Sam's Little Larks
RETIRING SAM and EXPIRING SAM are sitting on the Collis porch. It is almost-sunny. RETIRING SAM is wearing shorts, a little prematurely. He doesn’t have a backpack. EXPIRING SAM does.
RETIRING SAM: Let’s play a game.
EXPIRING SAM: Okay.
RETIRING: It’s called 16Sup.
RETIRING: Nothing much, what’s 16Sup with you?
EXPIRING: Is this the whole game?
RETIRING: You’re 16Supposed to answer the question.
EXPIRING: What question?
RETIRING: What is 16Sup.
EXPIRING: What is 16Sup?
RETIRING: What is 16Sup.
EXPIRING: Sup, like supper? Like to dine?
RETIRING: No. What’s 16Sup.
EXPIRING: Oh, at Ledyard? Stand up paddle?
RETIRING: You’re not listening to me.
EXPIRING: I am listening, I’m just not comprehending what you’re saying.
RETIRING: What I’m 16Saying?
EXPIRING: Why do you keep saying 16 before everything beginning with an “s”?
RETIRING: I don’t.
EXPIRING: Yes you do.
RETIRING: No I don’t. I just want to know what is 16Sup.
EXPIRING: You just did it again!
RETIRING: You are 16So 16Slow.
EXPIRING: You sound like a freshman girl’s Facebook album title.
RETIRING: And you 16Sound like a 16Spoil 16Sport! Play the 16Stupid game!
RETIRING: Nothing much! What is 16Sup with you?
EXPIRING: I really don’t —
RETIRING: No no no, I’m kidding. That’s not the game. We’re actually playing 16Sentimental.
EXPIRING: Is this one of those things where we just talk about our irrelevance and how all good things are gonna end?
RETIRING: No that one is 16SWUG.
EXPIRING: That’s stupid.
RETIRING: No, it’s 16Stupid. Wait, let’s actually play 16Song game.
EXPIRING: What’s that?
RETIRING: It’s the one where you 16Sing 16Songs that remind you of every term you’ve been at Dartmouth.
EXPIRING: So it’s just sentimental.
RETIRING: 16Sort of. Would you rather play 16Sorry?
EXPIRING: Like the board game?
RETIRING: I was thinking of the one where you apologize to everyone you’ve ever made angry.
EXPIRING: Sounds like a load of fun.
RETIRING: It could be. Forgiveness is 16Sexy.
EXPIRING: Can’t we just all play pong?
RETIRING: Pong is so last fall. Let’s play 16Social.
EXPIRING: Fine, I’m down.
RETIRING: But I’m not 16Sure we have enough friends.
EXPIRING: Come on. We’re seniors. We can find at least six other people to stand around a table with us. Anyone will play.
RETIRING: Maybe that’s the issue. We’re doing the 16Same things we’ve always done. This isn’t 16Stagnant, is it? Let’s 16Start 16Something 16Special. Maybe 16Sit-down pong. Oh, I know! Let’s make a 16Suckit list.
EXPIRING: A suckit list?
RETIRING: It’s like a bucket list but kind of different —
EXPIRING: Whoa, okay. I got it. No thanks.
EXPIRING: So unless I’m making a “suckit list” I’m boring?
RETIRING: Pretty much.
EXPIRING: That’s so pointless.
RETIRING: You know what’s pointless? Doing the 16Same 16Stuff term after tired term. It’s 16Spring, baby! The 16Sunflowers are gonna 16Start blooming! 16Show off your 16Sundresses! 16Studies are 16So 16Sophomore year. Now is the time to go wild, do 16Something 16Stupid or 16Surprising or 16Scandalous. We don’t have much more time! Might as well 16Spend it in a way you’ll remember!
EXPIRING: That’s the thing, though, man. I don’t wanna reinvent it all in my last ten weeks in Hanover. I’m just starting to figure it out.
RETIRING: Figure what out?
EXPIRING: How this works! What makes me happy! Last term I figured out how to sync my calendar on my phone to the one on my computer and I’m suddenly actually attending the things I’ve committed to! I bought a planner! I love it! I’m getting my assignments done...on time! I would love to rage or reinvent or whatever you want but it’s just impractical! Why would I forget all this work I’ve put in just because it feels like we’re expected to go crazy? It’s like sophomore summer all over again.
RETIRING: What did you say about 14Xtreme?
EXPIRING: I just mean senior spring might be like sophomore summer in that it’s hyped up to be something ridiculous when really you might get the most out of it if you just buckle down and get some work done and, like, go to office hours.
RETIRING: 14Xtreme was the absolute pinnacle of everything I’ve ever wanted to be and you can’t 14Xtract that from me.
EXPIRING: Right, okay, and now you’re gonna try to top it?
RETIRING: Not top it, just 16Switch it up.
EXPIRING: Like maybe finally doing all your readings?
RETIRING: Don’t be 16Silly.
EXPIRING: I just worry about our expectations getting too big. There’s a lot of stuff we can get done here and we don’t have much time left. And I dare say you’ve spent more time looking for new activities in basements than, say, the library.
RETIRING: I do 16So go to the library!
EXPIRING: You go to KAF.
RETIRING: And 16Sanborn!
EXPIRING: To nap.
RETIRING: Whatever. It’s too nice out to get 16Stuck in the 16Stacks.
EXPIRING: It’s still mud season, man. Maybe I’ll listen to you in, like, May. But for now this is the last time I get the privilege to work and learn and put my whole mind and effort into making something I’m excited about. It’s not gonna be so easy after we graduate.
RETIRING: You don’t know that.
EXPIRING: Call it a 16Suspicion.
RETIRING: Whatever. When you’re ready to have fun, 16Send me a 16Smoke 16Signal.
EXPIRING: And when you’re ready to study let me know, Sam.
RETIRING: That’s not my name.
EXPIRING: You’re the same as you’ve always been. You can pretend, but this isn’t new.
RETIRING: Take it back. I’m not the 16Same. This is my 16Senior 16Stinkin’ 16Spring. 16Say hello to 16Sam. Ain’t it 16Splendid?