Grad Students Eat Alone

"Since you have your passport I won't be needing your license," said the front desk clerk as she took the Shameless ones paper work.

4-9. Background and Personal Information. Am I an Illegal Alien?

Ummm. Depends on who's asking.

Have a been in the armed services?


All of this fuss just to get a paycheck, but I'm sure not to complain once the money hits my account.

As she looks at my passport she sees the photo I took almost 6 years ago. I was 18 with a despicable mustache. Glancing up at my brilliant goatee and freshly trimmed mutton chop side burns she concludes.

"You look much younger here. Haha," she goes. "How old are you now?"

She shows it to her daughter, and although I find her powers of observation uncanny I roll with the casual banter.

"I will be 24 in a couple of weeks. I guess all that shaving has paid off."


6 years ago, almost or so, I stood in line to take that photo, and now? Now I'm sitting in the university cafeteria eating an overpriced, but delicious sub. Most of these people don't have a lot of facial hair, and not just because a good number of them are female.

They're still young. They live in a building 25ft or so from here. I live 25 minutes away. On a good day.

As for those with facial hair, I have this to say. They sit alone. Although I'm not a credible scientist, I surmise they must be Grad Students like me.

Grad Students Eat Alone.

We get our food, and find a table with no more than two seats as not to thwart the dining plans of flocking frolicks of freshman students. Our laptops provide our conversation, and our meals are mostly silent.

Wow that Asian has some nice legs. What's with these girls and wearing leggings these days?


The cafeteria is full and so is my stomach. There are some people setting up cameras and lighting in the corner of the room, and I can only suspect they're filming some type of campus orientation/promotional video.

I'm scared.

Before the director yells action the Vagabond must go to his second home to find solace in the pages of delectable monotony.

He better not see his face in any videos.