Wednesday Afternoon

     As the Wednesday afternoon amidst Sacramento was getting warmer and the people started creeping into their homes in an  attempt to not get sunburned, only a group of highschoolers decided to stay out. As the reader might think they were too young or too unaware to notice the weather, that was not the case. These five people, in arguably the best days of their life, decided to sit in the park with a very specific purpose. Once again, you might think it had to do something with serious problems, such as climate change or perhaps world hunger, not to mention more important problems, such as loneliness or uncertainty. Well now, you were indeed close to the truth, but you have to remember that with so many problems to solve and consider, their meetings were highly controversial and complicated. One could remind them that the future of this society and this planet relies on their shoulders, yet that wouldn’t be anything new. So now, what could have they been discussing? Oh, now that’s a good question and a good question can never have a single answer, especially considering the times the group happened to exist in. The questions and later, the answers were formulated differently by each member. If you consider Woody for example:

    “Well, I was thinking about purpose and stuff... but can’t find it! You know a film director, his last name was Bergman, and he was comfortable with just dying...” 

This was a usual thing for him to say, yet Annie replied:

    “You need to stop watching these movies! Simply because you can’t find a girlfriend, it doesn’t mean your life is immediately like a Scandinavian movie and you’re bound to die from despair like the main characters.”

    “Eh, you’re unlucky indeed to think that way, movies are the only thing to live for,” replied Woody and kept thinking of the quote from “Autumn Sonata” that he had seen yesterday, leaving him confused and not particularly cheerful. 

Hannah did not share his confusion and continued:

    “Well, classical stuff, yesterday we were discussing college admissions and now you are bringing your films up again,” finishing another bottle of water. She truly hated the fact that they couldn’t just go home and relax, yet Woody and Annie much preferred the outside and Rick just did not care enough. He was laying on the grass with his new favorite joint. Against his tradition, he joined the conversation this time:

    “Have you ever thought about what you are going to do with all those degrees?”

    “Work of course, what else is there?” replied Hannah.

    “Not much, not much…” mumbled Rick and added, “And why would I work?”

    “To survive man…” said Hannah, feeling like the only one to bring any sanity into these pointless conversations. 

Rick was waiting for her to bring this boredom back up and got back to smoking quietly. 

     “Mark should’ve really been here by now” mumbled Woody. Mark was the last part of their group, but he worked today. Nevertheless, Mark held a reputation of a person  who could always bring something to discuss. Trying his best to make some pocket money, he delivered newspapers during the summer break. He would always have a paper left to read and discuss, which was somewhat more fun than just sitting on the grass. The time was now almost 3 o’clock and the temperature was increasing with a tempo similar to the one with which the American reserves grew in Iran.

     “Last time he brought the New York Times, it was outwardly boring, I hope they gave him something new,” said Woody. “I know we are all bound to die from climate change anyway”.

      “Well, calm down Woody, it can’t be that bad anyway,” replied Hannah, moving her hair off her face.

      “I wouldn’t say that,” said Rick. “The enviroment is burning away almost as fast as my joint.”

      “Oh, you and your hippie notions,” added Annie. “Why would you even care? You lay down there on the grass, your eyes on the joint, I do not see why you should be concerned.”

      “Really? Rick usually talks nonsense, but his time he’s really got a point,” said Woody. 

      “There’s Mark,’’ said Rick “he is carrying a pretty fat stack of paper!”

      “Yeah, he is indeed, I just hope it is not the same shit as last time!” said Woody, trying to decipher the signs on the stack of paper Mark was holding.

      “And what exactly do you mean by bullshit?” asked Rick.

      “Well, I am not in the mood to read about Trump and his fellow… fellow…” said Annie, but her face expressed deep confusion as her eyebrows rose as a signal that she was missing the right word, “well, liars, of course, who else.”

Sweat on his neck and a stack of white paper in his hands, Mark approached the group. He had a bottle of previously cold soda in his hand, which he now would rather throw away than drink. He greeted the group:

     “Hey! Well, guess what!”

     “What? What have you got, because the last time you really brought a bomb,” smirked Woody.

     “Hey man, chill… just chill, you know! I got some good stuff for you today,” continued Mark.

