She said, “How do you like the brownie.” I nodded, to say that it was good. I picked it up and took a bite. “I love brownies,” she said, “I always make them.” She picked up her binder and thumbed through its pages. We were studying, together, for the first time. At her house. For Brady’s class. It was the first time we’d ever met outside of class. “Yeah, shit is crack,” I said. I took another bite of the brownie. She looked up at me from her binder. She looked at my face, “What was that,” she said, “Come again?”
“Nothing,” I said, “I like brownies, too,” I said. She wouldn’t let it go. She pressed me again, “Something about shit, you said?” I threw up my hand on on my neck, I said, “I had said, Stacy, that shit is crack.”
She grinned. She looked back down at her binder. She turned a few pages inside it. Still grinning. Now even wider. “Yeah, that’s what I thought you said.”
I shook my head. “Yeah, so,” I said. “Yeah, I know, whatever,” she said. I then pressed her again, I said, “Yeah, I said that shit is good — don’t you agree,” I said, asking her, rhetorically. She could not have smile wider. She looked at me with her eyes squinting — her left palm held facing flat toward the ceiling, “Uh, do I agree with you that shit is good — is that what you asking me,” she said, chuckling — holding back more laughter than that she gave.” I had got what she was getting at but was less amused — I opened my eyes wider and tilted my head forward, “Uh, so you like poop jokes, Stacy — is that what you’re telling me,” I said, without grinning, and maybe a bit defensively. “Well, it’s brownies. You know. You can’t just nickname it shit and expect me not to think,” she said, her smile still beaming, eyes still squinting.
“It’s not a nickname,” I said. “Yeah, I know, Morgan, I know what you meant,” she said, shaking her head.
I laughed facetiously at this, and said, “Well, that’s good, but whatever,” I said. I buried my gaze into my laptop — opened a browser purposelessly, clicking randomly on whatever pages. “Stacy, nice trapper keeper,” I said.
“Uh, thanks, Morgan,” she said.
“You’re like the only person this decade,” I said, “and you like poop jokes,” I added. I was still clicking things mindlessly on my laptop, pretending that I was busy. She closed her binder, and looked at me, “I do have a computer, you know,” she said. “I’ve never seen it,” I said. “Well, you’ve never been here before, either,” she quipped. “Well, in class, I see you daily,” I said. She nodded.
“You’re like, Harriet the Spy,” I said. She had asked me what I meant by this, but I wasn’t actually sure — It had just sounded right and so I said it. “You know what I mean, Stacy.”
“Whatever, Morgan,” she said.
Then it got silent. We were both doing our work. I had stopped randomly clicking on things and opened up the file that I was working on. I did have to hand it to Stacy — if there was anything which I could praise her for, then, it was for her academic drive. I’m not sure if she was Harriet the Spy or not, or even what that would entail, but she was, though, probably the best student in Brady’s class. I was an outsider in that class. It was not my major, after all — not even close. I was only there because I had need to be there. Humanities requirement.
“It’s so weird you talk like that,” she said softly, her eyes kept set on her work. I said nothing to this. “You say shit almost every other word you say,” she said. “It’s just kind of weird,” she said. “It’s not weird,” I said, trying hard to keep my eyes on my work. “Yeah, for you, it is,” she said. “Well, no one’s perfect,” I said, though not conceding to any of it. “I never said that it was bad, all I said is that it’s weird,” she said. I had felt a bit that she was covering her tracks.
“Really — weird just means not normal,” she said. “Abnormal,” I said. “N0t so — just not normal,” she said. “Well, since you put it that way,” I said, sarcastically. “Seriously, just look it up — look up, weird,” she said. And that was all she said. Like that was the end all. And so I did — there and then — on my laptop. I had looked it up — Dictionary.com. And had then found myself with no other choice but to read the definition out loud for her. “Weird: Involving or suggesting the supernatural,” I said, and had for some reason triumphantly.
She’d shook her head. I said, “Well, how about that shit,” I told her. I had meant this to be playful. “Weird just means not normal,” she said sharply, apparently somewhat irritated. I said, “All right — I believe you.” And I did. And regardless, I didn’t care — because I did not think that she had found me weird — maybe weird, sure, but not weird — otherwise I would not have been invited over to her house. We were both on the same page with weird, I’d figured.
“Anyway — if you’re gonna be a doctor, cursing like a sailor, dropping f-bombs, telling patients that the shit is crack — you’ll be a really weird fucking doctor,” she said, her eyes still somehow glued to her work.
I laughed pretty good at this — It really was pretty funny. Stacy had then even laughed a bit it, too. Just a bit, she did. It really was, a very accurate statement — I really would make for a weird fucking doctor — telling my patients that the shit is crack.
“Yeah, well, Stacy, that’s if I ever even become a doctor,” I said. “Whatever, Morgan,” she said.
She thought I was being modest. I was far more serious than she knew. My grades were less than ideal — Not completely terrible but, not nearly good enough for medical school. I still had two years left to right my ship, but she didn’t know that — How could she — It’s not like this was the kind of thing I’d brag about. And not to mention, she really didn’t me — She didn’t know my friends, she didn’t know any of my real flaws — All she really knew is that I was pre-med, and that Professor Brady had for whatever reason seemed to like me.
“What are you gonna do, Stacy,” I said. “I’m not sure yet,” she said.