Fenno

BY

“So, are you interested?” Fenno asked the hot 1L with the low cut jeans.

“Umm … I would like to see the movie, but …”

“But what? C’mon Monica!” Fenno said.

“Umm … I really need to work on my memo. I’m really trying to get that H out of FYL. Maybe next week?”

Fenno walked out of the Harkbox disgusted. How had tons of faculty meetings and endless students proposals about grade reform yielded MORE grades? He went to write an angry complaint on the Soundoff Board, but there wasn’t even an inch of space left. Fenno spit on the board, and smeared a message that was asking for “cheesier pizza” at student organization meetings. Next to it was a request for “even more Arlene Delgado.” Tonight he would have to escape this place. It was time for the ultimate getaway from HLS. He sprinted over to Holmes Hall, and opened up an office door. Across the room, the woman’s eyes met his and she knew exactly what he had come for.

“Its gonna cost you one hundred bucks, Fenno” said Marika Donders. In her hand she held the largest key-ring he had ever seen.

“Whatever — you know the money doesn’t matter. I’ve got to know,” said Fenno.

She led him into the basement of the Hemenway Gym. As he followed Donders past all of the rooms he laughed at the thought that HLS had more squash courts than it had minority professors. The last little door was locked. It said “Court N” on the door.

“This is it, end of the road fer you, Fenno,” said Donders. She unlocked the door. It looked dark in there. Fenno handed Marika the money and ducked down into the little doorway. Immediately, he felt the sensation of being sucked down a waterslide very quickly. As he slid down the tube he saw flashes of odd things. Fire-blowing midgets were riding unicycles. Geese were playing tennis on clay courts. Al Warren was being slapped by Joe Pesci for apparently screwing up his taxes. He wanted to scream and to laugh, but before he could decide, the ride was over. He could see out into the world, but it looked different through these eyes. He was standing in front of a fence, and there was a paintbrush in his hand. He began painting up and down, feeling the weird sensation of feeling the use of a new hand, being in a new space.

“Charlie-san!” Fenno heard a voice scream. The eyes he was looking through turned around to see a man who bore a striking resemblance to Pat Morita.

“I told you — Uuuup! Dooown!” he screamed again. Fenno felt afraid. The hand corrected its strokes. It was speaking to the man who looked like Pat Morita. Fenno tried to focus on what was being said from inside the head.

“Mister Miagi, I came to you 38 years ago to learn Evidence, and I’m still…”

“You are learning Evidence, Charlie-san,” said Morita. “You have no patience. I fear you may never truly learn.”

“I’m sorry, Sensei. Its just that my students — they’re getting restle–“

“Your students will learn as you learn! Evidence is all around us. Next, you wash my cars,” said Morita.

“Yes, Sensei,” said the mouth beneath Fenno’s eyes. As the body raised the brush, Fenno felt the sensation of his being flushed out of the space he was inhabiting. “Not yet!” Fenno screamed. But it was too late. He felt himself falling through the sky, and then he felt his body thump on to the ground. It was slightly painful, but all he could focus on was the wild ride he had just returned from. He looked around. The door near him said “Berkman Center.” Marika Donders stood nearby. She grabbed Fenno and threw him over her shoulder, running away from the Berkman center. Fenno felt dazed, and he was covered with slime.

“I want to go back,” Fenno said. Marika laughed as she kept running.

“Not today, Lassie. It’s not healthy to be Charlie Nesson too much.”

She put Fenno in a cab and gave the driver five bucks to drive him home. As he lay slumped in the back seat, he saw that the cab driver, who looked Middle Eastern, had completely replaced the leather interior with a feltish material that was dyed to look like a homegrown American flag. The things people do to feel safe in this country, thought Fenno. Maybe he would have to ante up and get back to the mind of eon sooner than he had thought.

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