Published in Acumen 85
Act 1: Tablet in royal neoprene sleeve with not a ghost of Tippex about him the new boy strides through the arch to the lists of freshmen pinned on the board, Halle, Halmstrom, Hamlet, he has suite #1 and Kant’s epistemology at 3.00.
Act 2: The key to his safety deposit box sits in the palm of his hand as he tips the support staff who deliver crate after crate of dark knitwear before having his student ID picture taken with his back to the wall and purchasing the meal plan.
Act 3: At the Societies Fayre he joins the drama group, tells them he has a speech he remembers from high school, but they’re all on their phones. He signs up for fencing on the way out and tries to make friends at the bar but will never be a drinker and is dressed in black and it’s only mid-August.
Act 4: He pulls out his tablet – a present from his uncle with a free virus programme – to open a JPEG of happy Hamlet with Mum and Dad in the royal gardens, all smiles, the sun lighting their faces, taken last week before the flight down south.
Act 5: Back in his rooms he flicks on the 92” plasma screen to watch his old man kick Norwegian ass, opens an e-Baudrillard, settles for Palahniuk, What’s Apps! Ophelia and reclines on the double bed his mother has waived through German customs to contemplate a future of philosophy, sex, and simple succession.