The Three Per Cent

October 2, 2007

I have read that 3 per cent of the world’s population is more unfortunate than the remaining 97 per cent. That I have been part of that minority, I have always been aware of, but it was not until very recently that I realized that it actually is a blessing. For, we who are unlucky, we may entertain ourselves a lot, just by looking back at days that have passed, and what events we faced during them. If we share our experiences with others, they will laugh with you and they will admire your endurance. To be able to write about our disfortunes enables us to go back to them again and read, remember, laugh. And laughts, I have heard, are the bet medicine for any illness.

Though I did not feel like it when it all happened to me, I will tell you about my experiences during the last few days, spanning from Friday morning to the early hours of yesterday. It is just as much for you as for me. You will be able to laugh and smile, be happy that it did not happen to you. I can get this off my chest, see it from another perspective and one day go back and laugh with you.

Friday was the day of my very first college exam. I have to admit, already now, that I could have studied more before it – to have arrived to the exam prepared and confident. However, I did not. I had not been on top of the world the days preceeding the exam, for reasons I have not been able to understand. Some days one is better off never leaving bed, a well-known fact. Though, I have never been known for being able to remember such things on top of my head, or when I need to remember it the most.

I had re-written all my notes, for my noting handwriting is not for the weak to see. I note at the speed of light, in cursive lettering, something which by itself should explain what the outcome looks like. My handwriting is curvy and luxuriant (in lack of a better word) and as cursives it all turns into a b it would take a linguist or handwriting analyst to fully decipher. Having finished revisiting my notes from the lectures and having drawn the illustrations, I thought I was ready to face an exam. Of course, being one of the 3 per cent, I was wrong.

The exam was scheduled to begin at 8:3o in the morning, not a time for the living, in my own eyes. As a result, I had to go to bed early the evening before, leaving my trustworthy friend, the television, alone for the night. I could hear it moan out of despair in the darkness I had surrounded myself with by turning my light off. Of course, the moaning could be the muffled sounds of the accidentally non-muted TV through my bedroom door.

Going to bed early almost always results in having to get up early, at least for the unfortunate buch of people I seem to belong to. Me having to get up early almost always results in a visit to the den of nightmare creatures my morning mood can be compared to. Cranky and wanting to have slept longer, I miraculously got dressed and stumbled down the stairs, as I usually do. I am not the most gracious person the world has ever seen, but I manage to survive most days without any major injuries.

Because of the early hour of the exam, and the importance of it, I had to take the early train, leaving station at 7:46AM. Me not having fully awoken long before that, did not have the time to eat a respectable breakfast. Instead, I pulled a slice of raising and apricot bread from the freezer and placed it in the toaster. Leaving the toaster to do the anti-freezing for me, I packed my bag with the neccessities of the day: my notebook, a pencil without ink (it had given up on me while I was working with my notes), my wallet and a mobile phone. I do not bring much else to school. I can handle a maximum of 5 items without any of them getting lost. Having finished packing my bag, it was time for me to leave. I fished the slice of bread up from the toaster, only to realize that I had forgotten to turn it on and actually toast the slice of frozen bread I for the moment held in my hand. Not having the time to try to undo my mistake, I went to the train station, eating a frozen slice of fruity bread. The fruits were actually the most pleasant to eat, for the sugar in them had made them only cold, not hard.

I got on the train in time, luckily, and I arrived at my destination in time too. I saw this as a good sign, perhaps I was meant to pass this exam with a golden star. I cheerfully walked the way I follow every morning to get to the college grounds. I of course stumbled along the way, but I explain that with stating that the ground is uneaven and I was tired (or maybe I am just as ungracious I usually am while rolling down the stairs). It was a beautiful fall morning, the air was not of the winter’s crisp, but of the summer’s softness. The temperatures were surprisingy high for the season and that time of the morning. In my eyes, all good signs for my upcoming triumphant success, that I would pass this exam as easily (and without studying) as I had passed my high school exams before.

The leaves on the trees that decorated the side of the road were sparkling in reddish colors. The green is still present in nature, but the red is so bright it pops right out of the vegetation. The fountain on the neighbouring college’s grounds was cheerful as ever. The water leaped high up into the grey sky and fell just as cheerfully. Imagine if people were like that water! The we could be tossed arund with as the misfortunes pleased, but we would always fall as graciously and happily, for we know that we are the strongest and that the misfortunes never will rule us.

I did not run up the stairs of the building once I had reached it. I walked up the stairs, what is the point of being stressed when there is no need to? There was still some 15 minutes to go before the start of the exam. I sat down at a table outside the examination room and I met up with a person from my group (that person making up 1/10th of my group which makes up 1/6th of the whole class). She had some questions, and confident as I were, I offered to help her. I explained it to her, and she understood. I felt pleased with myself, that I could help her. If I could help her, what were the odds of me not knowing what I was supposed to know before the exam?

The exam was oral, but I already knew that. The exam would take place in groups of five (half of the group we usually work with).

