I’m in what appears to be a school dormitory. I assume that it’s a dormitory; I never actually went to college. The building is painted entirely in black. Black floors. Black walls. Black ceilings. Black doors. Tinted windows. There are a lot of students (?) running around, speaking to each way too loudly, and carrying on in a way that really gets on my nerves. I hate it here.
But I’m here for one very good reason, which I’m very excited for: my friend Dina is going to teach me how to draw! I’m really happy to not only learn a new skill, but to meet someone I’ve only ever spoken to online in person. This is going to be really cool! I don’t care how annoying everyone else is, or how shitty the building itself looks. Despite the repetitive scenery, I find her room quickly enough.
We finally meet. We hug, we do a brief hello and a “how are things?” She then tells me that she hates to leave me so soon, but she needs to go to a meeting for a little while, but I’m welcome to hang around and wait for her here. I do.
Looking around, her room is a mess. Clothes are all over the place. The bed is unmade. There’s open boxes everywhere. Lots of poorly kept stacks of vinyl records. Not that I’m complaining; my room isn’t much better. I spend some time sitting on her bed, listening to her music and doing my best to ignore a small, pulsating blue light in the corner. I’ve never heard of any of these bands, but I love them, and make a mental note to look them all up online later.
From where I’m sitting, I can see outside the window. There’s not much to see, the moon is shining way too bright. I can still make out the slight silhouette of two figures messing around with an obsolete TV antennae. One of them sees me, points, then goes right back to work. I would normally be afraid of something like this, but I find myself oddly relaxed. I feel safe here. I turn up the volume on the record player.
It feels like hours have gone by. Before my worry brings me to action, Dina is back. She’s different, though. Her clothes are different. Before, she was wearing a white tanktop and blue jeans, with her hair dangling wherever. Now, she’s wearing a leather jacket with spiked sleeves, tight black leather pants, and her hair is tied up in a ponytail. She’s not smiling anymore, either. She looks pissed off, actually.
“Alright, motherfucker, you want to learn art so fuckin’ bad!? You have to earn that shit! That’s a right that I only I can give you! And I don’t feel like fucking doing it, unless you start addressing me by the right name!”
I’m shocked. My mouth can’t quite get words out properly, stuttering and stammering out the bare minimum of a sentence.
“Dina. Your name is Dina. What’s your deal? What’s going on?”
She shakes her head. I hear nothing, but I know that she’s telling me that I’m wrong. If I want to learn to become an artist, I need to know what her “other” title is. She won’t tell me. Hell, she won’t even look at me. Now I’m afraid. The living embodiment of my social anxiety is standing in front me: a good friend angry and antagonistic at me for absolutely no reason at all.
I don’t know what to do. I’m starting to sweat really bad, and it feels like the room is spinning. That light in the corner has gotten closer, and is staring at me now. I wonder what it wants?