Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dream Theater: The Office Party

Office Party DJ Disasters | Digital DJ Tips
Photo from digitaldjtips.com.

There'd been a terrible falling out with M_____ and G_____, and I hadn't spoken to them in months. But they lured me back with an email, saying they wanted to see me. 

So I went to their office, only to discover they were throwing a party. Their company had grown so much. Even R_____ J_____, a high school classmate, was working for them now as a private investigator. 

Leaving right away wasn't an option, so I played it cool. It was impossible to avoid R_____ J_____ so I said to him, “I know we had a pretty heated argument on Facebook back in 2016, but now I can’t remember exactly what it was about.” We both laughed because he couldn’t remember either. 

After making the rounds I decided to go home. This was harder than it should have been, though, because I'd collected all this stuff. Extra clothes and receipts, packs of cigarettes and lighters, and keys to two or more cars that belonged to someone else. I couldn't take it with me or leave it behind.

I decided to stay the night, and slept on a sofa in the hall. The next morning I woke up as M_____ was arriving for work. I smiled sheepishly, because he knew I hadn't planned to stay that long.

But now I had to leave. I’d started college again, in Iowa City, with a full schedule of classes, including one on calculus. Math had always been my weakness. Why had I signed up for something so difficult? 

Over the next few weeks I skipped every calculus class. The deadline to drop it was today. The problem was, I still didn’t know my way around campus. Nothing was how I remembered it. The guidebook in my backpack turned out to be more of a brochure, filled with games and puzzles rather than anything useful. 

I stared at it, and eventually figured out the Math department was across the river. When I arrived all the buildings there were just old houses, without signs to tell one from the other. 

I'd have to search for the main office, wandering in and out of houses and rooms, interrupting classes, embarrassing myself as I asked for directions. Everyone would know, and they'd think to themselves, "There's someone who couldn't cut it."

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