The Darkest Timeline

The Darkest Timeline

 

Dear readers, Greendale students, fellow fanboys and fangirls, brace yourselves to hear the tales of this doomed writer, whose fate got sealed from the start of this week. Because this is my darkest timeline.

It all started on Wednesday. I went to Japanese class expecting to find my friends happy and my homework rated. What I first heard, instead, was dooming.

“Écrivain,” the sensei said, “Your exam was far from excellent. Your grammar was lacking a lot, and I can hardly read your hiragana properly. I don’t know what happened to you, but you need to focus more.”

It was shocking. Unlike the last semester, which I failed because I didn’t know enough kanji, this time I’ve been studying hard and doing my homework. I was confident my exam was going to be great; after all, I’m not even learning new topics, I’m just retaking the course. This didn’t make any sense, though I felt something was off. I tend to be paranoid about that stuff, so I didn’t listen carefully.

Later that day, I was cheerfully talking to one of my friends about what happened with Neko, when she realized something.

“Wait. You don’t mean Neko from our French class…”

“4’8”, straight hair, cute eyes, yes.”

“Écrivain, I’m not sure you know this, but… she’s Mary’s cousin’s girlfriend. At least she was until New Year, she said he took her to the family party. And they were together a year ago, so… I’m sorry.”

So this was even more interesting. Neko has a boyfriend. Which she never even mentioned before, when she talked about not having friends and made me go shoplifting candy with her. Damn, I’ve been such an idiot. I talked to Kyle, Jen, Wendy and Whovie about it, and they say if she agreed to go out with me maybe it’s because things with him are bad and she actually likes me, but I don’t know if I could do it. I was cheated on once, and I hated it, and I hated myself, for a long time. I don’t think I could participate in that on the other side. Whovie says it’s only cheating if there’s sex. Jen says it’s if there’s kissing. Wendy thinks it’s a matter of feelings. And Kyle… well, he doesn’t talk much. Anyway, I still have to decide what to do, because I said a lie and cancelled our date. I might ask her out again one of these days. Or not, who knows.

That night I couldn’t sleep. I spent the night fighting with the sheets or something.

On Thursday I thought ‘hey, maybe the writing club will cheer me up a bit’. Guess what? After talking it through, and seeing how we’re only four people and some can’t even go every week, and the semester is ending, the writing club’s activities are suspended until August. A shiver came down my spine when I had to say it out loud. And then I went home to check my finances… yeah, I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but the business is low. Dead, actually. I have hardly sold a day and a half of products this week. And all I could think about was, “this feels like… foreshadowing.”

After another night of no sleep, I went to school to find out that most of my classes were suspended for Mother’s Day (don’t ask). So this reminded me: the church does this thing every year where, the night before, all the teens and young adults get together and go house by house singing to their mothers. I figured out that might cheer me up; after all, I haven’t sang in… a year, now that I think about it. I never sing. It’s kind of sad. So I texted the usual organisers and they added me to a WhatsApp group, where after hours and hours of trying to come up with something…

You guessed it.

This doesn’t make any sense! How can everything be falling apart so quickly? Besides the job interview (where I was practically forced to accept, and the boss plans to exploit me) everything happening to me in the last three days has been awful.

All I had left was Reddit. At least does guy never bring back news… except now they do, just for today.

When I read it, I couldn’t believe it. And then, suddenly, all the pieces fitted in their places.

It was true.

There was only one explanation for what’s going on.

This is the Darkest Timeline.

COMMUNITY WAS CANCELLED BY THE NBC TODAY.

Something happened. Something changed the balance of the universe. Maybe a dice, or a coin, or rock-paper-scissors. But the multiverse expanded, and there’s no way out. Or is there?

I have to go, I need to make a cardboard goatee to wear until I can grow a real one. I must find my way back to the original timeline. With some luck, I’ll escape to a better place. Somewhere cool. Cool cool cool. See you soon, my dear friends. Enjoy your night, sleep peacefully, and do not think of an elephant.

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I’ve got a date! Sort of…

…And Whovie knows about it. This is going to be an interesting story, so sit down, grab a glass of lemonade and let’s talk.

