by Johnny McNulty
You wake up with a start at 7:00 AM. Despite having only slept for four hours, you sit straight up, alert, and grab the butter knife from the silverware set, stored under your pillow. As you scan your spartan dwelling for assassins or messengers from people needing help, you realize you are accompanied only by your cat, Mingle.
Find out more about Mingle?
When you obtained the feline from the basement-level pet store on a more mysterious corner of 27th street, you asked the blind (he had sunglasses, so probably) shopkeep what breed he was. “Cat,” he answered, but you think you detect evidence of dwarf lion in him, which you figure, statistically, must exist. This is supported by the improbably large clumps in his kitty box. In any case, when you returned for cat/lion food the next week, the store was “closed for x-mas.” It had practically vanished. The chimera beast will probably prove useful in your travels later.
You notice a slice of Hawaiian pizza on your nightstand and realize you don’t have class till noon, so you could sleep, or you could get up and get a jump on the day before your classmates/enemies. Your room has one door, in the west, and two windows, one in the east and the other in the south. Your sun exposure is excellent.
You eat the pizza, and are happy it’s not dusty. The pineapple is a little dry though.
You reset your alarm for 11AM and go back to bed, wondering whether the day will hold any samurai encounters. You begin to dream of flaxen haired Nordic princess astride giant tigers battling Loki, the Jungian trickster archetype. You find yourself there, about to save the Princess…when suddenly you are awoken by SAMURAI SWORD IN THE NECK!!! No, wait, now you wake up a second time, this time for real. It was only a dream, and you are completely unsworded. Maybe it was a bad idea to eat that pizza and think about samurais before going to sleep. Anyway, it’s 10:59 so you get up before the alarm goes off and annoys you. Isn’t it weird when your brain knows right when to get up? Again, you look around your room and notice the door is still in the same place…
I already told you about Mingle, you should have written it down.
…anyway, about that door…
You stride confidently though the door, which is now behind you to the east. You are now in the Living Room, to your northeast lies the bathroom, to the north is the exit to the hall of your apartment building, to the west is the walk-in kitchen, way bigger than what you’d get in New York for this price, as you constantly remind friends who don’t have one that big at home, let alone at college. Prick. In the south are more windows. Really, the feng shui here rocks. There is also a couch, a table with chairs, a computer, and a tv. By the exit there rests your umbrella and also nearby is your samurai trap.
Just stick with me.
You inspect the samurai trap. No samurais today. It’s important to check the samurai trap, because if you know one thing about samurais, it’s that for each one you find, there are going to be about 20 you don’t see, running at you from all directions. For the time being, however, your building is not infested. Just in, case however, you replace the bait to make sure it’s fresh.
A sack of rice and redeemed honor. For these are ronin.
You check your email. There is a political science forum later today held by the Fox Leadership Program. Someone in your fraternity is mad the pool table is broken, apparently by someone else being gay. With excitement you come across an email from one Reginald Malderblast entitled “A Special Opportunity for You” if anything has ever screamed “wizard-as-guide” archetype, it’s Reginald Malderblast. Excitedly, you wonder if this will be a “go forth and help the village” Jungian quest or perhaps one of avenging a family member (which, since none of your current family need avenging, as the added plus of meaning you’ve been lied to your whole life about your true identity). You begin wondering whether you’ll be allowed to bring Mingle, and which of your J.Crew corduroys would be the most durable on an overland journey or a dirty space tanker.
“Congratulations! You’ve been selected to be let in on an investment tip known ONLY TO THE EXPERTS!!! As many of you know, prison is a rapidly expanding industry…”
Dejected, you walk away from the computer and over to the bathroom, because that’s where you should have gone first, seeing as you just woke up. Still dejected you walk over the couch and pick up a copy of Carl Jung’s seminal work…
You walk out the exit and start walking towards class. When you leave your apartment building you are temporarily blinded by light. You crouch into a defensive stance and whip out your umbrella lest your enemies use this temporary weakness to attack. Finally, stepping gingerly over cracks, and looking for any letters addressed to you hidden along the way, you arrive at your class: Gender and Middle Eastern Literature. You begin to listen to the lecture.
>no, I meant quit.
You don’t want to hear the lecture? I wrote it all down.
Do you want to save before you quit?
Are you sure?