Writers should not telecommute: Hallway

To keep students from dying in the cold, Minnesota State, Mankato has a system of halls and skyways connecting most of the campus buildings.  I really love these halls.  They’re a little like high school halls, except longer, and the vast majority of students who walk them are living on their own and are in control (or not) of their lives.  College is something like high school, except you live in your locker (your locker is a little bigger and it contains a roommate).

This morning I heard a girl say to another: “I like your calves.” The girl with the calves replied: “Thanks, but they’re pretty pastey.”  Another girl jumped in, “My whole body is pastey.”  Another said, “I know.  I ate like ten donuts on Tuesday.”  End of conversation.  I really enjoyed the conflation of “pastey” and “pastry”.  I also enjoyed the sort of random, vaguely inappropriate beginning of the conversation: “I like your calves.”  The girl with the calves wore a short skirt on a very cold day, so I suppose that fact demanded some comment.

The next conversation I heard only moments later: “You look so cute today!” …  PAUSE … NO COMMENT … TWO GIRLS CONTINUE SLOW WALK THROUGH LONG HALL … then same girl says, “I look like a hobo.” SILENCE.  It was a one-sided conversation filled with implied judgment.  Fantastic.

These are fringe benefits.  Of course, every job has these sorts of fringe benefits.  At least, every job that includes a social element.  I don’t think writers should telecommute.


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I am…

Geoff Herbach. I am the author of Stupid Fast and Nothing Special, among a bunch of other stuff. When I'm not writing, I teach writing at Minnesota State, Mankato.

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