Previous installment: An Unsuccessful Escape
William Wordsworth’s poem “London, 1802” makes a strong statement about Joey the Romantic poet’s opinion on the state of England during this time period of rescheduled dates. He saw problems with cancelling dates that deeply disturbed his elevated spirit. In addition to sticking closely to the natural description that helps Romantic poetry resonate with Romantic sense and make a romantic mood, Wordsworth employs metonymy and overstatement to address the issues that he sees in England. Issues like not getting a date.
Wordsworth couldn’t get a date? Oh. That wasn’t Wordsworth. Lia shook her head, and turned to Amber, who was sitting on the couch next to her, talking about her dating problems.
“It’s just that Joey might think that I’m not interested in him, and I really am!” Amber continued on. “I didn’t want to cancel those two dates. Work called, and I had to go in. I didn’t have a choice.”
“You told Joey that, didn’t you?” Lia asked while looking at the paragraph she had just typed into her laptop. How on earth had Joey and dating wound up in the introduction for her Romantic poetry close reading paper?
“Of course I did. But it’s happened twice.”
“And you explained both times, yes?” Lia asked, slouching down and extending her neck to reach towards her laptop. That paragraph was utter nonsense. She shuddered a little, and looked back and forth from that nonsense and the textbook at her side. Nope. No more of that poem and paper for now.
“But it looks like I’m brushing him off,” Amber worried.
Lia dug about in the stack of books on the floor and retrieved another thick volume, tossing the Romantic English literature anthology she’d been using onto the coffee table. “Young Goodman Brown” seemed like a good reversal to get her mind working in a different way. She’d write that paper instead.
“And I’m not brushing him off. I have to work,” Amber went on.
“If you told him that, then he knows that,” Lia said while flipping open her American literature book to the section on Nathaniel Hawthorne. He was an interesting writer.
“But what if he thinks I’m lying?”
Lia propped the book on her lap, and poised her fingers for typing before answering, “He’s a guy. Guys tend not to overthink things like we do. He probably believes you.”
Lia started her paper while Amber carried on about her concerns.
No one is sinless in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown” about Joey when a thematic climax reveals that the episteme of the dating scene in this apartment complex is not true to the expectations of the woman to my right.
Shoulders drooped, Lia stopped typing again. Maybe this paper wasn’t going to work either. She decided to try the Wordsworth essay again. These were both due tomorrow, and she didn’t have a lot of time to waste. So with Amber still talking, Lia pulled up the document containing her other work in progress. She started typing away, hoping to get some ideas out that she could then form into a coherent paper.
The chance to go on a date with Joey has been corrupted by the gentility’s love of money and the luxuries obtainable by marrying a rich engineer and the power that comes with that money despite the morals and teachings that go against such luxuries. Noblesse oblige seems to be going out of the picture, which is why Joey hasn’t tried to reschedule for the third time. These metonymical examples describe which area of England’s man pool needs improvement, and it seems that to Wordsworth, the damage is widespread. rgrgvloireabn[0vtjhovrnuave;onivahnijavegn;’
Lia slammed her hands down onto the keyboard a few more times to vent her rage. Wordsworth had never written about the man pool or Joey or any other such nonsense! How was she supposed to write her papers with Amber constantly inserting her love woes into her paragraphs about metonymy and episteme?
She turned her head so quickly towards Amber she could hear some bones cracking and her hair hit her the face. She forced a smile onto her face as she placed her laptop onto the coffee table. “Amber. I am very busy. I have papers to write. They’re due tomorrow.”
“I just don’t know what to do about Joey!” Amber lamented.
“Oh, I do,” Lia said determinedly as she rose. “I know exactly what to do. You stay here. I’ll be right back.”
And with that admonition, Lia swooshed out of her apartment and down the hall towards apartment 9. Joey had better be home. Joey had better open the door. Joey had better know what’s good for him. Lia felt that her face didn’t have its usual charming smile, but she was too peeved to worry about that right now. Joey was going to answer for those horrid paragraphs she had typed under duress. This was all his fault!
Apartment 9’s door was before her. She knocked quickly and loudly. A knock that demanded immediate attention. The door was barely opened by Micah before she pushed through the small crack and scanned the room with her eyes.
Joey was sitting on the couch, doing his homework in peace. How dare he?
“YOU! Joey. Pay attention to me,” Lia commanded.
Joey looked up, startled. This was not how Lia generally acted. “Yes?”he asked.
Lia moved to stand right in front of Joey. Since he was seated, she was taller than him for once. Possibly she was even looming over him. That made her feel better already. But she wasn’t done yet. She jabbed a finger so close to him it was almost poking his chest, and said, “You are going to take Amber on a date. You are going to ask her out and take her out. Is that understood?”
“I asked, is that UNDERSTOOD?” Lia said in her best nanny drill sergeant voice.
“Yes. Understood. I was planning on it,” Joey assured her.
“Thank you for your time. Carry on with your duties,” Lia said to the two boys. “Micah, the door.”
