Eye of the Story

The Evergreen State College

Author: Logan

Teeth (Logan Fenner, week 9)

Black wool, white teeth behind closed lips, beacons when the cavern opens.

It does not open.

Breath, quick and silent and through the nose, cold air reaching down the throat, into the lungs, encircling the heart, reminding the head of the sharpness of the night.

Up and up and up, rough hands around rusty handrails and then gone, sailing to the next breathless grip. He tries to keep silent, to keep in check, but the night is exhilarating and he wants to scream his joy, his aliveness, deep into its heart.

He does not.

Over a rooftop, a leap and a roll on flat shingles. Purple and green bruises from her boyfriend’s teeth on the insides of his thighs rub together, the light pain a comfort, matching the red weals on his arms. A different injury. A “learning experience.”

Too many nights fighting himself, fighting and fighting and then leaving his tiny room and fighting someone else for the hell of it. Just to feel something. A rush, maybe. Fresh wounds, maybe. Bruises to prod and push on for the next couple of weeks, bitter reminders and gasping relief. Maybe.

“Don’t tell him you’re a masochist,” she had said to him, her eyes bright. At the other end of the bed, her boyfriend grinned.

He remembered this exchange often. When had his life turned into that? When did he stop being homely and odd, shut up in his room, weaving stories in the cracks on his ceiling?

When had sharing someone else’s bed become normal? When had his hands learned the muscle memory: now pull her hair, now fingernails down her spine, now her lip between your teeth, now her soft body tight against yours.

He was never given lessons.

And they all said he was good.

Just like he was never given lessons in blade-work, knives slipping between his fingers to land squarely in the target. Bullseye every time.

The city fell away, the pulsing heart of nightlife and neon blurring into melted rainbows in the black streets below. Laughter does not float this far up. Deaf, but for the sound of wind in his ears and the ever-present lapping of the ocean.

He wants to fight. He always wants to fight, but this is different. Pent up, straining at his very skin, he controls himself carefully though his muscles are as hard and rigid as lines of iron. He wants a dirty fight, a knee-to-the-nose fight, a no-holds-barred cage match, a screaming roaring tearing pulling spinning thing. This is not something he can get by wandering down to tavern row and pushing around some belligerent old drunks.

No, he would need a real opponent.

He fairly slides down the narrow staircase. A catch, a tear, a grunt, and a splash of blood redder than the lights below flies, falling twenty stories to the street. He wraps his cut hand in a rag from his pocket and continues as if he doesn’t feel it.

Of course, he doesn’t.

He outgrew feeling it a long time ago.

Logan Fenner, week 9

I am slowly realizing that the only love I know how to feel is the kind that gives

And gives

And gives

And gives

The kind of love that presses your partner against your chest as if your body was their lifeblood and all they needed to do was drink it

Drink you down until the glass that contains your wellspring is empty

Men take

Men feel the kind of love that grasps hungrily at soft flesh, the kind that is big and loud and takes up space

I am a man who has not yet learned how to take up space, so other men take up my space

They take

And take

And take

And take

And it feels nothing like love, it only feels like giving and giving until they have absorbed me completely

Someday I will learn how to be the person pressed against someone else, the person pulling at their hands, their hair, their hips, the person for whom they would give themselves completely

I will take

And I will give back

I will gladly let them have me, but not like this

Not in this helpless girl-shape, this tiny twisted folded-paper origami form

So easily crushed against the hard ridges of ribs barely concealed under warm skin

I must first learn to be big and loud, to take up space

I must learn this so that it means something when I choose not to

Winter’s Bone — Logan Fenner

Winter’s Bone is a pleasing combination of beautifully unusual language and a cast of characters who are not at all stereotyped and feel very realistic to me. The missing-persons plot is just a vehicle to convey a sense of the place and the people who live there. The scene I want to talk about specifically, though, begins on page 115.

In it, Ree goes to a great deal of effort to get her mother out of the house. She helps her up a steep path, through a small copse of pine trees, and eventually to an outcropping at the top of the hill where they watch the sunset together.

The purpose of this outing, as evidenced by the second and final bit of dialogue, is for Ree to try to get through to her mother about their situation. “Please help me,” she says, and I pray for an instant that her mother will respond.

When this scene begins, it feels like a filler episode. Just a few hundred words of fluff to give the reader a break from the action of hunting down people who knew Jessup and interrogating them or getting beat up by them. This scene is supposed to break up the monotony. And it does break up the monotony very well, I was certainly glad for a break and a change of scenery.

