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Empire of Dirt; Tagging Frogue; PM for entry
Topic Started: Aug 5 2016, 10:24 PM (553 Views)
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And I am still hungry.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Cristóbal Morales continued from What the hell is a baseball?))

There was a buzzing in Cristo's ears, in his fingertips, all the way from the top of his head to the soles of his feet, like a swarm of insects under his skin.

He didn't think he'd ever been so furious in his entire life, and the worst part was, there was no reason for it at all.

Alright, that wasn't strictly true. Will was a, a... he was infuriating. A self-absorbed, ungrateful, snobby, conceited, sheltered, spoiled, cocky... brat. That's what Will was. A brat, born and raised, and as soon as someone gave him a little taste of life outside of that, it was a personal affront. He'd made it perfectly clear in every word he spoke to Cristo, every word about his family and this country and everyone in it.

And you know the worst part? The worst part was that he was never going to change. Will was never going to get his reality check. Nobody was going to take away that silver spoon and make him appreciate what he had. Cristo knew that, as surely as he knew his own name. People like Will, they waltzed through life barely experiencing it and laughed at those who had to live in the real world, and no one would ever be able to convince them that any of it was worthwhile if there was no gain at someone else's expense.

He hated feeling like this. He hated being angry. He didn't like that part of himself, was glad that it so rarely surfaced. He resented Will all the more for bringing it out of him.

Cristóbal knew that he might be facing a bit of trouble for leaving the gym before the period was over, but he was technically still in the athletic area. He'd let his aimless legs carry him towards the football field; few people out here at this time of the school day, little chance of someone happening on him and wanting a conversation. He wasn't good for conversation right now, if he ever was at all.

Maybe in a bit, he'd feel like running. It was a good day for it, hot and dry but with a few passing clouds to keep the sun from being as relentless as it normally was. Maybe in a bit.

For now, Cristo sat down heavily in the grass next to the track that ringed the football field and put his head between his knees, willing the buzzing to stop.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Cristóbal was startled out of his swirling thoughts by a the clearing of a throat and a hand on his shoulder, surprisingly from two different sources. He jumped a little, he could admit that, but presences that revealed themselves once he looked up turned out to be much more welcome company than he'd been expecting (given that he'd most been expecting to find Coach Parkinson hot on his trail to berate him for just leaving class before the period ended).

"Hi Georgia Lee," he said out of instinct, before fully registering what she was saying to him. He liked Georgia Lee, appreciated her driven spirit and dedication to her busy schedule. He'd always found her pretty too, in an untouchable sort of way, the kind of pretty that was almost certainly out of your league and undoubtedly too busy for you anyway and knew it. Georgia Lee was the kind of person who was going places, in other words.

Cristo tilted his head back to look at his other friend upside-down. "Hi, Maxim."

His ears were burning slightly, now that he knew at least two people whose opinion of him he really cared about had seen him lose his composure like that. He was thankful that his tanned skin tone mostly hid his embarrassed flush. The anger was still there too, a hard knot in his chest that weighed down on him unpleasantly. He tried to concentrate on breathing steadily.

"What are you guys doing here?" He asked, though that was obviously a stupid question. They both went to school here, why wouldn't they be on the grounds? The real question that he meant to ask was, "Why did you come over to me?" The answer there was perhaps a bit obvious too, given that Georgia Lee had clearly witnessed what just transpired between Cristo and Will, and Maxim looked as though he had a few questions of his own. Cristo patted the grass on the side that Georgia Lee wasn't occupying, indicating that Maxim should sit as well. He certainly didn't feel like getting up right now, and Georgia Lee seemed to be taking a break from her run.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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"Oh- bye, then! Enjoy your run!" Cristo called after Georgia Lee. He supposed it made sense that she didn't want to infringe on potential guytalk, but it was still disappointing to see her go so soon. He turned and attempted a smile at Maxim all the same.

"Yeah, we can talk if you want." Or rather, Maxim could talk and Cristo could nod and listen, as per the usual arrangement. That was fine, that was what he preferred, and as previously mentioned, he didn't feel like talking too much himself right now. "Something on your mind?"

There probably was. Maxim was a thinker much more than a speaker, normally, so it was rare for him to not have something or other on his mind when he did decide to talk about it. He might have a few disparaging comments of his own about Will, or gym class, or any number of things.

Maxim didn't enjoy much, Cristóbal sometimes thought. Not most of the things that Cristo himself enjoyed, at least. He'd wondered about that, and often, but it had never seemed appropriate to bring up.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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The question wasn't unexpected, but Cristóbal sighed all the same. "I wouldn't say anything is worrying me, really. I just got kinda... worked up, back in class. It's nothing." He shook his head. "I'd rather put it behind me, really, it's not worth dwelling on."

He leaned back on his hands, looking up at the sparse clouds that lazily drifted across the intense blue of the sky. He could understand wanting to go somewhere else, he supposed, especially if you were from outside Kingman in the first place. He could understand feeling frustrated or tired of it. But hating it? Never.

"What did you want to talk about, though?"
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Cristo looked at Maxim blankly for a moment; whatever he'd been expecting Maxim to have on his mind, it hadn't been that. "Abby?" he repeated. "Well... we're best friends. We've been friends since elementary school."

And is that all? a nagging little voice in the back of his mind asked.

Cristo absently started plucking blades of grass and twisting them between his fingers, an old nervous habit. Was Maxim trying to get at something else here? Did he think Cristo... what, had a crush on Abby? Of course he didn't. He'd know if he did, surely.

Wouldn't he?

"Why do you ask?"
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Cristóbal opened his mouth to give the automatic answer to Maxim's question, and then thought twice and closed it again. Was he sure that there wasn't anything more between him and Abby? Of course he was. He didn't need her to be anything other than his best friend.

...Was he sure?

"I mean, I-" He didn't know how to follow up with that. Why had Maxim brought it up, even? Did he think there was something romantic between Cristo and Abby, or that there should be? The idea of Maxim trying to play matchmaker with them was almost absurd, but at the same time...

"I've never thought about it," Cristo said finally. It was true enough.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Cristo paused, letting that sink in. "Well," he started and then stopped himself again. Maxim the Matchmaker, he thought briefly, and couldn't hold back a soft breath of a laugh. "Maybe I should, then."

He leaned back on his hands and looked up at the sky, letting the sun beat down on him. He'd always liked the feeling of being in the sun, and considered himself lucky to live in a place where the feeling was so common. Hearing about places where the dark and cold and rain were nearly constant always sounded miserable. Cristo closed his eyes and sighed, soaked in the sun and let the tension slip away from him. There was no need for that. He had his friends here, didn't he?

And he had something to think about now.

"Thanks, Maxim." He wasn't quite sure what merited a thank you, but it felt appropriate all the same.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Maxim looked melancholy, as he often did. It was something that had concerned Cristóbal during the early times of their friendship, but questioning it had only gotten him rebuffed again and again that Maxim was fine, nothing bothering him besides the little everyday things that got to everyone from time to time. It hadn't taken long for him to realize that Maxim preferred that it not be brought up in the first place, so Cristo didn't ask.

He sat and enjoyed the sun and the quiet for a while longer, before sighing and getting to his feet.

"I should go, sorry. I probably need to apologize to Coach Parkinson for running off and I've got class soon. It was nice talking to you, though. Georgia Lee too," he added as an afterthought. He'd have to catch up with her some other time.

Cristo smiled down at Maxim, and it didn't feel forced. "See you later, Maxim."

Lots to think about today, lots to do. It might not be such a bad thing, after all.

((Cristóbal Morales continued elsewhere))
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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