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The wipers sway intermittently across the windshield, and their blades do a sloppy job of clearing the precipitation from my view. Their constant rubbing against the glass emits ear-wrenching squeaks that I wish I could ignore, but cannot.

These ancient wipers need to go.

At least that’s what I’ve been saying for…how long has it been now? Five months? Yeah, about that long.

Every time I get around to changing these annoying wipers, something else more urgent suddenly comes up, and whatever money I’d been saving toward replacing them goes to that ‘more urgent’ thing. That happened again yesterday.

I spent the money I’d been saving for a pair of new wipers on a newly published music composition book that I absolutely need and can’t seem to find in any of the libraries. I guess it’ll be at least another month or so before I get rid of the ancient wipers—and that’s if nothing else ends up taking priority over them before that.

Somehow, I highly doubt that things will actually go that way.

Maybe I’ll get used to the squeaks.

Yeah, right.

A tired yawn escapes me as I reluctantly listen to the obnoxious voice of a man streaming from my car’s radio. He goes on and on and on, blabbering away in an infomercial that’s way too dramatic and really over-the-top.

The guy is desperately trying to make flannel jackets sound like magical garments that have been woven into golden pieces of fabric by Rumpelstiltskin, and then later catapulted into retail stores straight from a unicorn’s asshole.

He really is doing—or saying, as the case is—far, far too much. I doubt the company’s marketing team intended for their ad to sound this ridiculous. Or at least, I hope not, for their sake.

I’m extremely tempted to change the station, but I don’t. As much as I’d rather listen to something that doesn’t make my eardrums want to commit suicide, the obnoxious banter is effectively chasing away any sleepiness I still feel, and this early in the morning, that’s something I desperately need.

Another yawn escapes me and I feel my eyes water slightly behind my glasses as the lingering sleepiness slowly evades them. I crank up the heat a bit and enjoy the blast of hot air that emanates from the heater.

There’s barely anyone on the road now, and I’m glad I don’t have to deal with so many other cars and their equally grumpy-from-sleep drivers so early in the morning.

My fingers are firm on the steering wheel as I hit the gas, speeding up and managing to pass a traffic light right before it turns red. Pretty soon, I’m pulling into the only unrestricted parking lot on campus.

Even at this early hour, the lot is fairly full, mostly because it’s not that big, and most students without a parking permit, like myself, scramble relentlessly for a parking space here every day. I’m sure some kids leave their cars here for days at a time just to ensure that they have a spot.

I circle the lot once and I’m fortunate enough to find a spot without as much hassle as usual, and given my morning crankiness and impatience, I’m pretty darn thankful for that. Even though my car isn’t big, the spot is pretty awkward, and it’s not even a little bit bright outside. I suck at parallel parking, and being fairly new to driving a stick-shift makes maneuvering my ’98 Volkswagen Polo right now even more frustrating.

After more attempts than I’d like to admit, I finally manage to park the old Polo without setting off World War Z. The rumble of the engine eventually dies down as I turn off the ignition, and the absence of any radio feed leaves me encompassed in complete silence.

I take a moment to look out through my blurry windshield, and I have just one word to describe my surroundings.

Depressing.

Actually, make that three words.

Depressing as fuck.

Except for the still cars that are lined up, the lot looks like some post-apocalyptic barren wasteland.

Maybe I did set off World War Z.

I grab my satchel and reluctantly open my door. As soon as I step out, I’m greeted by a gust of frigid wind, and I have to stand still for a moment so that I can adjust to my new frosty environment.

It’s that time of year again, and winter has come back full force with a vengeance, rearing its ugly, frigid head once more. At six-thirty in the morning, the sky looks no different than it did at midnight.

Pitch fucking black.

It’s way too dark out here, not to mention ridiculously cold.

I walk briskly through campus, feeling the crunch of ice and snow beneath my boots as I take every shortcut I know of to head to west campus—home of the Liberal Arts School.

***

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