May 13, 2001
All the Pictures
Potatoes. Instant potatoes at that. This was the meal of the evening. A plastic bowl half filled with a pasty hot goo that claimed to be somehow derived from a potato. Thoughtlessly, Jimmy gulped it down as he stared blankly at his computer screen. On the monitor showed a blank white page, even whiter than his potato mush. The screen was ludicrously devoid of all semblance of any color than white. There was no hint of the black font that was supposed to have filled fifteen such screens by now. His term paper on the many recurring symbols of questioned manliness in a novel he had read in his English class was due the next class, which was in twelve hours to be exact. He was in no hurry to finish, or to even start, this task. He was content with his blank staring and eating.
This was a typical scene in Jimmy’s room; clothes strewn about the floor and on his bed, his black chair covered with unread books and parts to his broken fan, his desk in utter disarray and covered with various pieces of paper and assorted plates and glasses from weeks past. In the center of it all always sat Jimmy, idly staring at his computer screen with a face that appeared barren of any thought or emotion. Pretty much any night of the week, you could find Jimmy in this exact position, and usually with the same meal in his hands and the same clothes in the same spots. One thing you could say for Jimmy, he was definitely reliable.
Yet, he had not always been like this, or so it would seem. If one was so inclined to almost physically drag a story out of Jimmy, it would be raucous and amazingly entertaining, and probably filled with different kinds of liquor and different names of different women. But right after he would finish the story, he would fidget uncomfortably in his computer chair until the intruder of his room grew so uneasy himself that he would leave. He would just sit in his chair in silent boredom with everything about life, with no signs of any intentions to start to do anything about it.
On his desk sat many pictures, some of him, some of his friends, some of his dog. Almost without fail, everyone of those pictures had Jimmy or someone else doing something absolutely ludicrous with huge stupid grins on their faces, and enjoying themselves and enjoying life. The calmer ones were of Jimmy with a broad smile on his face and with an absolutely gorgeous girl in his arms, or in his lap, or on his shoulders.
For an English major and an aspiring writer, he had remarkably little passion for his studies. Every assignment given to him, he would disregard as pointless busy work given by a professor who just needed something to base a grade on. Somehow, he always managed to pull off good grades, but they always seemed hollow victories to him. For this paper, he had actually read the book