Hamlet Soliloquy Rewritten “To Write or Not to Write”

At the time of my writing this I was supposed to be writing an essay on Hamlet.

To write or not to write. That is the question.

Whether ‘tis nobler with the pen to try,

To debate the points and parts of the prompt,

Or to explore the text for long, lone hours,

And by reading, learning. But to write not –

Nor record – and by not, we sleep, we rest.

No two a.m. false and frail examples

To flesh out a scanty thought. ‘Tis a relief

Very to be wished. To write not the essay –

To write not — perchance to watch a movie:

Ay, there’s the rub, for in that respite of

New episodes, where characters may be

Saved, or killed, or dire plot twists revealed,

We must pause. There’s the dread and despair

That makes the slog of so long essay:

For who could bear the soporific trials,

The tormenting questions, the teacher’s sneer,

The fine lock on time that is home learning,

The slight of dress code and testy demands,

The preference to those whose work lacks wit,

When we might spend the hours on sloth and sites?

Who would assignments do to learn subjects,

Chosen books, equations, without need,

But that fear of unfavorable report,

That letter mark from which no student returns,

Strengthens the tired, reluctant resolve,

And makes us rather do the work we have

Than discover how far the consequence

Reaches? Though the secure of grades would smirk,

And more video games play, the unsure

Falter and with thoughts of future marks

And guardians’ stern, disappointed scowls,

Levels are neglected, naps sacrificed,

And lose the want of lazy freedom – hark!

A text! – Friends, with thy answers completed,

Be my long help and pleading remembered.

Dusk Leaves

Dusk Leaves

There’s a horizon in this photo, you just can’t see it. Its completely unedited.
Lake Huron on a Hazy Day

There’s a horizon in this photo, you just can’t see it. Its completely unedited.

Lake Huron on a Hazy Day

Desert Faucet

The day was hot, the kind of heat that sucks moisture from everything and sends it to vanish into tremblingly feverish air. Shark watched regretfully as her spit dried off the sandy ground. Justice fumbled and swore beside her, the sniper rifle slipping from her sweaty palms. Shark smirked, dropping her head back against the rock, turning her eyes towards the vivid blue sky.

“Hey Justice.”

Justice grunted “huh.”

“When was the last time you saw a cloud?”

“Yesterday.” She answered. “Cirrus, really high up. I thought it looked a bit orange.” She leveled the rifle at the tiny old convenience store. “When was the last time you saw a proper shade of green?”

Shark smiled wryly. “The last time I looked into Net’s eyes.”

Justice sat back. “Net’s eyes are blue.”

“Really? Ok, not in ages, then, assuming these shrubs don’t count.”

“Those are more of a gray.” Justice said. She checked the crosshairs and then slumped down beside Shark. “It’s too hot to move. I’m exhausted.”

Shark groaned and nodded, slowly slapping a knife against her thigh.

“Can I take a nap?” Justice moaned.

“Nope.”

“What’s taking them so long?”

“I think they were looking for a spot for Rain to set up a station.”

“Eh heh. That’s gonna be hard.”

“Think of it as another plus about this place, hard to ambush.” Shark said, leaning around the rock to stare at the ghost town, a handful of broken shacks and old stores. “And relatively undefended.”

“Yup. That’s the first thing I’m gonna do when its ours, build some walls. This place needs to be a fort.”

They took turns throwing pebbles at a dead bush.

“I’m thirsty.”

“Take some pellets.”

Justice shook her head. “Pellets aren’t gonna help.”

“Please tell me your hands aren’t shaky.”

“Nah, they aren’t yet. I’m not going into withdrawal. I’m just thirsty. Does anyone in the group still have any water?”

Shark shrugged. “The Doc might. You’ll have to ask him later.”

“Doc has green eyes.” Justice said.

                                                         ***

The Doc sat against the old chest of drawers. Cloud hummed beside him, tinkering away at a cube made of smaller, colored cubes, twisting the rows and columns.

“Where did you find that?”

“The last town we raided. Its kinda cool, isn’t it?”

“That’s a rubix cube. You’re supposed to get all the colors on their own sides. I haven’t seen one since I was little. My dad found one but he threw it away before I could solve it. Said it didn’t have a practical use.”

“Well it doesn’t, but that’s no reason to throw it away.”

She messed with it a bit more. “This is impossible.”

“Let me see.”