     “Alright Mark, you really could have brought something better than “Washington Post”,” said Annie, slightly disappointed. “Are we going to read it?”

     “Of course, it is our tradition, plus it’s a highly respectable paper you know…” mumbled Mark and quietly added, “At least in Washington.”

     “I’ve been in Washington…” added Rick, but his interest in the conversation again started to decline, as he started to search for another rolling paper in his pockets.

The whole group, except for Rick, of course, was now forming a circle around Mark. As a good host, he gave everyone a copy.

      "Well, consider the meeting open,” exclaimed Mark.

      “Check that out!” started Woody. “ ‘White house weights responses to potential Iranian attacks, including troop increase. ‘My dad would probably be mad, he always speaks of the Vietnam war and the lies that Nixon told…”

       “Okay, okay now, who the hell is Nixon?” asked Annie. 

       “Well, the president of the United States of course, or at least he was, I think…” mumbled Rick.

       “Well, I bet you he wasn’t nearly as good as Reagan,” thought Annie out loud.

       “Thanks, Annie, for another brilliant historical insight,” said Woody. “By the way, Mark, what about Aimee?”

       “Didn’t she dump him?” Asked Annie.

       “Who dumped who?” said Mark. “I dumped Aimee! What did she say to you guys?”

       “Hmmm… ‘Responses to potential troop increase’ ,” said Rick. “Aimee sounds like Trump, Aimee Trump,” he started rolling on the grass from laughter, as he realized it could have been a real person.

       “Well, I don’t see why its funny man,” said Mark. “The guy is legit ruining the country, by the time we have kids, what will this country become?”

       “What kids Mark? What kids are you talking about?” exclaimed Woody, “I sincerely hope that you don’t actually think any of us will ever have kids.”

       “Okay, okay, whatever, you do you, Woody,” said Mark. “Look, testimony on Mueller probe to be refused.”

       “Oooooh… well, now, that’s just great,” squeaked Annie. “So I am not the only to refuse testimonies, am I now?”

       “It’s ok, Annie, we still haven’t found a single person to voluntarily listen to your testimonies, since you last told us about how helpless you feel at the look of that fucker, Bob,” said Woody. “Sweet Jesus, I still can’t imagine what would happen if you were actually to bring him the group…”

       “ ‘China… China and the war’,” slowly read Rick, as he was turning the “Washington Post”, getting himself together to re-roll his second joint, since he dropped it earlier.

       “War?” asked Woody, looking confused. “What War? Rick, goddammit, give me that newspaper, I don’t see any war in mine.” Rick passed him the newspaper and laid down on the grass again.

       “Ah, the trade war, I thought we’re talking actual war,” said Woody, exhaling calmly.

       “War, trade war, this war and that war, all the same,” said Annie. “Can we talk about something more interesting?”

       “Yeah, I agree, how about we move on?” said Mark. “I think we shall get on the road.”

       “What are you, Jack Kerouac?” said Hannah, her voice sounded harsh, she was annoyed by today’s agenda as throughout the whole conversations she was trying to discuss college admissions, but most importantly their future. “How can you possibly be so ignorant? You sit here and brag endlessly, you’re 16, imagine yourself later!”

       “Imagine... Imagination works…” said Rick.

       “Some kids lead organizations and create businesses, looking for every opportunity to show themselves, while I am sitting here with you, looking at this stupid newspaper that doesn’t say anything besides White House, War, and China, along with listening to Rick and his theory of the next joint inevitably succeeding the first one in combination with Woody’s outstanding pessimism. Think about the future, about college, about what the hell you empty heads are going to do with your lives…”  concluded Hannah.

       As you might have already noticed, the group’s meetings were often heated. Hannah was always a flag of sanity and while it never affected Rick, who, by the time she finally decided to adjourn the meeting was already high enough to ignore her, it usually lead other members of the group to become aware of their responsibilities in the face of the bigger world. They stood up in resilience and while Mark went to give out the rest of the newspapers, the rest of the group dissolved into the unknown future. Only Rick remained, attempting to roll another joint, yet he too had to leave since his bag was now empty.

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