NARRATOR: "I wake up and take a hot shower. Back in my room, the first thing I see is the familiar row of medication bottles lined up on top of my dresser, and it makes me depressed, as usual. It's annoying. I thought I was okay. I thought I had made my peace with this thing, gotten over it. But what I really did... I allowed myself to forget that I have a problem. Being here really reminds me of the reality, and trying to fight against it just hurts. Reflecting on it is only going to do so much. I've done this before, for months. It seems like it's time to get over it. If I allow myself to forget that my life is definitely not going to be as long as those of others, I won't get anywhere. My life may be different from others. But it is a life in progress. That is how I'll rationalize it."
NARRATOR: "I down the usual handful of pills, trying to push the sudden dreary feeling out of my head. Then I prepare to head out to class early, as usual. As I step into the hallway, I notice Kenji coming around the hallway corner, stealthily making his way over to his own room with a large bag. As he sneaks past me soundlessly like a ninja hiding in plain sight, I call out to him."
NARRATOR: "He jumps at the sound of my voice."
KENJI: "Oh, hey, man. I didn't notice you there. I'm really tired."
NARRATOR: "I think it's more like he didn't see me, but that's not the issue."
HISAO: "Where have you been this early? Shopping?"
KENJI: "Nah, I wasn't shopping. Sometimes I have to visit... the math teacher. Yeah, I figured it would be a good idea to find out when the next exam is, since he tells you in advance if you want."
HISAO: "So then, what's in the bag?"
KENJI: "I thought I'd go shopping while I was outside. I need supplies to continue the fight against the vast feminist conspiracy."
HISAO: "Uh, okay. I thought you didn't go outside."
KENJI: "I wear a hat now."
NARRATOR: "I decide to not point out that he is not wearing a hat. An awkward silence settles between us and then Kenji breaks it by pushing his door open slowly, releasing a creaking sound into the air that only makes the moment seem more awkward. He sets the bag down inside his room and then closes the door." HISAO: "I'm surprised you went out of your way to find out a test date. Trying to take advantage of an opportunity to study is pretty diligent."
KENJI: "I never study."
KENJI: "I just wanted to know when the next test day was. I'm still going to take it, duh. I need to know so I know what day I can't afford to skip class. He usually sends out updates on that crap by phone, so I had to step out and check up on it."
HISAO: "And why do you have to go out, when you can get it on your phone?"
KENJI: "I don't carry a phone."
HISAO: "What do you mean you don't carry a phone? You mean you just leave it at home?"
KENJI: "Nah, I don't use phones. I don't have a phone. Phones. I have no phone."
HISAO: "Why don't you have a phone? How can you not have a phone? No phone at all? No phone?"
KENJI: "I just don't like phones. Actually, I'm kind of scared of them. I don't know why. I think it's some kind of repressed trauma. But, basically, when I hear a phone, I get nervous. It's my darkest secret. I have two theories on it: either I have some fear of receiving some undefined, ominous, life-altering doom call, or I was beaten with a phone in the past. Beaten so badly I can't remember it."
HISAO: "Beaten in the head."
KENJI: "Well, where else could I get beaten with a phone that would make me unable to remember it? The ass?"
NARRATOR: "Unexpectedly logical. I feel very depressed now. Sensing this conversation is more or less over, Kenji opens his door again and prepares to head inside."
KENJI: "Yeah, I'm going to sleep, dude. Have a good one."
HISAO: "Class is going to start in like twenty minutes."
KENJI: "I already did something today. Too tired to go to school. Hey, you need some lip balm? I accidentally bought two because I thought the store had started selling individual double A batteries."
HISAO: "Thanks but no thanks."