But the deeper I got into the scene, the more I realized that it wasn’t just fluff. This is a brief exposition of how very alone Ree is, and how strong. Her father is gone, her mother is barely more than another mouth to feed, and she has to raise her brothers and find her father with all the pressure of potentially losing their house behind her. I had not realized quite the gravity of the situation until this point.

There are bits and pieces of this kind of exposition throughout.

A notable example of this is her trip to see April. She bums a ride on a school bus (an act that would never work in my county, yet another instance that highlights the difference between her upbringing and my rural childhood made positively suburban by contrast), then hitches aboard a delivery truck, and finally walks a distance that feels like several miles to get to her destination with no idea how she’s going to get back.

After spending the night in a goddamn cave I mean come on, she hikes the whole way home and starts dinner like her expedition was nothing. Everyone who tells her to keep her nose out of her dad’s business in this book has underestimated her greatly.

This is a female character who could never be called “whiny.” This is a female character who stands up for herself and her family and even the forest behind her house. Characters like Ree, especially written by male authors, are painfully rare.

Skateboarding (Logan Fenner, week 5)

“Skateboarding is a great way to get hurt without looking like you’re trying to get hurt,” she says, the laugh falling slightly from her eyes. She is acknowledging a truth I suspect too many of us at this table have felt.

I have been hurt skateboarding before. It was the last day of my sophomore year of high school and my friends and I had wandered to a skate park. One stupid decision led to another and the board went out from under me. I put my right hand back to break my fall, my arm locked tight against the impact. It stung a little, but I got up and brushed myself off and told my friends I would sit out for a little while.

After my wonderful, ounce-of-prevention mother took me to the doctor “just in case,” I learned I had broken my elbow and had to be in a cast for a month.

I wasn’t trying to get hurt. I knew a kid who was a professional, sponsored skateboarder and he had a gnarly scar from his cheek to his chin, the result of a bad fall. I was not looking for that kind of thrill. I was only fifteen and, much as I hated to admit it, there were some things that were still beyond me.

At this table, I recount this anecdote in brief. Someone else mentions a broken ankle, we laugh about the hazards of skateboards, we shift the topic to something else.

But I can see it in the eyes of several of us: that that particular fact about skateboarding was very possibly something we would have used at one point or another.

I find myself rubbing the scars on my arms. I was never one for neat razor-lines, I went in with my fingernails and came out bloody. I never needed skateboarding to hurt me without looking like I was trying to get hurt. I did that just fine on my own.

I was so out of it one day that I threw my body across the room at the bed. Innocuous enough, anyone else would have landed on the mattress and screamed for a while. But I’m a puncher. I planned, dimly, to hit the wall, bash up my shoulder a bit, earn some bruises to poke and press on for the next couple of weeks, eliciting a replication of the original trauma. But I hit wrong, landed oddly, and messed up my back for real. Bitter and angry at myself for not getting hurt the “right” way, I had to deal with bringing a rolling backpack to school for the rest of the year because my back would not support a backpack.

I see similar stories in the eyes of others. I only know three of the five people at this table; the girl who mentioned skateboarding is a stranger. There is an understanding, though. She knows.

In the last five years, I have (mostly) found other releases for my problems. But I no longer fear pain and do not say no to it. I run my hand across the baited edge of a knife, daring it to cut me. I step too close to a brick wall, scraping my bare shoulder on the bits of mortar sticking out. I jump from slightly too high, feeling my weight buckle in my ankles and travel up my calves.

I do not seek it out, but somehow it finds me.

It finds all of us, here at this table, reflecting upon this shared ordeal we each undertook in solitude.

Film Analysis — The Nine Muses (Logan Fenner)

A man stands alone in the snow. Something about his stance tells me that he belongs there among the drifts and swells of snowbank, something about how the bright shade of his coat blends into the carefully muted background in a way that, by the laws of color, it should not. A quiet male voice recites something I read in high school but I can’t understand him.

As the camera shifts from crisp Alaska landscapes to gritty shots of fire and boats to a rather brown view of man lounging in England, a narrative takes place in my head. I try to push it away, reminding myself that that is not the point of this.

The director has spun a story of immigration and displacement, insisting all the while that he is not telling a story but rather presenting us, the audience, with images that evoke certain themes and feelings. I do not believe he didn’t have an agenda in creating this piece.

