Screw money! Screw companionship! Choose your own around-Grounds adventure!*

blind self-portrait with labels

*as me, your resident passive-punk part-time UVA student (part-time slacker)**

**(some friendship and financial stability required. Wahoowa.)

(1) Wednesday morning, you wake up not to the Marimba alarm on your iPhone you set for two hours ago for productivity reasons, but rather, to the natural light tiptoeing through your blind slats. Because, well, you can, for you have no class on Wednesdays.

(A) Your eyelids levitate against the extra gravity of sleep, followed by your body. (proceed to inquiry 2)

(B) Your eyes refuse to open; you half-stretch, half-reach for the the uncontroversial classic of which you read three pages to sleep last night. (proceed to inquiry 3)

(2) You bumble about the apartment, avoiding your chores and getting ready. Internal compass rose, where to today?

(A) East with the rising sun into downtown. (4)

(B) West toward a sun that’s yet to set on your brick-laden, column-nestled university. (5)

(3) You lag behind Kerouac’s artful mastery of both life and the English language and begin to astral-project that you’re tidying your room.

(A) You decide this is your cue to get up and put on some coffee. (2)

(4) You get lost at the Downtown Mall. So you pass your stranded time…

(A) sniffing out old book pages at Read It Again, Sam bookstore. (6)

(B) wandering through Urban Outfitters, trying on mannequin displays with your eyes. (5)

(5) You see an acquaintance approaching in your direction. “Acquaintance” in this case means you *kinda* know her from a small seminar you had together last semester.

(A) Smile and wave. (7)

(B) Avoid eye contact for a few more paces, pretend to only just now suddenly notice her, then smile and wave. (8)

(6) That one book you’ve been meaning to get — Grapefruit by Yoko Ono — is perched on display at the register. A triumphant fanfare flourishes in the fringes of your mind.

(A) Speaking of trumpets, you determine that tomorrow night you’re going to Miller’s Pub across the mall’s aisle for jazz night, with or without your fam/squad/folks in your social circle, ltd. (9)

(B) Speaking of Yoko, you remember it’s Wednesday, and some Wednesdays you go jam with your friend; you on the electric ivories and mic, while he plays guitar, and sings, too. You text him and subsequently meet up to jam.

i. his song; your improv harmony

ii. your song; his improv harmony

iii. and all this makes you remember your own voice (9)

(7) Why are you waving now you duncelord she’s like 10 yards away and why do you still think in imperial units of measure ah gosh she probably hates you ah gosh you probably look like a royally flailing ostrich try again ma’am (5B)

(8) At best, she reciprocates her pleasant surprise at seeing you; at worst, she performs a well-executed gauche politeness in seeing you. This interaction makes it all the way from how respective classes are going to the Great Beyond past University’s Ivory Tower, where you get caught on the classic snag “What do you want to do with your major?” a source of sour grapes for your single-major English degree. Upon departure from this conversation, you wonder how you should frame “future plans” for future conversations:

(A) your greatest, least realistic aspirations? (9)

(B) humorous undercut thereof, something about actually finding a job at all, haha? (9)

(C) somewhere in between? (9)

(9) Thursday-night jazz at Miller’s: brass at a brasserie, luckily avec a handful of your friendly collegehood comrades. You, leather-clad, not yet jaded at the bar, a glazed altar of overpriced elixirs. John D’Earth, Trumpeter Supreme, trades fours with his band, then hops off the tucked-away corner stage to trade toasts of bourbon with the pub’s motley crew of customers, a choir of chatter and clinking glassware and chatter.

(A) and why not talk to the scene (toot your own horn… humbly, of course)? (10)

(B) or dance with your friend who takes your hand and lifts you from the barstool. (12)

(10) You learn something new with each stranger you meet. Whiskey and blues have a way of connecting two points while distancing a given point within itself. (11)

(11) If you could have any superpower, it would be…

(A) X-ray vision into everyone’s life. (9B)

(B) to sing in a soundproof bubble at will. (9B)

(12) You dance with each other without holding each other by twirling about your own points of rotation.