She handed it to him and watched him work, but turned away before long to look out at October-Sky and Car setting up their station, October manned the rifle, but Car had to set it up for her.

“Why do we have to fight?” She asked.

“We don’t have to. Rise is gonna try to negotiate, but it probably won’t work. These guys have too much pride to give up anything.”

“Someone will get hurt. We should just keep travelling and camping where we meet people. That’s not bad and I don’t see any reason to change it. Its fun.”

“Rumor has it that there is something here that we sorely want.” He glanced at her expression, her eyes staring into the cart like she was trying to find what was missing. “We have everything we need, I think, if what we need is a patchy livelihood, a band of borderline psychos, and sustenance almost every day. All those things are here, but do you ever feel like, oh, I don’t know, scrambling to stay alive, destroying entire towns just for a few meals, and running from everything that faces us just isn’t the way to live?”

“Settling in the middle of the desert, miles from anywhere, will change that?”

“Sometimes its just a matter of fitting together the pieces.” The Doc said, tossing her the solved rubix cube.

                                                         ***

Fifty yards away, under the edge of a crater, Car patiently picked up the parts of the rifle October had carelessly knocked out of his hands. October lay at the bottom of the crater, her hand over her eyes, sobbing with apology.  He listened for a while, fitting the parts back together and leaving her to aim it. “Its ok.” He said.

“What?”

He glanced at her and sighed, “I said its ok. No big deal. I already fixed it.”

“Oh, ok. I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.” She cleared her throat and rose to aim the rifle, staring through the crosshairs and minutely adjusting it for quite some time. Car shuffled around with a box of gears beside her.

“What are you making?” She asked.

“A watch.”

“Why would you make a watch?” She giggled. “Aren’t those used to tell time? No one uses time. It’s such an antique idea. Well, time itself isn’t antique, but measuring it in numbers is. It just isn’t practical. You can try to set events that pass into a certain sequence, but over the year the sunset and the sunrise change and the light of the day and the time we do things change, so we have to change the time and its not always accurate enough to be of use. Think of leap years, if you know what those are. Only the Dispensers use clocks and watches because they’re the only ones with tedious and regular schedules. Do you really want to look like you’re part of the Dispensaries? That’ll only invite trouble.”

Car didn’t answer for a moment, taking the time to tighten a screw and take a deep breath. “I’m making one for the challenge.”

“Oh.” She cleared her throat again and adjusted the rifle a bit more. “So do you have any water on you or anything?”

“Nope. Ask Salt.”

                                                           ***

“Give. Me. The. Water.” Salt said.

“Nope.” said Pepper. “You shouldn’t have let me hold it. I’m gonna drink the rest.”

“No you’re not! That’s mine! I paid for it and I’ve been saving it!”

“Ew! It’ll grow stuff! You shouldn’t save water, especially not in an unsanitary container! Just drink it!”

“I will as soon as you give it back. I’ve told you so many times not to take my stuff.”

“My stuff is your stuff! We’re twins, gosh darn it, we’ve never had different stuff.”

“We do if I paid for it!” Salt shrieked and leapt on Pepper.

“Fine! Take it and get off me!”

Salt grabbed the bottle and chugged the water down, sat back against the rocks, and sighed, a smile stretched across her dirty face. She reluctantly handed the last few mouthfuls to her sister. They both grinned and sat down in front of their rifles.

“No one has to know about that.” Pepper said.

“We never had anything.” Salt agreed.

                                                           ***

“Do you know if Salt and Pepper actually have water?” Kite asked.

“If they did, I bet its gone by now.” Net said, fanning himself with a flat-ish stone, his eyes on the teasingly blue sky. When he stared up at the sky he liked to imagine that he was looking far down at an ocean through the clouds, if they were there, instead of up at a void. It felt more lonely, but less empty.

“Are you gonna shoot, or shall I?”

Net glanced at the rifle, then at the assortment of close-range weapons collected on the ground. “You shoot. I’ll fight.”

“Nah, I think I’ll let you have the honor of shooting.”

“Just so you can mock me when I miss?”

“Its better than you mocking me.”

“Just stay here and be the sniper, will you?”

“Nope, I’m gonna go fight.”

“One of us needs to stay here.”

“By all means,” Kite said, “go ahead.” He fidgeted at the wrecked hem of his jeans, staring expectantly up at Net.

Net shook his head, kicking at a shrub. “I’m amazed that you’ve stayed alive this long.”

