not awake, not asleep

not awake, not asleep

A Chapter by Joshua Smit

Chapter 1

Not asleep or awake, but somewhere in between, Pete gets out of bed. Moments of last nights dreams play back through his mind like previews of a movie, they make absolutely no sense but are pretty cool to watch nevertheless. The alarm clock, still producing it's shrill beeping noise, reads the time to be 7:00 AM. That gives him just about 45 minutes to get ready for another day at work. Another day at work, another day filled with annoying teenagers whose only understandings of life are what they see in the movies, most of them have never touched a book in their entire lives. He looks into his closet to see what he has to wear for today. It's empty, but on the floor is a large jumbled pile of clothes, some clean, though they are inappropriate for work as they are full of holes etc, and others haven't been washed in weeks. He manages to rescue from this chaotic mess; a pair of clean trousers and a shirt with a coffee stain on it, that he managed to wash off in the basin with hand-soap and water. 
It has been said that the state of ones home is a reflection of the state of his mind, Pete was certainly no exception to that rule, Pete's entire home was filled with chaos; unwashed dishes from three nights before in the kitchen sink, and plates form various meals still lying in the lounge. His entire home hasn't been cleaned since the maid came by last week. Pete's mind was very similar to his home; thoughts scattered randomly all over, random uncompleted chains of ideas left for another time that is likely to never come, and a general chaos that sometimes didn't even make sense to himself. He pours himself a strong cup of black coffee, he knows for certain that he will need it to make it through the day. It's black simply because of the fact that there is no fresh milk. He put the coffee in the fridge and the milk in the pantry, the kind of absentminded mistake he is quite well known for.
He was dressed and ready to go at around 7:45, well, he was sort off ready. He was all dressed up and ready in the physical sense, but he was still in that semi-lucid state, but that would have to do. It is a short journey from his home to St Andrews High where he taught, yet he was almost hit twice by cars as he absentmindedly walked across the main roads on the way. He arrived at school just as the bell rang, just to remember that he had left his briefcase, containing all his hastily prepared notes form last night for todays lessons, and the marked assignments that he was supposed to give feedback to the kids for 3 weeks ago. He decided that he would probably be best of just leaving it alone, as he would probably be late for first period in about 5 minutes if he returned home to go fetch it, the kids most probably won't mind either though cause most of their marks were horrible and they don't really care.
In the staffroom there are many cliques of various types of teachers, just the same as the kids during their breaks, the athletic teachers who coach various sports in the one corner, the "nerdy" type of teachers that handle computer related subjects and often end up being bullied by the other teachers in another corner, the "normal" teachers discussing various things ranging from the weather to the latest events in the political system of the country, and Pete, a loner. He usually spends his free time at school written a chapter for his book, or writing another poem about something that popped into his mind, and that happens often. Pete is not really the social type, he enjoys a good conversation when somebody starts one with him, which people only do when they are looking for a very different view on something, which they know they can always rely on Pete to give. Usually though, he is left to himself, often simply because his views regularly spark debate or touch the nerves of many of his colleagues, that is of course, they actually understand what he is saying Things never do change, they simply just change form is what Pete thinks as he takes a sip of his very strong cup of coffee

© 2010 Joshua Smit

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The last paragraph is a great sketch of a teacher's lounge. It's a smelting pot for personal, professional and anecdotal interactions and provocations. Contrasting Peter's loner persona with this milieu is a great narrative catalyst. You do a great job of keeping your story moving and developing, keep going in that direction.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on December 10, 2010
Last Updated on December 10, 2010


Joshua Smit
Joshua Smit

Johannesburg, gauteng, South Africa

i dont like talking bout myself :/ more..