Cooperation within the group wasn’t optimal anyway. Earlier, another group member had indicated that she wanted to “add some finishing touches”. She had worked late into the night and completely rewritten my part. The piece was now extremely formal, and the sentence structure was impossible to follow here and there. I didn’t say anything about it.

I switch to the tram. Sitting diagonally across from me is The Wizard, a local celebrity. His top hat is plastered with gold paper and his beard is braided. He wears a necklace made up of woolen thread and plastic yogurt lids. He sits crouched by the window and looks around anxiously. Perhaps he does not stand by his choice of clothing.

Once home, I nearly trip over the three piles of empty oven pizza boxes in the kitchen. My roommate is preparing a curry with chicken for the biweekly dinner together. From his room, I can hear my other roommate gaming loudly. “That’s some deranged drifting, you wet sandwich!”, he shouts. He is responsible for the piles of pizza boxes in the kitchen; he eats at least four every week.

In my room, I quickly type out an email to the teacher and emphasize the always effective ‘personal reasons’.
Over dinner, my roommate tells me about his workday. In front of the restaurant where he works, a confused man had started cursing at the air. When he smashed a bottle and started waving it around, the police were called.
“They worked him into a van with four men, it was really bizarre!” my roommate tells me.
“But they just let that invisible guy go?”, I respond.
“Yes, so typical.”

After dinner, I enjoy a Müller Milk Choco Caramel Cookie flavor on the balcony. The neighbor’s backyard is full of collared parakeets. I receive a response from my teacher. The assignment may be resubmitted. I report the good news to my group. The rewriter responds first: “Do we get points deduction now?”
“Who knows”, I app back.

Onno Gieszen 4 columnist 2023_Pauline Wiersema_Levien Willemse

Read more

The Broader Context

My younger brother and I have been asked to babysit the young dog of acquaintances for a…