“Must be my charm. Do you want a sandwich?”

“No.”

“It has ham in it.”

“Where the hell did you get ham?”

Kite smirked, taking a bite out of his sandwich and chewing slowly and grinning contentedly at Net. “Not every day you find someone sellin’ fresh, juicy ham. I had to take advantage.”

“What did you use to buy it?”

“What makes you think I bought it?”

Net glared for a solid minute before demanding the sandwich. Kite grinned and gave him a piece.

“Thanks.” Net muttered.

“Glad to be of service. You’re shooting.”

                                                           ***

“Got any pellets on you?” Rain said.

Rise handed him several, which Rain swallowed dry, flinching. “I’ll never get used to those things.”

“You do eventually.”

“You’ve used them since the day you could swallow them, though. I really can’t.”

“You were a spoiled kid.” Rise said, smiling.

Rain shrugged. “Doesn’t mean I’m not useful.”

“You sure are that, just so long as you don’t come and try to fight.”

“Nah, I’m much happier back here, picking off foes from a distance. Keeping you guys safe. And you guys can draw their attention away from me!” Rain grinned, bouncing up and down with energy, his messy sun bleached hair flying.

“I’m all set up here, if you guys wanna go now.”

“Could we, please?” Fried said from his position, flattened out on the ground, trying to stay hidden behind the craggy broken asphalt that used to be the highway. “I’m getting dirt down my jeans and it ain’t pleasant.”

Rise snickered. “Yeah, sorry. Let’s go.”

Rise whistled long and low through his teeth. It rang around the rocks, breaking the sweltering silence. He saw four hands rise from behind rocks around the town, circling it. Fried had already stood behind him, adjusting the extra ammo hanging around him and shouldering his rocket launcher. They walked forward, backs straight, strides long, metal clinking all over against their frayed, faded clothes and dusty skin.

                                                          ***

“Positions.” muttered Shark, hand still up in response to the whistle. Justice sat up, handed the binoculars to Shark and, and situated herself at the crosshairs.

Through the binoculars, Shark saw Rise and Fried stride towards the town, Rise calm and unthreatening, most of his many weapons concealed. Fried loomed beside him, huge and menacing, all guns and bristling knives, ammo looped across his chest, and his baby, a rocket launcher, propped up on his shoulder. One man came out to meet them, a single revolver in one hand, a bottle in the other. He had the guts to look annoyed. Rise talked, the man stared, mouth open. He abruptly smashed his bottle against the side of a building. Rise didn’t flinch, but Fried’s hand flew to a holster and Justice twitched, finger taut over the trigger.

“So wasteful.” Shark growled, eyeing the glass shards and the scratches on the wall it had hit.

“Why would he disrespect that place?” Justice hissed.

“He doesn’t understand how lucky he is to have it.”

“Can I shoot? What are they doing?”

“Negotiations.”

                                                           ***

“So tell me, exactly, instead of all this fancy beatin’ around the bush you’re doin’, what you expect me to do for you.” The man hissed. A few other residents, hailed by the smashing bottle, emerged from the dingy trailers, men and women roughly the size and shape of bears, and of the same temper.

Rise smiled pleasantly. “I want you to leave immediately so my crew and I can move in. In return, we won’t kill you.”

The man snorted. “You go back to your boss, whoever he is, and tell him that sending a couple kids in here to threaten me with a rocket launcher is not doin’ him much credit. “

“The leader decided to direct operations from the back so I could do the negotiations, actually, since she doesn’t think you’d take her seriously. See, she’s even younger than I am.”

The man laughed humorlessly. “So you’re a bunch of kids, huh. That’s pathetic. Stop wastin’ my time and go home to your mommas. He turned to walk back inside.

Rise called after him, “If you think we won’t kill every single one of you if you don’t give up this place easily because you think we’re innocent, inexperienced children, you’re wrong on all accounts.”

“And what are you thinking? That I’m a fat, lazy old man that won’t put up a fight?”

“Yeah, that’s what I think. I also think you’re a degenerate slob with no more brain cells than a brick. I think you’re an easy defeat.”

The man turned around. “Now you’re just makin’ me mad.” He raised the revolver. Five rifles fired.

“You know,” Rise said as he and Fried dodged behind a trailer to avoid the fire of the now enraged residents, “I don’t think he believed us when we said there were snipers surrounding the town. Only three bullets hit. We’re lucky the people who missed didn’t hit us.”

