"It's a popcorn movie," Mike said in answer to my critiquing behavior. I was in the library with students I don't particularly like or dislike, being distracted from working by the movie they were watching. "Why can't you just sit back and enjoy it? You know, be a guy for once."
I didn't know how I could enjoy a movie in which the action wasn't believable, the characters were quirky cardboard cut-outs, the plot had a lot of holes and clichés, and the special effects were filled with mistakes. I remembered that I could have enjoyed it in the past, but not now. Perhaps it was because the backbone of my staple of shows had become funny internet reviews of media, including movies. Most people would assume that thinking like a critic is a curse, but I found serendipity in it. Before I knew bad movies were bad, they would still leave me with a sickening aftertaste, especially if the characters were all unlikeable assholes for the sake of comedy.
I crawled back out of my mind to realize I wasn't getting any work done. I put away my cell phone and laptop and left the library, finding that the clouds were making the sun's light weaker, causing the sky to be more cerulean. This was good—strong sunlight make my hair and skin feel like they're on fire, and my eyes unable to look in two cardinal directions. I sat down in the grass field between cement walkways and went to work.
Minutes later, I heard a familiar sound that, had I not recognized it, would make me think an animal was on the campus.
"Nya-un!" Ricky made the sound again, probably at some students in a classroom he was walking by.
"Oi, Ricky!" I called, continuing my dislike of "hey." "Whatcha doin'?"
"Hey, Jimi," he called back, revealing his position and walking over to me. "I'm workin' on a poll for the paper."
"I really liked your article. Well, the article itself, I mean, not the facts that were in it," I told him. "Holy shit, Rick Santorum is, like, completely evil. I mean, the other 3 are pretty awful, but Santorum just wants everything horrible to happen to the country."
"Nice, nice," he replied, most likely approving more of my having an opinion than the opinion itself. Last I asked, he was liking Ron Paul, but I didn't know what his current political stance was. "Why don't you like them?"
"Well, they have some opinions on hot issues I don't agree with, but it's mostly because they all want to give the rich tax cuts. That's stupid. It's, like, the most blatant pattern in economical history that you fix a recession by taxing the rich and increasing government spending," I explained.
"Alright, cool. Well, I gotta go, Jim," Ricky replied, giving me a friendly shoulder-pat. "See ya later."
"See ya," I said back. I briefly wondered if I had just been polled, but then I stopped caring and continued my work.
After having a lot of trouble, I concluded that I needed some ideas. I proceeded to go to the art room. Wading through the myriad freshman and sophomores (and Frank) who act as catalysts to Miss Jones' frustration, I reached the back room where Michelle and I hang out.
"Michelle, I need ideas," I said as I took my usual seat across from her at a table. "I'm trying to draw... something. And I don't know what."
"You should draw a pigeon with fire coming out of its eyes fighting a water dragon," she replied.
"That's... hm... I like it!" I said with hesitation. I immediately began the drawing.