His name was Joe Faraday. Average Joe to most who knew him, he has lived a rather mundane existence by literary standards. His had been a life described as "textbook" since self examination had entered into his psyche. To him greatness meant suffering. Misery. Pain. Craziness. Dysfunctionality. None of these elements were truly present in his life. He had never been afflicted by sever illness, his family is healthy and fulfilling, his friends, by all accounts, normal people. He was sick of it. The world is filled with so much fucked, so much wicked disparity, so much shit, and with that, he believed, happiness. A level of content that cannot be measured, cannot be reached without knowing the otherside. He wanted to see it. He wanted to see all of it and this was his way.
Writers felt like proper companions, people capable of seeing the world through very interesting eyes. He wanted perspectives that could offer him a greater vision of the world. Little did he know what he would receive.
The first to apply was a curious fellow, a man by the name of Gordon Witham. English born, he had traversed many landscapes, but found America to be the most exciting.
"Why did you want to do this?" Joe's question felt modest, as if their was a genuine amount of suprise in this eclectic fellow responding in kind.
"It's a bloody amazing place to be, an I want all of it. Hot dogs, apple pie, mom, delusions of grandeur, all of it. I never understood why you bloody septics bitch n' bullocking about your country like you live n' the bloody worst place on big blue. We hittin the road on this fine evening my brother or wha?"
"Gordon is it? there are a few others who answered the ad. As you realized, UCLA is by no means a small campus. I imagine it will take some time for everyone to gather. "
It was then he noticed a small girl of asian origin. He couldn't quite peg her heritage or her age for that matter, and decided against either in his mind. He did notice the piece of paper in her hand, the one bearing his information for this trip.
"Ah, you must be Mali....Kanagaraha?" She nodded, her pack appearing to weigh more than she does. The trinkets hanging from her wrist jingled with each movement. She bore a look as if she were bursting with conversation, but had no means of igniting the fire. Her eyes were filled with enthusiasm, giving Joe confidence about the impending excursion.
"Mali eh? you're a sweet hen aren't yeh? A name like that and I'd peg yeh for a Sri Lankan, but yer skin tone says Thai." His words were affectionate, if a bit misplaced given his lack of European audience, but Gordon's eyes compensated, communicating a tenderness to Mali that she would not have gathered otherwise. She bowed to him as well, clanging the entire time, like a Christmas decoration. After a period of silence, Joe attempted to dispel the quiet;
"Given the point of this trip is to tell stories and see the country, i see no reason we can't start, even without their presence. Any takers?" Joe's suggestion lingered for a second with his audience of two pondering the proposal. Finally someone spoke, and to Joe's surprise it was Mali who volunteered. "You know the rules, correct? It's morning, so make it something with a lighter tone. Here's the dice, have a roll."
She rolled a two.