Asma Ahsan Asma Ahsan
Recommendations: 31

Mcdonalds should pay you. So much free advertisement. :)

Asma Ahsan Asma Ahsan
Recommendations: 31

I agree with Mark. You have to plan for the things you want in life. Help comes only after you do the initial ground work yourself.

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Justin Campbell Justin Campbell
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Four Years - Chapter 1


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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

1.


"I'm glad I stopped at the liquor store on my way home," said the lanky, curly-haired young man as he lounged on the lawnchair in the living room. His name was James 'Jimmy' Henderson.


"Was it one of your signs?" asked the short, messy-haired, bespectacled man in the kitchen who served as Jimmy's roommate. This man's name was Mark Stanton.


"Oh yes. Most definitely. It was warm out, I felt up to walking home instead of bussing, and the price was cheaper than last week. It was perfect timing. You sure you don't want some?"


"No, no, I have tomorrow to worry about," Mark replied, leaving the open kitchen area. "I have a major assignment due in class tomorrow, and the surveys, and I need to get a good mark in that if I want to keep up with my courses."


"Yeah, yeah, it's always about your courses...you've never laid back for a second about them."
Mark sat down next to Jimmy, facing the sliding doors to the balconey. They lived on the fifth floor of an apartment building on the western edge of the Glebe, facing that direction. It wasn't warm enough yet for them to sit on their balcony, but they could still see the sun set through the sliding door.


Mark and Jimmy, to get more in depth, went back ten years, all the way to middle school. Both were twenty-two, and while Mark both worked and attended university, Jimmy just worked, feeling that his destiny hadn't been decided for him yet. It was March 30th, 2013, and while Mark was busy worrying about his grades and his future and his efforts, Jimmy enjoyed the warming weather, worked five shifts a week at McDonalds (as a swing manager), and let life present him the signs that he was doing perfectly fine. 1 comment


"Hey - did you see that guy today?" asked Mark.


"Which one? There's a lot of them."


"The one that stands down in the street and looks up at our balconey all the time." 1 comment


"I don't think so...I hardly ever notice him. I don't know why you worry about him when you've got enough problems to create." Jimmy took a long sip of his Bud Lite.


"He was there this morning, I saw him," Mark muttered. He sat in a high-backed chair with a styrofoam container full of take-out food. "He watched me as I walked to the bus stop."


"Eh." Jimmy shrugged. "These sunsets are good to drink to."


"For you. You have nothing to deal with tomorrow. I have a future to plan."


"Future. You know, I always bring this up, and you never listen, but it's nice out so I'm just going to. Your future is just not plannable."


"Of course it is, Jimmy, you just don't believe in it. I don't want to have this debate right now, I'm eating."


"So listen, man. Look at me. I feel great. I have no stress, even when I go to work. I don't worry about it. Things have a way of working themselves out. They always do. You can get forced into a system that sheppards people towards something without giving them a second of self-thought, or you can live life wherever it takes you, deciding what you like and what you don't on your own. After all," Jimmy smiled, "it's why I've gotten laid so many times when you haven't even done it yet."


"Shut up," Mark responded. "Where do you think you'll be in four years? Eight? Twenty? Getting laid and drinking beer? You need to take responsibility for your actions at some point, man."


"Of course I'll be drinking beer and getting laid. That's what I want. But more to the point, I don't really care about it. I don't think about it. Something will happen, or some fate will come along, some fortune, and I'll just happily take it. I'm happy where I am now. Are you?"


"Getting there eventually," Mark said. "But hey, why don't I be like you and just not care? See where that leads me."


"You'll always be getting there eventually." And with that, they finished the argument and watched the sun disappear over the rooftops.

---

As Mark lay his head down on his pillow that night, his thoughts festered on what he had to do the next day. He definitely had to get his finished paper in to the professor by noon, as well as attend two lectures; work came at 4 and would continue until 8 that next evening, leaving little time for him to deal with whatever his professors would no doubt throw at him the coming morning.


He was an extremely internalized thinker: everything was in his control, and it was his effort, or lack of it, that determined his outcomes. There was no such thing as destiny or fate. People made of themselves what they did via the responsibility and effort they put in. He sometimes felt that the world was run by too many Jimmys, people who just waited for opportunities to come to them, while in the meantime sitting around wasting time. He definitely enjoyed Jimmy's company and friendship, as the guy always lifted his often negative spirits and filled his life with some measure of unpredictability, but at some point he would have to learn how to take control of his life. 1 comment


In the other room, Jimmy listened to music at a low volume on his headphones. He always listened to songs to make him feel good, and they always sent him into his own dreams and thoughts of achievement and good times, while he knew Mark lay in dark pessimism next door. Jimmy never worried about his outcomes or actions; the other day, he got into work ten minutes late because an unfortunate traffic jam had stalled the bus he was in. Had he told Mark this, he would have been shot with the idea that he should have caught an earlier bus, but how could Jimmy predict traffic movement? He couldn't know there would have been a jam. It was on its own little power that he couldn't control. Had Jimmy thought any longer about Mark, he might have realized that Mark would have told him that online resources like Google Maps, etc. etc. etc. had traffic intensity legends that could be enabled that would have alarmed him ahead of time - and he simply hadn't bothered to check them.


Jimmy had little worry. He knew he could face the new day with confidence, positivity, and a sizable anticipation of the unpredictable.


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