This week I had a few off days, in which I started watching Sherlock and Game of Thrones. About the former, it’s an amazing show, it has a spark of life that the franchise really needed. It’s written by Stephen Moffat, A.K.A. Doctor Who’s serial hearts-breaker, and Mark Gatiss, A.K.A A guy  I heve never heard of but who apparently has worked on Doctor Who too and is pretty talented, both writing and acting. The show revives the spirit of the original Sherlock Holmes in a way no previous remake could, and I’d go far enough to say it might become better than the original because, while Arthur Conan Doyle hated his creation and wrote half his stories just to shut people off, Moffat and Gatiss love him and work hard to make the audience do it too.

About the latter there’s not much to say, you’ve seen it online, it’s a lot of murder, incest and unforgettable weddings.

But you came here to see romance, and romance is… well, I’m going to try to give it to you.

Today I was with Ragazza and another two friends (who we’ll call Jim and Jane, because I’m tired of making up clever names to people I probably won’t mention again), killing some time before our tests. We were talking about our plans for holidays when I saw a certain girl coming out of the bathroom a few metres away. I decided I should say hello, so I walked up to her and made some small talk (achievement unlocked). And then I thought of something.

“You know,” I said, “we don’t hang out much lately, we should do something one of these days.”

“Well, I haven’t seen you in a while… but maybe it’s because I haven’t been showing up to class a lot lately” she said, half-blushing. “So when are you free?”

“Well, I have a couple of hours this Thursday, we could have lunch or something.”

“Then Thursday it is! I gotta go, I have a class in a minute. See you!”

And that was it. I’m still not sure if it counts as a date, seeing that we both have classes before and after the time we agreed and thus we would have to remain at school or at least very close, but it’s a start. It’s been years since my last date, so I think I might as well count this as one. We didn’t discuss what we’re doing, so I still have to come up with something, but hopefully if I sleep on it I get a cool idea.

Anyway, I went back to my guys and I told them what happened. Jane was not very surprised.

“Isn’t she…”

“Yes, she is.”

“Didn’t you like her last year?”

“Hum… well…”

“Oh, come on, you’re not cheating me, I know you did.”

“All right,” I admitted, “I did like her. Maybe now things can work. What do you guys think about her?”

“I think she looks nice,” Ragazza said. “Good luck with your date!”

And so I departed, to the massacre formerly known as the Japanese Oral Test.

A few hours later, I was in the class I have with Whovie; we were “working” on teams (even though everyone, students and teacher, knew we weren’t doing anything) and I thought this was as good a moment as any to bring up the subject.

“So, guys,” I cheerfully said, “guess who got a date?”

“Really?” Whovie answered. “What’s his name?”

“Ha-ha. Very funny.”

“Relax, I’m just fucking with you.”

“No you’re not,” I observed, “that’s why I have a date.”

She started to fake gagging and everyone laughed. The teacher asked us to keep it quiet and I talked again.

“So… Whovie, remember Neko, the girl from our French class last year?

“Who?”

“The small girl, big eyes, I talked to her a lot…”

“under 5” tall, super-straight hair?”

“Yes.”

“Blue contacts, I borrowed her phone once?”

“That’s the same.”

“Mhm. Nice one, good luck.”

“Well… that’s why I wanted everyone’s opinion.” The other three guys (now Kyle, Mel and Wendy) looked at me. “The thing is, I’m dating this girl, she’s cool and everything, and we’re both nineteen. The problem is that she looks way younger than she is, and I’m told I look older than I am, so I’m a bit concerned.”

Everyone looked at me like I’d just showed them the trailer of Sleeping Dogs Lie.

“Why?” said four people at the same time, almost getting the teacher to pretend she cared about our noise again.

“Well… I don’t want people to look at us and think I’m a paedophile or something like that.”

I don’t know the English name for the “you’re just talking nonsense, don’t be ridiculous” sound, but that’s what they all did.

“Come on,” “Wendy said, “There’s no age to love!”

“And you said you’re both nineteen, so what’s the problem?” Kyle added.

“Don’t give a damn about what people say, it’s your life,” continued Mel.

“Besides,” said Whovie, “She doesn’t look that young. I mean, she’s petite and cute, but she has her curves, she doesn’t look like a child. I know, I wouldn’t do it with a child.”

