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the arena is empty except for one man

by mg at 11:59 PM on May 09, 2002

Gordon is, like, the king of dreams. He seems to remember his dreams all the time. I never remember my damn dreams, except for those times when Iím woken up by some unthinking fucktard calling early in the morning and waking my ass up. I mean, who calls at 11:30am on a Tuesday morning? What are they thinking, the bastards?

Anyway, Gordon was talking about this dream he had where he was trying to remember these things he wanted to post about. It sounds like an awfully exciting dream; someone's life is sure in the fast lane.

One of the things he was trying to remember in the dream was to post about how he sets an alarm, but always wakes up at least ten minutes before it goes off. I was going to comment about my own similar experience, but it got to the point where I'd written a novel. Now, it is one thing to babble aimlessly on my own site, but I donít want to foul someoneís comments with this inane rambling. I save that kind of thing for you guys.

So, here is my story. A couple years ago, while I was still in college, I decided to stick around in Iowa over the summer. Ames is a college town; half the population of the 50,000-citizen town is either a student or an employee of the school. Come mid-May and with it the end of the spring semester, the town empties out. It is a Ghostville, population 1.

Iíd spent a couple of summerís in Ames before. But, this summer was different. Iíd just broken up with my long-time girlfriend. And because Iíd taken a year off between my freshman and sophomore years, I ended graduated a year behind all of my friends.

So, that May, basically everyone I knew graduated. Split town, and not just for the summer, but for good. The few other friends I had left were all gone for the summer too. Needless, I was a bit depressed. Here I was, stuck in Ames, Iowa completely and utterly alone with nothing to do. I worked 40 hours a week and took a couple of summer classes. But that couldnít hope to fill up all the hours of the day.

Now, I had nothing to do in the morning. My first class didnít start until 10:30. I lived 5 minutes from campus. From my apartment, I could throw a rock and hit campus, and I throw like a girl. That is how close I lived. Still, I woke up every day at 7:55 am (plus or minus 4 minutes). I never used an alarm clock. I did, however, have my television set to go off every morning at 8am.

Why 8am, you ask? Well, that was when Pokemon came on.

Each morning Iíd wake up, look over at the clock, and make a mental note of how plus or minus 7:55 it was. Iíd lie in bed for however many plus or minus minutes it took to get to 8am and then bolt out of bed and into the living room as soon as the tv popped on and I heard the opening notes of the Pokemon theme song:

I want to be the very best
Like no one ever was
To catch them is my real test
To train them is my cause - Pokemon!

After cartoons, Iíd eat breakfast and wander onto campus for class (philosophy of technology the first session and intro to reporting the second session). At 11:30, Iíd head to work doing web development for the university. Since most departments were on skeleton staff, there wasnít a hell of a lot of work to do at work, unless you consider downloading MP3s as pay-worthy.

At about 6 or 7, Iíd head home. Iíd change and head to the track behind my house (and State Gym). By the end of the summer I was running 4 miles a day, 6 days a week. After cooling down, Iíd head home, shower and eat dinner. Then I'd sit on the couch watching summer reruns and drinking enough gin and tonic (or maybe White Russians if I was feeling spicy) to knock me out by 10 pm. The next day I woke up and began it all again. The exact same routine every day for three months.

Now, even if I donít have a job, or a girlfriend, or any prospects for either, Iím happy, much happier than I was that summer. Most days I didnít speak to a single person, which was fine. I had my track, and my Pokemon, and my gin and that was more than enough for me. My life may be even worse off now (technically speaking), but my head is so much more together. Still, did I mention I started running again?

comments (5)

God. This post is bad. So bad. Depressing and not funny. It isn't even really about alarm clocks at all. I must be trying to end my streak of posts with lots of comments, because I can't imagine anyone having anything remotely relevant to say about this.

So, maybe I should just ask you all how you day has been? Looking forward to summer? Planning anything special for mother's day?

by mg at May 10, 2002 12:11 AM

Letís see, take that summer minus the track and classes and thatís my last two years. Basically my social life died shortly after graduation. Bad Sam and Surreally are about my only social outlet besides coworkers.

Summer plans: a bike ride across Wisconsin with my dad. That will be fun.

by MrBlank at May 10, 2002 9:22 AM

I wish I was that determined to run. I wonder how much I could lose in the next 4 weeks before I get to New York City.

by rannie at May 10, 2002 5:32 PM

I had a summer there a lot like that. Except I only worked about 15 hours a week and usually slept as late as I wanted. And I watched DBZ instead of Pokemon. And I had tons of friends in town. And I think my head was a lot more together then than it is now. But, um, it was summer! In Ames!

I am the king of dreams, you're right. Mine and other people's. Remember that one Michele had of me? I think about that one when I'm in a bad place and nothing else will cheer me up.

by space at May 13, 2002 1:33 AM

Ah, but you left out the best part of that summer - you got to see -me- every day!

by snaggle at May 15, 2002 12:34 AM

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