Nadia – part one.

3 Apr

Oh wow, a Monteverde Invincia Stealth Ball Point! she thought as she picked up the rare pen. She admired it with trained eyes, I can’t believe someone abandoned you, she spoke, wordlessly, to the exclusive pen. With a routine glance around the room to be sure no one was watching, not that anyone ever was, she slid the Invincia into her bag and rushed off to fifth period sociology.

As much as she loved discussing the performative nature of masculinity, Nadia Talbot was not fully present in Ms. Humphrey’s ordinarily engrossing class that day. She was distracted. She wondered who the pen had belonged to prior to fourth period. She imagined scenarios leading to the pen’s abandonment. Had it been lost? Forgotten? Intentionally left behind?

She returned to Earth when a stack of papers suddenly appeared in front of her nose.

“Here you go, dreamer.” he said with a cheeky grin.

“Oh, uh, thanks.” She awkwardly smiled back.

Nadia, feeling bad that she could never remember his name, took the papers and looked down, “Excerpt: Undoing Gender by Judith Butler”. She took a copy and passed the rest along. Come on, Talbot. Pull yourself together. She was glad they were going to be reading Butler; she’d already read Undoing Gender in the summer and had found it most inspiring.

“I know that many of you are going to have a lot to say about this piece, so while you’re reading this excerpt over the next ten minutes or so, I want you to make note of thoughts, questions, comment, insights, anything that comes to mind as you read.” Ms. Humphrey instructed. “I don’t care if it’s squeezed in the margin or on a page ripped from your notebook, just write it down.”

Normally Nadia would have been all over this. She always felt a frenzy of excitement when engaging in conversation with the author on a subject she felt passionately about. She loved writing about their theories and making connections to her own experience of society. Today, however, she felt a mild pang of anxiety. She was in a predicament. A dilemma. She was torn.

She wanted desperately to use the Invincia Stealth, to get to know it, but she feared it’s former owner could be one of her classmates and if she pulled it out now, he or she might want it back. It isn’t exactly a pen you see just anywhere.

“Finished already, Talbot?” chirped Ms. Humphrey with a tone of sarcastic surprise.

“Sorry, I guess I zoned out for a minute.” she replied, cheeks turning a slightly pinker shade of their usual olive. I am ridiculous, she shook her head slightly as if to shake away her distractions, and pulled her old standby from her backpack, a 0.7mm Pilot Greenball Refillable–89.2% recycled material (excluding replaceable parts).

When the bell rang, she quickly made her way to the north bike rack, unlocked her yellow beach cruiser, Sara, and set off for home. She named her bike Sara not because because she was particularly  fond of the feminine name, but because it was short for Frelsara, the Icelandic word for saviour, and in her mind, if the world is to be saved, bikes will probably play a pretty important role.

She loved her ride home. Six blocks of busy streets with lots of people and places and stories, then a shortcut along an old railroad track that was no longer used, and lots of time to think. Normally she liked to watch the joggers and business women, the homeless men and the young families, the couples in the cafes and the hipsters proudly sipping their overpriced lattes outside of them; she liked to watch everyone, and she liked to imagine their stories.

Nadia was fascinated by the complexity and uniqueness of every individual’s unwritten, personal narrative. She loved to ponder where that woman was going as she loaded her luggage into a taxi, or why that man ordered three cokes, or what happened to that teenaged girl leading up to her sitting alone in that bookshop with a forlorn look on her face. She liked to listen to these stories, as her imagination told them to her, following the subjects from afar as the fantasized events of their daily lives unfold before her mind’s eye like a silent film. A series of looks, emotions, fights, hugs, days on the beach, cries in the car, exciting secrets behind closed doors. No two people ever had the same or even remotely similar stories. It was this fascination that lead to her reverence of pens.

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3 Responses to “Nadia – part one.”

  1. Sam April 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    Interesting Narrative. How long have you been sitting on this one?

    • megnorris April 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      I think I wrote this a month or two ago. The rest is outlined, just not yet written.

  2. ChelseaIRL April 7, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    you. are. UH-MAY-ZING!

    captivated. i was captivated.

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