He clearly appeals to our sense of the familiar with images like trains and families and the voiceover classic literature. But there is also the introduction of something totally alien, with shots of a dreadlocked man in sepia and haunting violins, the taking of symbolism that is so very prominent in our culture and turning it on its head, molding it into something that plays with our sense of traditions.

The result is a beautiful thing that feels like a thousand things I have seen before, but nothing specific.

My problem with films like this, however, is that I don’t know how to talk about them. I did not realize until after the film was over that all of my notes are the notes of a reviewer and don’t have anything to do with analysis, because when I write reviews I leave it up to the audience to create their own meaning.

I am not sure if the argument I’m making here is that the film is not accessible unless you’re a film person, or that the film is accessible to everyone but it is going to encounter people who don’t “get” it.

The entire time, I felt as though I was missing something, as if the intended audience for this film is in on a big complex joke that I am not privy to.

The thing that occurred to me while watching The Nine Muses was this: while experimental film is beautiful, it is not truly storytelling, it is designing the exposition of a theme. Experimental filmmakers invent a theme and follow it, finding or creating bits of footage that fit their end goal. The objective of experimental filmmaking is to evoke a feeling or a sense of something in the viewer that could not possibly be represented by a traditional story. The filmmaker is trying to access something deeply instinctual and visceral within us by appealing to our memories and associations of images and sounds with certain cultural motifs.

I do not feel that a film like this is analyzable, and that any attempt I make at trying to find meaning ends with me inventing a meaning instead of discovering one organically within the piece. It is far from having an easily distinguishable plotline.

To me, this film does not belong in a program designed to teach the complex art of storytelling. It is akin to reading postmodern blackout poems in a classic literature class. While the medium is the same, both the intent of the creator and the spirit of the creation are so wildly different that they are considered separate species.

Because of this, and because my primary medium rooted in the concrete inscription of ink on paper, I have neither the technical film knowledge nor the abstract mental structure required to study this piece in any depth. The only real impression I came away with was how visually striking it was.

Storywalking (Logan Fenner)

Note: This is my week 3 entry. I wrote it, but somehow neglected to post it.

My breath curls in front of me like a living thing, writhing in the biting air. It is cold but dry, my favorite kind of winter.

I am surrounded by strangers and happy to be so. When I’m not at one of my homes, I prefer to be unaccompanied. This particular street is bathed in the orange haze of nearby streetlamps, the rhythmic throbbing of bus engines creating a pleasant, exciting ambience. I love night and I love cities, so cities at night are heaven.

I feel like I grew up on this twelve-block stretch of 2nd Avenue, downtown Seattle. I know every shop, every corner, every bus stop. I know ever cross-street, every bump in the road. I know the silly mnemonic device that lists the street names in order. I know the stupidly-designed monstrosity that is Terry Street and I know why it was designed that way. I know the bus drivers and they know me.

I call this “being anonymous.” It’s one of my favorite things to do when I have the chance to be in a city at night, alone.

The stoplights around me are rhythmic, changing politely in time for me to cross. The slipstream off a bus tugs at the edge of my scarf and I pull it tighter around my neck. I feel like a warrior, my black shoes clacking on the bricks, head up, strides long. I look like I have somewhere to be. I look like I might be important somewhere.

I fancy a cloak draped around my shoulders and trailing on the pavement. I fancy a sword at my side. I fancy rougher hands, broader shoulders, stronger arms, a flatter chest. Around my static running-man form I build an identity, a look, descriptive words dripping from the ends of my hair and the tips of my fingers.

Suddenly, I am different. The busy city becomes a dystopian ideal, my fellow pedestrians transform into guards or rebels or cowed civilians waiting for the nightmare to be over.

And as I duck into the transit tunnel beneath Benaroya Hall, I shed the last of my nonfiction history and give in to any one of hundreds of stories in my head waiting to be written.

The Art of Naming Yourself (Logan Fenner, week 4)

“Hey, can I get a cocoa please?”

“Sure. Can I get your name?”

I hesitate.

 

My mother’s father was Irish. His first son’s name is Patrick, first daughter is Maura, my mother is Anne, his last son is Robert. Never mind that his other three children have very British names.

My mother’s family also has an odd tradition of naming children after other family members. We have two Ellens, two Patricks, two Mauras, two Roberts, and two Michaels (three, if you count an in-law). Names are important.