The door was opened, and a much happier Lia left apartment 9. Her troubles had just decreased dramatically, and she was tickled pink about it all. Gaily skipping down the hall, she thought about her Wordsworth paper and what she would actually write about without Joey interrupting. She entered her apartment and, smiling grandly, sat down by Amber.
“Amber,” she said, “you don’t have to worry about a thing. Joey will ask you out again.”
Amber smiled and made a girly noise of delight. Lia felt proud that she had done the right thing. Amber was happy and satisfied, and now Lia could be happy and satisfied and intelligent while writing her papers.
Only not exactly, because only a minute later, something truly horrid happened.
...In addition to overstating the problems in England, Wordsworth overpraises Milton’s great accomplishments as a writer and influence on the people. According to Wordsworth, Milton put his own heart under the “lowliest duties” because he was so humble and good. Together the overstatements show that England is a dastardly place that needs an angel like Joey to light a path of redeeming dates for Amber before too long.
“GAH!” Lia shouted. Was this woman never sated? Why couldn’t she stop talking about Joey for five minutes. “Amber, Joey said he was going to ask you out, so what are you worried about now?”
“When will he do it? What if he asks and I have to work again?”
“Give me three minutes,” Lia said gruffly, shoving books and laptop aside and rushing out the door. She practically ran down the hall, the dignified march she had assumed during her last trip a thing of the far distant past. She reached apartment nine, gave half a knock, and burst into the place. Micah and Joey looked up in surprise as Lia came right up to Joey, who was still on the couch, leaned in, and glared at him. A burning, ferocious glare. A frightening glare. A glare only capable by the thwarted English major with papers to be written and a deadline breathing down her neck.
“When.” It came out as a statement. Or a threat.
Joey blinked some more. “When what?”
“When are you going to ask her. When will the date be. Tell me. Now.”
“We were thinking a lunch date for Saturday. We were waiting for Brandon to find a date so we could make it a double.”
Lia leaned back, and looked down her nose at the brunet man on the couch. “Thank you for your cooperation. Make sure that Brandon gets a date soon. Soon, do you hear?”
“I think he has someone in mind.”
“I’ll count on that then,” Lia said while walking to the door. Before she closed the door behind her, she turned and said, “It had better be soon.” And with that, she closed the door and walked grumpily back to her place.
Amber was still sitting in the same place when Lia came back in. Instead of taking her former seat beside Amber, Lia took the other girl by the arm and pulled her to standing, and then brought her towards the door.
“Amber, you’re a wonderful friend, but I have two papers to write and no time in which to accomplish that feat. Joey is going to ask you out soon for a Saturday lunch date. He was waiting on Brandon to find a date so that they could make it a double date. That’s why he hasn’t asked yet,” Lia explained shortly. They were now by the door. She opened it for Amber to leave.
Instead, Amber turned to her and said, “I hope that Brandon doesn’t find a date.”
Lia made a noise halfway between a strangled goat and a dehydrated llama. She retook possession of Amber’s arm and pulled her out of the apartment, and started leading her down to Amber’s place. “Brandon is a nice guy,” she said in an attempt to make the situation seem less hostile.
“Yeah, but I want it to be just me and Joey,” Amber said. “Without Brandon and another girl.”
“Well, that will be up to Brandon and the other girl,” Lia said. She left Amber at the girl’s door, and turned around, making it quickly down the hall and almost back home when she heard her name being called. “WHAT do you want?” she demanded while turning, expecting to see Amber following her.
Only Amber didn’t have a deep, booming bass voice, and didn’t look like an Italian chef or mafia member, and she definitely wasn’t a man. No, Lia had wheeled about to find a confused Brandon behind her.
“Oh. Hi Brandon. Sorry about that,” Lia said. “I thought you were someone else.”
“Um, okay,” replied Brandon. Lia realized how dumb that excuse sounded since Brandon was probably the person least likely to be confused with anyone else in the entire apartment complex. Oh well. It was the truth.
“What can I do for you?” Lia asked, thinking about her papers already.
“I was just wondering if you’d like to go out to lunch on Saturday. At about one?” Brandon asked with his winning smile.
“Sure, sure,” Lia replied absently. “That sounds great. I like lunch.”
“Great!” Brandon boomed. “I’ll see you Saturday!” And then Brandon left.
Lia mumbled some farewell, and then continued to her place while looking at the ground before her, focused intently on what she should write for her conclusion. Conclusions were hard. They had to be good, concise, and leave a good taste in the reader’s mouth, or the whole paper was basically ruined. As she shut the door behind her, Lia paused. She looked up.
Brandon had just asked her to lunch on Saturday. Saturday lunch date. Brandon and Joey. Joey and Amber. Brandon had no date. But now he did. Lia. Lia was Brandon’s date. Lia was going to go on a double date with Amber.
Amber would not be getting her wish of a date alone with Joey.Lia was toast.
Next installment: The Zero-eth Date