“That would probably be October and Kite.” Fried muttered, locking and loading, firing around the corner of the building. “Rocket launcher?” He asked hopefully.

“Too many scattered, moving targets and you’d destroy the property. Next time, big guy.”

Fried sighed, whipped out his machetes, and engaged the nearest resident. Rise threw daggers and Shark appeared out of nowhere, screaming, and wrestled a woman to the ground, spitting and twisting, a knife between her teeth.

Kite and Net arrived from the South, also screaming, though it appeared to be more at each other than at the residents, and ran like blenders through the trailers, flushing out anyone still hiding. Car ran in from the East, braved a couple stabs, and retreated behind some shrapnel to shoot from an impersonal distance. October followed him, joining Salt and Pepper, Rain and Justice got a bullet in where they could.

There were only eight residents. They were all dead in a matter of seconds.

“That was fast.” muttered Kite.

“Victory!” Rise screamed. Justice, Cloud, Rain, and the Doc exploded into cheers out on in the desert.

“Hope you had fun, kids.” Shark roared. “That was probably the last raid we’re gonna have to do in a while. Now go find it.”

“Its in here.” Car said. They rushed after him into the convenience store. In the back, in and old, worn, dirty, women’s bathroom, a single, clean sink sat like a porcelain shrine in a cave. Shark lifted the old handle and water poured into the basin. She turned it off quickly and they all held each other. October Sky cried for wonder.

Anonymous said: I love this blog, i really do! Please keep it up! :-)

Really?! Thanks so much! I’ll try to update more often! (I’m all smiles over here)

It took forever to get this picture because it was so windy and it kept blurring.

It took forever to get this picture because it was so windy and it kept blurring.

Bad Lit Class

Funny story that I’m sure anyone who’s ever been to school can relate to at some degree.

The late bell rang and Jesse sat back with a long sigh, watching helplessly as Mrs. Windsor closed the door, trapping her students inside.

“That was the late bell, students.” she called over the murmuring class. Those standing reluctantly returned to their seats. Lydia sat down behind Jesse, still talking to her friend, five seats away, about her sister’s pretentious, arrogant cat.

“Miss Mathers,” Mrs. Windsor said, “Is there something you’d like to share with the class?”

“No ma’am.” Lydia said. “I don’t think they want to hear me talk about petulant cats.”

“Then why were you yelling?” one student muttered as another said “No we don’t, thanks.”

Mrs. Windsor called for order again and made a big show of ominously organizing her notes at the front podium. Jesse rolled her eyes. “So today we will be having group discussion-“ mixed opinions quietly made themselves known around the room, “-on the Great Gatsby, which you all should have finished reading by last night.” she scanned the class for guilty expressions, which the class had learned to disguise by now, so she stuck to her default idiot. “Erin, why don’t you start us off?”

“I actually read this one!” Erin began. “I liked it at the beginning because it’s the 20’s and that was a really cool decade, but I really didn’t understand it, especially the end, like, way to tend on a bad note, you know?”

Erin twirled her hair as she talked, tapping her pen on her hot pink binder. She was a class favorite: friendly, outgoing, and always up for anything. Jesse was tempted to roll her socks into a gag every time she talked.

“I didn’t like it.” Jared said. “It was boring.”

“I think that’s been your first comment to everything we’ve read so far this year.” Mrs. Winsor said.

“I thought that was just déjà vu.” Lydia said. Calvin’s first snore of the period rumbled at the back of the room. Jesse began to feel déjà vu too.

“My favorite character was Gatsby.” Chelsea chirped.

“Why?”

“I don’t know.” she giggled, “Probably because I saw Leonardo Dicaprio in my head the entire time that I was reading it.”

“Ok….” Mrs. Windsor floundered, searching the class for a half-intelligent person. “Luke! Do you have any comments about the book?”

“I didn’t read it.”

Jesse waited patiently with her notes in front of her as Mrs. Windsor cycled through the students.

“Anyone?” Mrs. Windsor asked. Jesse raised her hand. “Ok, take it away, Jesse.”

“Don’t let Jesse say anything!” Chelsea squealed. “She’ll just make us feel stupid.”

“You shouldn’t need help with that.” Lydia told her. Chelsea didn’t get it.

