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Chris McClean, Christmas Eve


it was christmas eve. Chris McLean was my roommate. We were both in the same class. We had to decide who would be the nominees for the upcoming election. Bush (George) was assumed to be the republican nominee. Chris McLean was distant and barely responsive to my attempts to befriend him. He wore a bike helmet and had round blue eyes, a thin mouth, neither turned up nor down. He was standing on a ladder, fixing a broken wall, plastering something, or untaping something, or peeking behind the plywood boards… I asked him who he thought would be the nominee, but made a mistake because i did not distinguish between partites, and he looked at me a little disappointedly/condescendingly. I corrected myself ‘oh right, bush obviously on the right, but on the left? who do you think?’ the answers to these questions were to be the report we were to hand in the next day. I was below the ladder, looking for the same clue Chris was, justified in my search and feeling a little that his unresponsiveness was selfish. perhaps we had to hand in a mutual paper and i needed his information.
At one point he passed by me in his helmet and I looked at my bag of weed. I had a lot of weed. it was not in nuggests but rather ground up and soft, like sawdust, but a nice deep shade of green. I asked him if he wanted some weed? i had plenty more than i needed for myself, and I thought it would be a friendly gesture. He said “I dont smoke old weed.” I thought to tell him that it was not old, but then second guessed the actual age of this weed, and then he said “I’m going out to buy a new bus pass. I hear they’re starting to sell them again.” I watched him go and looked out the window. It was snowing a lot but in small light flakes. it was beautiful, and I thought I should go outside to take some pictures.

at another point in the night, Maite and I were in San FRancisco, looking for places to live. I was on the bus, without her, taking it to the end of the line. It took us to a place resembling the outer sunset, but the houses were built as far as the shoreline itself. It looked a little like gloucester. One street was a cul-de-sac and the water washed up like an eddy to within feet of the houses. it was quaint and cozy and i thought this would be a nice place to live. there were people on the beach, kids playing. much like a culdesac would have a basketball hoop somewhere in it with kids playing, this was a beach culdesac. later i described the place to Maite. ‘and then the bus turned up one street and headed back, and that street was also nice at the end, right next to the beach, quiet….”