 

“My name is Jared.”

“Cool. We’ll have that ready for you in a moment!”

 

When I was a child, I named things. When I found a name I liked, I would give it to two or three stuffed animals. This explains why I had two dolls, a stuffed turtle, and a rocking horse all named Sally. I was fascinated by names. When I wrote stories, finding appropriate names for my characters was the most important, most time-consuming part. I had books of names and baby-naming websites bookmarked on my dad’s computer. There is still an entire notebook somewhere, full of names I invented. When my sister was born, my parents asked me to help name her because they knew names were special to me.

 

“Hey, I’d like a turkey-cheese sandwich on white, please.”

“Absolutely. What’s your name?”

I hesitate.

 

My parents had two names in mind in the hours before I was born. They had made lists of names they liked and didn’t like, then combined them and cross-referenced them until they had one list of names they both liked. From there, they narrowed it down one at a time. Two names stuck, and those were the two they considered on the trip to the hospital. One of them was Maureen, a name picked for its Irishness and its similarity to that of the two Mauras already in the family. Following tradition, you know. But, as my mother says, “You just weren’t a Maureen, so we chose the other one.”

 

“I’m Kendall.”

“Alright, Kendall, hang tight and we’ll holler when it’s ready.”

 

It took me months to find my name. I knew something wasn’t right in my head, it became very obvious very quickly that I was Something Different. My host of mental problems could not account for these symptoms. I couldn’t lump it in with depression or anxiety, and it was just far enough from my dissociation issues that I couldn’t really call it that either. I temporarily labeled it an “identity disorder” until I figured it out, and I immediately began my problem-solving rituals. The first one was to change my name. Not publicly, only in my head. I would sign different names at the end of my journal entries, seeing which ones flowed best under my pen. Boy names, girl names, unisex names. Pretty names, ugly names, made-up names. I submitted my writing under aliases, created characters similar to myself and gave them names, put a different name in the address box every time I ordered a package. I lost my old identity.

 

“Hello, is this tech support?”

“Yes it is. Please hold, we’ll get you an associate. May I have your name?”

I hesitate.

 

My father’s family was less concerned about tradition. My paternal grandparents had three fewer children to contend with and my grandmother’s proud Swedish heritage did not make an impact on her children’s names. She was, however, very careful with my father’s name. His name is William and my grandmother, knowing kids, had the foresight to realize that his friends would likely give him a nickname. In true Grandma Carolyn fashion, she gave him a nickname before anyone else had time to: Bill. She was adamant that he not be called Billy, because if he was Billy as a child he would be Billy as an adult, and “nobody would respect him now, would they?” She was right. As far as anyone is concerned his name is Bill, and he is grateful for her interference in this instance.

 

“Yes, it’s Quinn.”

“Thank you for calling, Quinn, you won’t be on hold for long.”

 

I never really felt a connection to my birth name. It’s a fine name, nothing wrong with it, but I answered to it more out of habit than a sense of “yes, that’s me!” It is also deceptively difficult for a child to pronounce. There is an unusual combination of vowels that I could never quite get my mouth around. When I was small, I thought everyone had trouble saying their own name. As a child I asked my mom if she ever did and of course she said “no, why would I?” because Anne is pretty much the easiest name in the world. And I didn’t realize that I had no emotional link to my birth name until I decided I was free to change the syllables people yelled when they wanted my attention.

 

“Hello, one train ticket please.”

“Name?”

I hesitate.

 

When I finally decided I needed to change my name for real, I made a list of requirements. I would not let anyone sway me, this name had to be a decision I was 100% happy with. It had to be a primarily male name, I would not pick a unisex one like Robin and risk getting misgendered. And it had to be one that I reacted to instantly, one of those names I would hear and think “ooooohhhhmmmmmm, what a wonderful name that is.” So I began my search. I liked Devan and Taylor and Adrian, though they could all be mistaken for female names. David and Loren were nice ones too, but ended up getting cut for reasons I cannot recall. Finally, it came down to two: Jack and Logan. Jack is still one of my favorite names and there are times I wish I had picked it, partially because I have since learned that there are girls named Logan and Jack is unequivocally male. But there was another boy in my small high school named Jack and it would have been markedly Not Good to name myself after him. If not for him, I likely would have chosen it.

 

“My name is Liam.”

“Gotcha. That’ll be four dollars and fifty-three cents.”

