“Wait,” Kesia looks perplexed. “But why don’t you or Toby get contacts?”

“Because I’m lazy,” I say.

“Toby doesn’t need contacts,” Warren says.

“I never see you guys without your glasses,” Jeff says. “Isn’t that kind of a pain?”

Toby says, “It’s more of a pain when I can’t tell a squirrel from Martin Amis at ten feet.”

Jeff laughs uneasily like it might not have been a joke.

I see Bernadette enter the cafeteria with that senior Mark she’s been after and I see Kesia tense up. I try and move Kesia into happier thoughts by shifting topic to Scooter Libby but the only reaction I get is from Warren who says “Who is he? Is he that guy Bernadette wanted the whole world to vote for?”

Then Jeff says, “Who’s Martin Amis?

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