“This is one of my favorite books.” Jesse began. “It’s incredibly complex. For example the symbolism-“

“I hate symbolism.” Jared groaned, stretching. “So confusing. I mean, why is symbolism even a thing? The author could just come out and say what he means instead of using a bunch of stupid confusing stuff that only some people understand.”

“Can you imagine how tedious that would be to read?” Lydia said. “All the extra explanation. ‘And now I shall make a parallel between this city and the bible because of what’s about to happen and what I want to imply and just trust me on this one. I’ll explain it all.’ Instead he just describes some eyes, and its more interesting to read if you catch it, and makes much more sense in the context of the story. Even if you don’t catch it, you should get a feeling for the scene.”

“But most people don’t get it or even get a feeling from it. They just get confused.” Chelsea said.

“Most people do get it,” Lydia snapped. “Just not people like you.”

“If you had this much to say,” Mrs. Windsor said. “Why didn’t you speak up when I asked?”

“I don’t really like discussions,” Lydia said. “But I like arguments.”

“Jessie, I’m sorry about all this interruption. Would you please continue?”

“Ok. The setting is interesting because it allows the author to-“

“Let me tell you something about the setting!” Erin said. “I freaking LOVE the 20’s, and everything about the Great Gatsby is so gorgeous and such a glamorous example of the 20’s, or at least the movie was. I would rather live in Gatsby’s house than anywhere else on earth.”

“Gatsby’s house doesn’t exist.” Luke said.

“Don’t ruin my dreams!” Erin whined. “They had to film it somewhere.”

“Yeah. In a studio.”

“Not exactly what I meant when I said ‘setting’.” Jesse muttered.

Mrs. Windsor leaned forward on the podium. “Jessie, can you tell us something you learned from the book?”

“Well, in the last two paragraphs-“

“Hey I have a question.” Chelsea said. “Since you seem to know a lot about the book, and I’ve seen the movie, but I want this answered from the point of view of the book: Is Nick supposed to be hot? Like, in the book, is he considered to be attractive?”

“What the hell kinda question is that?” Jared asked.

“I wanna know!”

“This class continuously borders on ridiculous.” Lydia said, putting her head down on her desk.”

“Students, please stop interrupting Jesse and let her say something about the book. Jesse?”

Jesse pursed her lips and shook her head.

“Oh honestly, Jesse, please say something.”

“This class is dysfunctional.”

“Jesse!”

“I’m tired of hearing my favorite book subjected to idiocy.”

The clock ticked. Calvin snored. Someone’s whispered conversation, which had been going on since the beginning of class, became audible.

“It hasn’t even been ten minutes.” Mrs. Windsor pleaded. “I’m sure someone else can find something to say.”

Still no response. Erin giggled.

“I had a revelation yesterday.” Jared said.

“What was that?” Mrs. Windsor said, foolishly hoping that it would be about the book.

“The constitution says that as Americans we’re entitled to the pursuit of happiness, but ignorance is bliss, right? So don’t we have the right to be ignorant if we want to? Why is it against the law not to go to school?”

“Ya know, I had the same thought in third grade.” Lydia said. “And the next day I decided it was stupid and immature on a whole bunch of levels, so I dropped it.”

“You didn’t come up with that on your own, did you?” Luke asked Jared.

“No.” Jared muttered.

“Can I go to the nurse?” Jesse asked.

“Why?” Mrs. Windsor said, rubbing her palms over her eyes.

“I have a bad headache.”

When Jesse returned five minutes before the end of the period they were seated in a circle discussing the inherent philosophical superiority of football to baseball. The baseball side was loosing despite having the stronger argument and the smarter supporters simply because of the arrogance and ignorance of the opposing side.

We’ll Fix It

Her children run into the yard.

“Be safe!” she says, and sits back in her rusty chair, the baby on her lap, the cigarette to her lips.

Wind slaps the branches of the old tree against the boarded up windows

and the sun is setting so the bright yellow light bulb hums with bugs.

Her threadbare sweater won’t be enough soon.

 

The little girl with the dirty face runs up to her.

“Momma, my doll!”

The button eye hangs off by a thread.

“We’ll fix it.” she promises, and the little girl runs back to play again.

 

We’ll fix it.

We’ll fix the broken swing set too,

and the heater.

Maybe someday we’ll even fix the bills,

fix them so Momma doesn’t sit with her head in her hands when they arrive.

 

We’ll fix this home.

The walls will stop feeling so thin.

We’ll start small.

A rusty needle and frayed thread will stitch the eye back on the doll.

