The coffee splashed as sugar trickled into it, swirling around the vortex that the spoon created blending the two together. Tyler carried the mug outside to the table where Rebecca was dipping her tea bag, watching him.
“So,” she said.
“So indeed,” he replied.
They laughed again.
“It’s crazy that we haven’t seen each other on campus till now. I didn’t even know you were going here,” he said.
“They printed in the school paper where everyone was going.”
“You read that? It always seemed so juvenile.
“I was on the staff,” she said.
“Well, your stuff was great,” he grimaced. “I assume. I never read it.”
“What do you read? Like any assigned readings?”
“I know I should, since I got to pick the classes or whatever, but I don’t.”
“Over the college experience by your second semester?”
Tyler put his coffee down and pulled a cigarette out of his pocket. He gestured with it as he talked. “It’s all so manufactured, you know? And the worst part is that it’s all designed to manufacture us into these specific products.”
“Somebody got his Philosophy credit,” Rebecca chuckled.
“No, actually. I don’t want someone telling me how I think, you know? I just want to be me. There’s all this pressure to, like, be something, and there’s no time spent just being.”
“Uh huh,” she replied, putting her spoon on a napkin.
“People are afraid to be present. To feel. Like crying, you know? When was the last time you just sobbed and couldn’t stop?”
Rebecca looked at her hands. “Last week. My cat died. Back home? I’d grown up with that cat.”
“Oh, I’m … I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” Tyler paused for a moment. “That’s part of the problem, I think. No matter how much you try to live in your own head, ultimately the body takes over, and there’s no controlling it. When we need to eat or sleep or cry. There’s no way to think your way out of that, you know?”
“Sure, Tyler,” Rebecca said, flipping her spoon over.
Tyler produced a lighter and moved it toward his cigarette. He glanced at Rebecca. “You want one?”
She looked back. “Why not?”