The exam started and I was seated. I had dressed up just a little more than usually, because I wanted to make a good impression on the teachers who would monitor the exam. I wore a pinish purple blouse, a color with just a tint of grey in it. Checkered. I wore a black jacket and black jeans, my hair pulled up in a bun (as usual) with matching accessories. I wore my lucky earrings (though they never have given me any luck, but they are pretty) and I also wore a necklace of my own production. A stunning appearance I wish I had saved through a photo. Ah well, I could always dress up again and take a picture of myself.

The exam began, for real this time. We were supposed to draw our own questions to answer. (Before I tell you more about this, just let me point out that lotteries are not my thing. Everything which is decided by chance naturally keeps the odds against me, for I am one of those unlucky 3 per cent. I never win anything, not even in win-each-time lotteries, for usually, they are out of prizes by the time I draw.) So, I drew 5 questions from a pile, I was allowed a few minutes to write down some quick answers before being supposed to read a question out loud, answer it and let someone else do the same until we all had answered all the questions.

I knew very well what the answers to the questions were, and I wrote it down on my little notepaper. The problems started to appear the moment I opened my mouth. Because I have zero verbal skills. None. Nada. Of course I should have seen it coming, but it was one early Friday morning and I was tired (And who wishes to believe the worst about everything? The glass is half-FULL people!). One hour and a half later, 75 minutes of agony, we recieved our grades. Because I had failed terribly because I can not speak to people in a normal way, I recieved a pass. A simple pass! That truly ruined my day.

I did not exactly fly on little pink clouds to the train station after that ordeal, especially not after having heard from my group that they all had earned passs with distinction. I was a little upset. A very upset. Because despite my cheerful and positive approach, even I can feel beat at times.

I went to the train station with a rainy cloud above my head. But then again, so did everyone who was outside that day, it was still fall outside with thick clouds covering the skies. Because I would be home alone that day, and really did not feel like doing anything to ensure my survival for the rest of the day, I took the subway to the shopping mall. I figured, if this day has been plain bad this far, to 10AM in the morning, I could always try and make it a little better by spending some money. Spending money makes all women happy, and as I am not as unordinary as I would like to be, it makes me happy too.

The time in the mall went smoothly. I bought some beads and recieved a bonus check due to my frequent purchases. I also bought two pens as my previous pen had run out of ink. I still felt a little beat, despite my purchases, so I also bought a bag of candy. It was the last thing I could think of that had the potential to cheer me up a little.

Not being in the mood to take the 30 minute walk home, I decided to take the bus. By the time I exited the mall, my bus had just left. But, I am used to that kind of things, so I stood by the bus stop, not knowing that the next bus would take some 30 minutes to show – I could just as well have walked home.

As I stood by the bus stop, pondering the morning’s events: my lack of verbal capacity and my half-failed first exam, a microphone appeared out of nowhere and behind it a news reporter. A man with a camera on his shoulder accompanied the reporter. She was the typical stereotype of a news reporter, the kind of person you see all the time in the movies. She had blonde hair, glasses and quite colorful clothes – she was the kind of person who wanted to be seen. Especially in front of a camera.

She wondered what I thought about the lower taxes, and what I thought about the higher price of bus tickets. I did not know what to say and because I was not content with the exam I half-failed just a few hours ago, I went into a strange case of shock. I could not believe my misfortune. National TV wanted to interview me about the price of bus tickets – the first time I rode the bus in over a year!

At times, I think that I have a strange curse over me. Or that I am just part of the 3 per cent. Either way, I like myself just the way I am. My life would not be very interesting if it were not for all the strange things which keep happening to me.

The bus ride home went smoothly and so did the rest of the day. There are only so many things which can go wrong when one is curled up in a sofa with beads and some candy. The only thing was that the TV channel I watch insisted on reporting that Jorja Fox may leave the cast of CSI, something which made me freak out just a little. As the person I am, with a love for control, I was greatly unsatifyed by the fact that I could not find any information on the topic – only rumours. I am still kept in the dark to this day.

Saturday went smoothly, just as Friday afternoon. I spent most of the day beading and the worst even of the day was that I accidentally pricked my finger with my largest needle. Blood was spilled and as I have a fear of my own blood I near fainted.

Sunday went smoothly too… It is strange that the most smooth of days are when I am not doing anything. This is my logic – if nothing is going on, nothing can happen. And that may be very true. Except for one incident I still suffer from. When in the shower, I opened a bottle of soap and I cut my finger on it. Pretty deep too. Blood was yet again spilled, and I near fainted.

Monday morning, I was late for the train. Just my luck, I would dare say. As a result of that, I was 10 minutes late for class. A class with the same teacher that was in charge of the verbal exam. I felt rather small trying to enter the classroom as silently as possible, being obstructed by a locked door one of my classmates had to open up for me.

But I am not discontent with my life. In fact, I am on top of the world. On numerous occassions, every day. That is just the kind of person I am.

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