“Wait, you did what?” I said, almost unable to contain my voice.

“I’m just kidding! Though I would if I had the chance…”

The topic changed back to Whovie then, like it always does, and Mel started to ask her about her love life. They apparently have a lot in common. And for what Whovie said, I finally got my head around the idea that ‘us’ won’t happen, because what she described as her ideal couple was someone who didn’t pay her attention and just called her to have rough sex, which exactly the opposite of my intentions with her (not the rough sex part, I could work on that, I meant the not paying attention). She essentially asked to be Bella Swan, and I’m more a Jacob guy than a- why the fuck am I using Twilight metaphors?

At the end I came home to find a last, pleasant surprise: my dad called, he says one of his friends is looking for an English teacher for a private school, and since I study Languages I might be able to get the job (standards are really low around here). I’m not really into teaching but the money is decent and Mission Wheels is priority, so I asked for the details and requirements and if I’m lucky I might get it. Let’s cross fingers!

I’m starting to think the three morals at the end of each post are kind of cheesy, so I don’t think I should keep writing them. If anyone thinks the opposite, be free to comment.

Peace,

Écrivain

My Patronus and Whovie’s hearts

I’ve been through a lot these last days, but what I have to talk about tonight is simply more important. I’ve learnt so much that I won’t even mother putting the usual three morals. You’ll find out in a minute.

My homework for holidays was to chat with two native Anglophones and record it for Phonetics class. Since I lack time, money or social skills for that, I went the easy road: I asked my uncle who lived in the USA for ten years. For the second one I wanted something even more authentic, so I went to Whovie, because have I ever mentioned how beautiful her British accent is?

So Yesterday I went looking for her and I found her on her car reading fanfics on her iPad (how on Earth can she do that when we’re 42°C outside?). We talked about her favourite TV show (guess who? I mean, wh- forget about it, you know it’s Doctor Who), and then we started arguing about River Song and things got as crazy as they always are. Anyway, we ended up watching fan videos shipping Alex Kingston with I-don’t-know-who from Grey’s Anatomy (Romano, I think was his name?) because I just love to hear her when she goes mad fangirl. And I see the tomatoes being thrown at me so I’ll just skip to the point. While we were watching those videos I thought of something I had wanted to ask her, and we had one of the most interesting conversations about love ever happened in Spanglish, because it’s easier to talk about those things in a foreign language, but sometimes we don’t have the words.

 “There’s something I don’t get about you,” I said. “You’re so much into romance, you watch it and read it all day, every day. Then, why are you single?”

She stopped to think for a second.

“Well, I just… I don’t see myself with a couple. Any time I think about the future I see myself alone; maybe raising a child, but as a single mother. I don’t see my life actually living with someone else.”

“Don’t you want to find love, like those couples on TV you watch all the time?”

“That doesn’t happen. Love is not epic in real life.”

“But how do you know?” I wasn’t going to give up so easily. “Maybe there is epic love out there, but we don’t see it because we’re here, watching Youtube videos on the back of a car instead of looking for it. We’re the secondary characters of someone else’s song.”

“I don’t know; it’s just… I don’t want to go looking for it. I frankly don’t know why you do.”

“Because you never know when it comes; maybe I’ll find it in sixty years, or maybe I already lost my chance. But if I give up I might never know.”

“Well… I don’t know. It’s just I feel like I’m too young for it; I wouldn’t want to get married before being thirty, there’s so much I have to live yet. And besides, I don’t want to stay here.” She put her iPad down and looked at me in the eyes. This talk was definitely about us, even if neither of us was going to admit it.

“But what if that person wants to leave too?”

“Well, even if that were the case- If the plan were to leave with me, that would be selfish. And even if he or she had the exact same dreams I do, which is highly unlikely, do you have any idea of how difficult is travelling with someone else? Legally speaking, I mean.”

“I… I don’t really know. But you’ve seen Doctor Who; it’s always dangerous to travel without a companion.”

She half-smiled. “I know. But I don’t see the point in dating when I don’t look for love. It would be just cruel. One of us -and most likely not me- would get hurt. I don’t want to go kissing frogs. I know there might be some princes, or princesses, out there, but I don’t think that’s my thing.”