Stained tools can re-attach the swing chain to the frame.

The other things will have to wait,

but we’ll fix them eventually.

ATTENTION FEMALE POETS

A friend of mine is starting up a charity for orphaned girls in india called FreeIndia’sGirls and to raise money, she will be publishing a book of poetry with poems written by girls and she’s looking for submissions. This is a great way to get work out there for a good cause. The site to submit is HERE, where you can also read up on what FreeIndia’sGirls is doing. Up to three will be published but submit all you want, and the only guideline for the poems is be positive. This is a great opportunity and a very worthwhile cause, so even if you aren’t a female poet, please reblog this to get the word out. Thanks very much!

Niagara: The American falls.

Niagara: The American falls.

Orange Jacket

That jacket has been lying on the floor by the door for a week now and the gaudy orange clashes with the green wall behind it, jamming the door open. I’ve tripped over it a couple times and I can tell by grandma’s quizzical glances that the thing has caught her attention.

After a week, I am still too angry to move it.

I cleaned my room yesterday. It’s been about two months, but grandma went on a rampage yesterday, screeching about how the landlord is an inconsiderate lout, and decided to deep clean the entire apartment to relieve stress. Furniture stood up against the walls and the chairs sat on tables and there were four full trash bags by the door before noon. To avoid collateral damage to my room, I offered to clean it myself. The place is now just sort of spotless. I’m sure the owner of the orange jacket wouldn’t recognize it.

All the clean, deep green walls and dark wood floors are finally free of general rubbish and the unified jungle color scheme is present once again without all the extra junk. There are no oddly colored clothes or textbooks there to mess it up, and none of grandma’s old firearms, though I wouldn’t mind those. They take my mind off of things.

The greens and browns are perfect. If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be in a jungle, completely free of fumes and buildings and selfish people, and filled with these colors, sans the orange hue in a heap by the door.

I am really beginning to hate the color orange.

 

I dread school more than I should because when I get there its fine. Math is still hell. The teacher drones for a half hour and then hands us a worksheet.

As usual, I work alone. My friends are well aware that I like to get work done before I relax, and I talk too much to get any work done in a group. As usual, I finish first, which gives me the liberty to look around and quietly observe. Amanda sits right in front of me, twirling her hair in her fingers and humming. I don’t think she even realizes she does it.

I glance at Jane, knowing she has no patience for distraction. Sure enough, as soon as I turn to her, she looks significantly at Amanda and mimics pawing at her head and bobbing back and forth cheerfully. She slumps down over her worksheet, hands over her ears. I grin and turn back to the board, not wanting to be a distraction myself.

Dirk the Jerk leans back slowly, setting his pencil down in front of him and running a hand over his perfect blond hair, expertly avoiding those stupid pointed shades that he never takes off. Rumor would have you know that he gets a new hook up every week. Though I didn’t used to believe any of those rumors, I now think that they’re probably true.

The low murmur of conversation begins when the overly-aggressive drama geek in the corner finishes her worksheet and leans forward to mutter furiously at her friend, occasionally tapping a script in front of her and raising her eyebrows in a way that can only signal scandal. Her audience smiles blankly, giggling at the most appropriate moments, gawking in others, and blinking slowly, letting her eyes drift over the empty wall behind her friend for most of the time.

Everyone will be finished in the next ten minutes, but class doesn’t let out for another thirty. It’s doubtful that the teacher has more work for us. Finishing first used to be fine because I could chat with the person who always finishes second, but now I only have Jane. She’s a slow worker and will only get slower as more people start talking.

Charlie starts up a conversation with Dirk the Jerk, which is strange because Charlie is no less afraid of Dirk than everyone else. Dirk isn’t scary. He’s just intimidating and has other traits that people consider to be flaws.

“Hey, bro.”

“’Sup.”

“Where’d your jacket go?”

“My jacket?” Dirk asks, one eyebrow popping up from behind his shades.

“Yeah, your orange jacket. Its kinda your thing, dude. I just thought it was a little weird that you stopped wearing it.”

“Why the hell would I wear a jacket? It’s gotten really hot over the past week.” We all know it’s as cold as it has been all winter.

I can see Dirk’s shoulders tense a bit as Charlie mutters an apology and turns to talk to someone else. He wore that jacket every day. I know he misses it.

But I won’t touch it. If he wants it back, he’ll have to come get it himself.