 

When I was four or five, I heard a name that really stuck with me. My parents were talking about their favorite TV shows from childhood and my mom brought up Bewitched. “My favorite part,” she said, “was when little Tabitha would wiggle her magic nose with her hand.” Tabitha. What a singularly exquisite name. For a month or two after that, I insisted to my parents that I be called Tabitha. I would not let them refer to me as my birth name on the phone to my grandparents, and if anyone called me by anything other than Tabitha I would act pointedly as if I had not heard. My parents humored me for as long as I wanted, though it was not hard for them to switch back to my old name when I got bored with Tabitha. It finally became too much work for my young brain to learn to respond to something new.

 

“Hello, Amazon tracking services? I’m inquiring about a package I ordered.”

“Sure. What’s the name on the package?”

I hesitate.

 

The first time I encountered Logan, it was in a Babysitter’s Club book. The Babysitter’s Club books are not great; I was only reading it because one of my friends said it was good and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I was eight and far more interested in fantasy. It was the first of the Babysitter’s Club books I read (and by all rights should have been the last, but I went on to read two or three more before I finally gave up). This particular book, titled Logan Likes Mary Anne!, involves the arrival of a new boy in town. He is described as having thick blond hair being infallibly charming. He is also thirteen, which seemed so very mature to me. Thus, my immediate positive association with Logan as a name. It stuck, and Logan hung out in the back of my head for years as one of my favorite boy names.

 

“Zane.”

“Do you have a tracking number, Zane?”

 

My sister’s name is Chinese. She is adopted and once my parents heard that her Chinese name meant “trust and faith,” they decided they had a real winner and kept it. They did Americanize the pronunciation a bit so that she would not have to constantly spell out her name when introducing herself (she still does, but less so. It’s only three letters, after all). The root of my birth name can be traced back to a plant, though it’s not literal and therefore not the immediate conclusion upon hearing it, as names like Lilac and Daisy are. My favorite joke was always, “yeah, her name means trust, which is just great because my parents named me after a bush.” It always got a laugh. I can’t really make that joke anymore, even though Logan means “little hollow” or something equally ridiculous, because I picked it and I have nobody but myself to blame for its silly meaning.

 

New Account

*click*

First Name

I hesitate.

 

“Hey, Logan!” I turn, smiling, instantly validated by the use of my real name. Every time I am called this way, it erases my birth name from my memory. It has been three years now, and though I still twitch when someone else is called by my birth name, I no longer turn around, “What?” when I hear it. I am better now. I have learned to take up space. I have learned to be a human, mostly. The other things going on in my head are still there, of course, they will not be sated by medication and bad coping strategies. But I am braver, stronger, better equipped to deal with them than I was before. I am trying to stay functional. And so far, it’s working.

 

Damien

Last Name

 

My sister and I share a middle and last name. The middle name is really my mother’s surname, she elected to keep it when she married my father. Often I have wished I could have been given a middle name that was my own. I would not have minded having two middle names if it meant more individuality and separation from my sister. But it would also mean ultimately dropping another name from the list of syllables my parents chose for me. I know it pained them when I chose not to simply adopt the masculine version of my birth name, when I picked a name not wildly different but different enough that I can clearly mark the change. What would my female middle name have been? Maureen would not have flowed well following my birth name. Something with the rhythm of Amanda or Linnea would have sounded nice. Perhaps it would have been a family name, Carolyn or Ellen or Ruth. I am glad I do not have to choose to drop a family member’s legacy from my birth certificate.

 

“Hey, could I get a chai latte, please?”

“Sure, you got a name?”

I do not hesitate.

 

It was July when I changed everything. I remember this very clearly, because I cut off three feet of blonde hair the day I got back from summer camp. I was sixteen. It grew back darker. It was not until the fall that I had the opportunity to go to a Starbucks again. I was walking to the bus from a voice lesson. The air was crisp, red leaves against a clear blue sky. I was wearing a scarf. The bus would not come for another hour and I was cold. The coffee shop on 12th on Capitol Hill was a cozy respite and I entered eagerly, thankful for the relief of warm, coffee-scented air flowing over me. The man behind the counter asked my name and I grinned as I gave it to him. He wrote it in such pretty handwriting that when I got home, I cut it out of the cup and kept it. It seemed fitting that the first time I gave my name to a stranger, he carved it in looping letters for me.

 

“I’m Logan.”