Now, the thing with this blog is that since none of the characters know this is being written, I don’t get their consent for talking about their private lives. All I can talk about is things they would let anyone know, and my opinions about them and their situations. So, given that this conversation took place in a semi-private space, where nobody could hear us, and I don’t really know what she’d share with most people, I can’t write down the rest of the conversation. It wasn’t long, but it was personal, and I don’t think Whovie would be happy if she found out that I put it online.

There’s something, though, I can say, and it’s that after that I won’t see Whovie the same way. I used to see her as this awesome girl who could do anything she wanted no matter what, but when I heard what she had to say, all I could think about was “this girl was hurt.” She didn’t say anything about that (not that I’d post it anyway), but I could see it in her eyes, I could hear it in her words, and I understood why I can relate to her more than anyone I’ve ever met. Someone once told me that the reason we fight all the time is not because we’re too different, but because we’re the same. And now I knew why.

Whovie feels about herself the same way I did in my darkest times. But while I let it out for everyone to see it, I wrote it down, I embraced The Cold like a shell that could protect me no matter how much it hurt, she did the opposite. She put it in a little corner of her hearts, and she became the exact opposite. Her whole self is meant to protect her from what hurts her, not dodging it, but letting it bounce. But we all know what happens if you bounce something on a shell long enough, and there are the bumps, invisible but still damaging her.

We never talk about anything private. We can’t trust people, that’s another thing we share. I blame bullying. She blames human nature. So when I felt my voice was starting to crack, by mutual agreement I went to get a taxi while she left in her car. I don’t know if she noticed or I just got lucky, but I’m glad we did. I wouldn’t have been able to keep talking for too long before doing something very stupid.

Today Whovie explained to me the difference between people and persons. She says that persons is the correct plural of person, but people is used instead, because that’s how English-speakers talked for so long it became their nature to see themselves as a people, like a tribe. And sometimes I wonder why things happen the way they do. Why do we meet a lot of people, and no matter how unlikely, in all those people we find persons, we find individuals who become so important for us, but mostly, who remind us so much of ourselves. And maybe that’s how it started, maybe it all began with the first persons who saw themselves as a people. Because we’re all so different, and yet we can be so similar to others, even if we’re born and raised in different times, in different places, in different worlds. And from now on, I won’t just see my relationship with Whovie as two persons, because it’s more than that. We’re a people, a small one but a special one, and whatever happens in the future, either we date or split or marry or kill each other, I know this. I know that I’m not alone in the world, I know that there’s someone out there who is like me, who understands me and whom I can understand. I know I’m not an alien, or a robot, or a secondary character. And that link is enough to live for. So the next time The Cold comes after me, I will be able to face it. I will look it in the eyes and say, “I know I’m not alone. You can’t hurt me anymore, I have a reason to live. I know there’s more people out there like me, and I’ll find them, and I’ll marry one of them, and I’ll be happy, because now I know I can. Now I know it’s not my destiny to be alone forever. Because one may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel. I’ve seen angels before, and I’ll find mine.”

So, I found it. I found my happy thought, and Dementors are not something to care about. All I wonder is, if my Patronus is not a wolf, what could it be?

A shoulder to cry on

Hello! Remember how I said I wouldn’t play more illegally downloaded video games? Yeah… I threw that out the window today. But there’s a lot to talk about right now, so we might as well start!

This week and the next one I’m on vacations, and I finally got the time to relax and work on all those things I’ve been leaving unattended. My book is going great; I write almost a page per day, and I’m confident this will be the final draft. I also got more time to read and play video games, and today I downloaded Bioshock because everyone says it’s an awesome game and why on Earth haven’t I played it yet. I really wanted to stick to my only-Free-To-Play-games policy, but I quickly found out that the list is limited to a) Life-sucking MMORPGs, b) Indie games with little to none support from companies and c) Team Fortress 2. And I’m already playing B and C, so I don’t think I should add A to the list.

