Sharing Circle

I didn’t expect College to be like this. I’m seated in a circle on the floor in a classroom where the desks have all been pushed back to the wall. Sadie, our professor who is really only a Teaching Assistant, has told each of us to introduce ourselves and tell everyone something interesting we do as part of our daily routine. She begins.

“Hi, I’m Sadie; I start my day by giving myself a sponge-wash with coffee.”

“I’d like to see that,” says one of the guys.

“For that, you go next. After him, we go around clockwise.”

He smiles mischievously. “My name’s Roy and I end my day by sending a text to a random phone number.”

Sadie asks, “Does anyone respond?”

“Occasionally. I’ve made several friends that way.” He looks at the girl to his left.

“I’m Quinn; I change my tattoo every morning.” She shows us the ornate smiley-face on the front of her left shoulder.

“How do you do that?”

“It’s a programmable tattoo; kind of like a surgically-implanted e-book reader.”

“I’m Paul; I read a chapter of classic literature every morning. Right now it’s Wuthering Heights. Quinn, can I borrow your e-reader?”

That gets a laugh, even from Quinn. And so it goes.

“My name’s Olivia and I kiss and greet each of my stuffed animals by name every day.”

“I’m Nate and I make origami swans when I’m nervous.” The little flock in front of him says everything.

“I’m Mary and I make coffee creamer explosions in the vacant lot behind the dorm.”

“My name is Lincoln; each night I sing a mantra to ward off monsters from outer space.”

“Call me Kylie; each morning I write a short story based on a random word in the OED. Today’s was ‘blunderbuss.’”

“I’m John. I plug myself in each night to keep my batteries topped up, even though I can technically go three days on a full charge.”

Now it’s my turn.

“Hi, my name is Iridia. Every day I like to dress up in purple and yellow tights and play human fly on the outside of the dorm tower.”

Sadie raises an eyebrow. “Human fly? You crawl on the outside of the building?”

“Yup. And if I see an open window I sneak in and write ‘I love you’ somewhere on the occupant’s body.”

“Isn’t that very dangerous?”

“No, they’re usually asleep.”

Before she can grill me further, Henry steps in and announces proudly that every weeknight he practices for his weekend pole dancing job. Several girls take careful notes.


We eventually end at the twenty-fifth student, Thomas, who sleeps in his closet hanging by his ankles.

Sadie sums up by telling us to look for patterns, because nothing happens by chance. Our project for the semester is to figure out what course we’re in and write an essay justifying our answer.

Sadie asks me to stay after class. She’s probably curious how somebody wrote ‘I love you’ on her left hand. During class.