“Coming right up!”

Rescuer (Logan Fenner, 1/9/16)

I allowed myself to be rescued the other day.

That’s a big deal for me, you see. I am self-confident, self-sufficient, self-aware. I do not need help from anyone, anytime, with anything, ever. Full stop.

It makes me uncomfortable to need people. Desiring their company or requesting their help is different, it implies that although their existence makes my life easier, I could still survive well enough without them. But to depend on others, to have no other solution than to throw myself upon the charity of my friends, to inconvenience them and open myself up to judgment, is terrifying. I have learned how to avoid asking for help, the avoidance being so potent as to nearly be a survival tactic.

But I allowed myself to be rescued.

I had taken a bus to the mall in a desperate attempt to save myself from the loneliness and unproductivity of my tiny dorm room replete with distraction. For someone who claims he doesn’t need people, it’s an odd twist that I do better work around them. Particularly strangers. I digress.

I went to the mall to do my homework. I set myself up at a table in the food court next to the bubble-tea stand at 6pm and scarcely looked up for the next few hours. When I finished my last paper, I packed all my things away and did not feel nervous about the time.

I am, after all, self-sufficient. Spending nearly every waking moment as a teenager completely anonymous in the thick busyness of downtown Seattle has made me bus-savvy and unafraid of walking considerable distances through city streets. So I walked to the bus stop, checking my watch as I went.

It was twenty minutes past 10pm. I didn’t think anything of this, in Seattle the buses run until 11. And doesn’t Olympia have a nightline route?

The bus stop was cold, twenty-eight degrees of breeze pricked my gloveless fingers. That was fine. I’d be on the bus soon enough.

I checked my watch again. Half an hour past 10pm. Where was the bus? I noticed a route schedule hidden beneath a long-unpruned shrub and rose stiffly to look at it. The last bus comes at 9:53pm. For the first time in my life, I had missed the last bus.

Undaunted, though sighing at my misfortune and the bother of it all, I began the trek back to campus. Through the mall parking lot and up Cooper Point Road, only stopping when it crossed Harrison and the train of strip malls ended. Cooper Point Road is very long and very dark. Drivers are often heedless of speed along it, I know this because I am too. I was dressed in mostly black, a convenient wardrobal accident of that morning that would certainly ensure my death on this two-lane road.

The idea of walking back to campus was so unsafe that it could be deemed reckless. I am not always known for making good decisions but I do not have a death wish.

Lost for solutions, I sat on a frozen bench in the Rite-Aid parking lot and watched two men drag boxes of supplies into the darkened Starbucks. Realizing that since the only way to get back on my own would be to walk, and walking at this hour down that road is stupidly dangerous, I had to ask for help.

Cursing myself for my lack of planning ahead, cursing InterCity Transit for only running their nightline on weekends, cursing the fact that it was a Monday night, I called my friend and tried not to sound sheepish or desperate.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Ki. It’s Logan.”

“Oh hey Logan, what’s up?”

“Can I ask you a favor?”
“Sure, what?”

“I made a slight error and missed the last bus back from Cooper Point. Can you come pick me up?”

“Yeah, no problem! I’ll be right there!”

“Thanks! No rush, don’t worry.”

I am the picture of nonchalance. Yes of course, I’m totally fine out here in the cold and I really could wait all night, and hey, even if you can’t come get me I’m smart/brave/clever enough to get back on my own.

I wished she was here right now. The cold had set in and my hands were numb. I was tired and had used my last scrap of innovative energy to call her and act like it really was no big deal.

I don’t know if I learned something that night. If I did, it was probably closer to “plan ahead” than “ask for help.” I should have checked the bus schedule before I left, or I shouldn’t have lost track of time, or I should have taken my car to be fixed during winter break so that I would have it when I returned to school.

I know what I should have learned: That I am capable of making friends who like me enough to drop everything and rescue me from a bitter January night without even thinking about it. And that it is impossible to get by without occasionally needing a literal or metaphorical lift from one of your angels.

Like I said, I’m totally self-sufficient. Depending on people has only ever created pain for me and I refuse to willingly subject myself to that.

A hungry man places exponentially more value on a sandwich or an energy bar than a well-fed man does. It took Ki twenty minutes total to pick me up and probably cost her about thirty cents in gas, but for me that twenty minutes was worth my entire night and that thirty cents was worth every single dollar in my pocket.

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The Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington

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