In other news, Toph asked me to help her with English, because she’s almost failing and she needs a perfect score to pass so she can switch major. So this Monday and Tuesday we’ve been at the library working pretty well. But yesterday she just started rambling about how she still can’t get over Sokka. And then it happened. Out of nowhere, she began to talk about how she never really had any friends until she met us, and then she told me a lot about how she feels with herself and with her life. It was shocking. I heard her talk and it was like hearing my own thoughts, those so deep that I haven’t even posted here yet. I wanted to give her some advice, but I just couldn’t, because that would’ve been hypocrite. I just listened and tried to appear strong for her. At the end we ended up talking about how she was going out with him today and needed my help to sneak out. I didn’t like very much the idea and I told her, but I greed to help her just this once.

After all that, I came home to find Katara online and publishing emo Facebook statuses. I opened the chat window and she told me: the douche left her. I thought I would be happy for her when this happened, but she was devastated. She said he was her first true love and she couldn’t live without him. And for the first time, I did not want to say “I told you so”. I felt bad about the sole thought of it. And again, all I could do was help her release all her pain, to cry out everything she feels. I will be giving her advice, but it won’t be now.

And today I got dragged into a date that wasn’t mine. After a twelve-hour marathon of Community I got a text from Toph reminding me about our “lesson”. I went to the city park expecting to see her mother, lie about how we were going to study at the café two blocks away and then take her to the movies where she’d get together with him and I’d go back home to keep doing illegal downloads and watching meta sitcoms. Instead, I went there to find Toph alone, waiting for me to take her to get an ice cream while waiting for Sokka, who didn’t show up until two and a half hours later. I was a bit annoyed because it was not the way I planned to do things but at least we got time to talk about several things, including that Toph says I should try to get Whovie jealous and offered herself as the bait. Despite the fact that she lives in a different city, I think it’s an interesting idea. I might give it a try.

And a few hours ago I got to rehearse with my dad and my sister: the choir is singing tomorrow at church and I’ll be joining them. I’ll try to sneak a recorder so I can post an audio file here. Wish me luck! J

So, the three things I’ve learnt this week:

1.- Friendship is a good part of love, and it means to be there to listen when your friends are feeling sad. Sometimes a good ear is better than all the words in the world.

2.- When you really care about someone, you don’t feel the need to say “I told you so”. They know you told them, all they need is your support, don’t be harsh.

3.- Downloading piracy is fun, no matter what the FBI says.

Peace,

Écrivain

The Basic Eight: Book Review

A few minutes ago I finished reading The Basic Eight. I talked about this book on my last post; it was written by Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket, creator of A Series of Unfortunate Events) and it’s the fictitious diary of a high school student, Flannery Culp, which she edits from jail, convicted by the murder of… well, she should tell you.

While the book’s format might look unfamiliar to ASOUE’s fans, it certainly does justice to its author’s reputation, being a more mature story with the same criticism about many issues in society, like unhelpful teachers, biased psychologists who’d do anything for money, satanic panic and the classic high school snob clubs everyone had (or was it just me?) and their struggles with problems of the sort of homophobia, sexual harassment, drug experimenting and murder plots. It gives a nice, maybe a bit exaggerated perspective on situations we all lived and some we just thought of but never actually executed. Oh, what a sweet irony that precisely that word slipped in my mind, I had to type it. Anyway, I would recommend this book to anyone with some spare time and a taste for drama stories or cynic comedy. It’s the kind of book your parents would tell you to leave away, and that’s precisely the reason why you should read it.

I’m gonna find and read another book by Handler’s quill, which I’m sure will be as incredible as the first fourteen I’ve read.

One of us! One of us! One of us!

So Whovie is part of the Hipster Crew now, and there’s a lot to talk about this week.

Thanks to the fun afternoon I talked about in my last post, I was able to avoid The Cold and now I’m trying to analysew here it comes from. Something curious to add is that I realizedit’s not triggered by sadness as much as it is for loneliness. So one of my newest goals is to find a way to overcome loneliness as a problem and accept it as what it is, a part of my life. I’m not sure how to do it, but I think that writing it down might be the first step, and why not taking it further and put it on the blog? In order to achieve bravery I need to overcome my fears, and although I never talk about it, being alone is one of the worst fears I have. So it has to be the first one I get rid of.

