Hobo University: Night 1
In the evening, I am interrupted from my assignment frenzy by a ravenous Ms. Frizzle pounding against the library windows. After discussing via mime the next plan of action, I go outside to try and figure out what she is really saying. Rather than being ravenous, she is actually just tired and pissed off – her period paroxysms have her flinching in pain and her body is dragged down by hunger.
We decide to chill out and go into a lecture theatre to watch a few Ted Talks. The best one was by this weird guy with a speech impediment and mild Down syndrome who was emphasising the need to bring fiction into reality. He set up a hotline for the kids that he sold Blue Whales to, and although when they phoned they would only get the answering machine noise of bleeoooopppp (whale sound), one kid kept calling Randalf the Whale for over four years, making sure Randalf knew what he got for cwistmas (even though whales probably don’t have cwistmas) and to introduce Randalf to his baby sitter.
We head back to the tent and find both the inner and outer doors unzipped. As I walk towards the tent, my imagination pulls back the covers – there in the corner is a hunching half-beast with bits of bone and blood strewn through his hands and teeth. However, there is no one. Nothing got stolen. Nothing moved. Our stuff is slightly ruffled, but I’m not sure if it was us or not. I’m pretty pissed that the cunt didn’t close the tent back up – it could have been fucking riddled with mozzies by now. Who does that anyways? I mean, curiosity, sure – check the tent out, nab a cookie if it’s there; but fucking close the door behind you.
In Ms. Frizzle’s feverish delirium of pain and hunger, she lets her imagination get the better of her. As we lie down to play some backgammon, she says “Shhhhhhhh!” and turns the light off her phone. We sit there in silence and listen to the rustles of leaves and bushes around us. I’m sure that it’s not a person and even if it is, it would be better to sound tough and strong instead of silent and helpless, but I go along with it because she seems genuinely distressed. A few more moments of listening in the darkness and my reality becomes fiction too. The rustle of leaves and sticks become long finger nails dragging across the tent. The distant flutter of birds is a man circling us, drawing closer with every step. The duck quacks even begin to sound like walkie talkies strapped to angry security guards. In the midst of my psychosis, rationality punches through: “What the fuck Friz! There is nothing out there – turn on the light and let’s hit some gammon!” I demand. She turns the light on and without talking we both realise the ridiculousness of our fear.
We rock a few games of backgammon, which Frizz dominates, listen to some beats, and drift off to sleep. My night is plagued by dreams of food. Revolving doors to diners and bars and Guilds draw me into their abundant heaven; I enter – devouring, crunching, munching and tasting the tastes and textures, ravenous and gluttonous, and then the door spins back ‘round and I am thrust into the harsh squinting reality, exposed, riddled with shame and guilt and sausage breath.
I awake cold and nuzzle over to Friz to share her excess warmth.