Library Scene 1.5

She smiles.

Pretty girls make him nervous.

He’s calm as can be. But how calm can he be? Not very.

“Look down.”

He looks down and flips the page. He flips the page because it gives him an excuse to look down. He looks down to be calm. Which is funny. Because he looks down when he’s nervous, too.

As he flips the page, he thinks. The paper between his forefinger and thumb feels like a dry autumn leaf.

“That’s probably not what it feels like.”

He had never actually picked up a dry leaf and felt it. He could if he wanted though. It was Fall. Close to Winter. He could do a lot of things if he wanted to, but chose not to do them.

It felt more like paper that had been wet and then dried, probably because last night he had spilled water on it, and in the morning it had, in fact, dried.

“With some certainty. Definitely.”

The page was in a textbook, which would sell for less on eBay now, since it was more leaf-like than page-like.

“Dammit.”

He didn’t think people would like buying leaves when they are looking for textbooks.

In fact, he doesn’t think people would like buying leaves at all. People are always blowing them away from driveways, sidewalks, gutters.

He didn’t like leaves himself, which is probably why he never picked one up to feel it. Was that subconsciously why he had never done it?

“This is ludicrous. Change the subject.”

He also didn’t like being calm.

“Wrong.”

He would love to be calm, if only he were nervous. He hated being nervous.

He also hated not having a reason to be nervous. He would rather be nervous than that. But he would rather rather be nervous, yet be calm.

“Ok.”

Not having a reason to be nervous and being nervous. The worst.

Being nervous and knowing the reason. Bearable.

Being calm. Boring but serviceable.

Being nervous and seeming calm. Nice.

He didn’t like being calm, he liked seeming calm.

He had just learned something about himself. He liked learning little tidbits about himself, mostly because he didn’t really know that much about himself. Which is weird, but not really, when you think about it.

A lot of things are like that. They are weird until you think about them.

Most people don’t know themselves.

“Too general.”

He didn’t like to generalize. Life was about specifics. Generalities were for textbooks. Maybe most people were fine with themselves. Maybe not. He didn’t care enough to think about unanswerable questions. He liked thinking about himself. A lot.

“Sometimes.”

Most of the time he was forced to think about himself because he was born as this person. He didn’t know why. There probably wasn’t any reason.

He was getting depressed and it was only 11:00 am. People are so stupid.

“Generalizing again.”

He was so stupid.

Leaves never needed a reason to grow and fall. He had grown and now he was falling. Why did he need any reason? Leaves fell because of…he didn’t know why exactly. But they fell every Winter.

Maybe it was Winter that was making him fall farther than ever before.

“Probably not.”

He didn’t fall every winter. Just this one. He wanted to be a leaf at this moment. He often wanted to be something not him, not wanting reason.

“That’s not what you want.”

He would miss some things.

Like being nervous, and knowing the reason.

If only he could seem calm. Which reminded him.

“Look up.”

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