We are born into this world without our consent, but we get to decide who we become. -Intellectual Shaman

I walked back to my office. Drama didn’t interest me. Sensationalism hovered over life and death like heaven and hell. Randomness knocks people loose like a pinball machine and people want to tilt the universe with their interpretations.

My books were waiting; full of dusty thoughts and forbidden ideas. Knowledge need not be shared with the masses; it feeds the mouth inside your head. I unlocked my office between two classrooms and closed the door. It was like entering a mind for my own mind. I pulled Sartre off my existential shelf and started reading.

KNOCKING. “Yeah,” I said.

“Is this a bad time?” A massive police officer asked.

He seemed out of place, asking my permission. In regular life, he didn’t ask; he took what was his.

“Would you like a drink?” I asked.

“What? Uh, no; I need to take your statement regarding the attempted suicide.”

“He would’ve never jumped. He didn’t have a good enough reason to kill himself.”

“Uh…hu,” the officer mumbled. “Not a good enough reason…” He wrote it down in his yellow note pad.

“What do you mean by that?” He asked. It was a question he’d been trained to ask.

“He didn’t have a plan; he would’ve never carried it out.”

“But he jumped.”

“No; he fell. There’s a big difference. Any significance in the world requires a plan followed by immediate action. Our dreams and desires mean nothing unless we act on them. What we don’t achieve is our responsibility and we cannot depend on anyone else to help us get there.”

“Are we talking about what happened or something else?” The officer asked.

“You tell me.”

“Thanks for your statement; I’ll leave you to it. I can’t believe the government pays you to say that stuff.”

“That makes two of us,” I said.

He left just as quickly as he came. Philosophy had its uses. And I nestled into the pages of a fine book. A great idea fired inside my brain and then another. And then…

KNOCKING.

“What now?”

I sensed the feminine mystique; maybe it was the smell of sex through my keyhole. An older woman poked her head inside my office. She had curly brown hair and a flower dress hanging loosely over her athletic curves.

“I heard what happened earlier today; you’re famous,” she said.

“Oh, yes; you teach chemistry in the science building, right?”

“I teach more than that, if you want to ask me out?” There was hunger in her eyes and desperation for loving she wasn’t getting.

“Umm…”

“My husband is on a business trip for two weeks. Here’s my window of availability.” She wrote on some matches from her purse. “My address…just give me a call. My name’s Liz.” She put the matches in my palm. “You have strong soft hands. Let’s put them to use,” she laughed. Then she left and closed my door. I was feeling hot.

I opened the porthole window and looked down from the fine arts building. There was a crowd gathering there, like they expected me to jump.

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