In other news, not so long ago (I forgot to post it) my favourite writer made an AskMeAnything on Reddit. His name is Daniel Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket, narrator of the Baudelaire adventures on A Series of Unfortunate Events. Sadly, I found out about this too late to ask him anything, and I had so much I wanted to know. But it was a good thing, because I found out he’s currently expanding the ASOUE universe, and I read about his first book. Its name is The Basic Eight, and it’s the fictitious diary of a teenage girl convicted for murder, in which she talks about her life previous to the crime. It’s a bit snob, but actually pretty interesting, and I’ve been reading it for several days. The funny part is, when I was looking for a download link I felt… well, guilt. Not because I care about piracy; that’s not my style. I felt bad about reading an amazing author and not giving the contribution to make him keep writing. After all, I’m a writer too, so this kind of things is very important for me; how would I feel if people didn’t pay for my book?

At the end I downloaded it illegally anyway, but now I give more importance to my List of Things I will Buy When I’m Rich.

This week Curlz was not in town because she had to go get her Celpe-Bras certification in Mexico City, so the week was kind of calm. She’s basically the nucleus of the Hipster Crew, so even if we all get along and have fun without her, it’s difficult to get the whole gang together without her. But there are three things that move us like a tsunami: teacher gossips, (apparently) girls making out, and pizza. The first one I cannot comment in case someone ever finds this blog, because it involves one of my dearest professors, and the second one I already covered on my last post, so let’s get to the point. Usually a new member of the crew gets his or her permanence after they feed us, a tradition as old as this post because I just made it out (I’m going to propose it, though). Pseudogay somehow always has money coming out of his pockets, and he always offers to buy us pizza, but last Tuesday we were at the cafeteria and Whovie remembered she has discount coupons, so she said she’d bring them today and we were completely happy with this. Anyway, Friday came and we reunited at the café, Curlz just coming back from her trip. We got the pizza and we spent three hours just talking and messing with each other. We were reading some creepypastas and when they finally delivered our food Rainicorn took out a little bag with chopped weed. I’ve never tried drugs, but I must confess I’m really curious about it, so I smelt it… weed smells like oregano. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t that. I didn’t take it because I wasn’t so convinced; besides taking it on the Easter seemed kind of blasphemous. I’ll eventually do it but I don’t think it happens too soon. Anyway, he put weed on his pizza and we kept laughing for a while.

And after talking to Whovie and Curlz this days I realised I have another psychological condition I didn’t even notice until recently: I feel uncomfortable with physical contact. I honestly don’t know why; I read it was common on abuse victims, but I was never abused as far as I can remember. The closest thing I can think of was this one time when I was 9: I was late for church so I couldn’t sit with my parents. I went for another bench and I sat next to someone I didn’t know. At the middle of the sermon he started touching my leg and he kept doing it for several minutes; I didn’t know what to do, but I was new in town and since everything was so different to me I just assumed it was the norm around there. I didn’t even realise something was wrong until a few years ago when I had to go back to the town to deliver a wedding present for his cousin and I remembered what happened. But I don’t think this has to do with anything. I mean, how could I be an abuse victim if I didn’t know anything wrong happened? And why would it create any traumas? So no, that can’t be the reason why I dislike physical contact.

It’s not even that big of a problem; I don’t feel comfortable with handshakes or hugs, but I almost never have to give or receive any of those. The problem here is long term. When I finally get around the idea of dating again, what will I do? I can’t just withhold all forms of touching, that would be selfish and look stupid. For now I’m just getting used to Curlz’s contact when she’s subconsciously jealous (there must be a term for non-romantic jealousy, if you know it please let me know), so it’s nothing to be worried. But when I get around kissing a girl, or hugging, or… going a little further… well, I don’t know what I’ll do. In retrospective, I believe She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named saw this before I did and that’s why she did what she did. But I need to fix it soon, or else all my other efforts will be in vain.

 

So, what I learnt this week was:

1.- Bravery involves overcoming the things you don’t enjoy. Whether it’s something as simple as holding hands or as big as coping with destiny, it’s always needed, it can’t be avoided and it must be done with honour and self-respect.

2.- A friend, feelings apart, is always a good friend, and if you can get all of your friends together and being friends with each other then you’ll have an amazing time no matter what.

3.- Someday I’ll have to pay for the thousands of dollars in piracy I possess. But this is not that day!

Peace,

Écrivain