I am a young man at a university. The school is spread across a number of grassy hills on the side of a deep valley. From where I stand on one of the hills I look down towards the forested ravine. There is a peaceful river down there that is largely obstructed by ancient redwood trees. I see the tops of those trees swaying gently in the sunlight. Wind sweeps up from the ravine and carries the scent of forested river water.
I turn my back to the ravine and focus on the university campus. The many buildings are carved inside the hills so that they are almost entirely camouflaged by the green grass. If not for the concrete walkways between these buildings it would be nearly impossible to notice them. Many college coeds are milling about the campus. Some are walking on the walkways, but most are standing or laying on the grass. I notice one woman in particular. She is the director of the student theater group. I do not see her face, but I recognize her from behind. She has dark, thick, curvy hair that hangs below her shoulders. Given how warm the afternoon is she is way overdressed in her sweater, skirt, knee high socks, and black, buckled boots. She is also carrying a heavy backpack that makes her resemble a young woman on a pilgrimage more so than a student. I follow her from a distance, for I sense what she is intending to do. She slips in and out of the crowd of students, and at some point I lose her. I scan the multitude of young people in every direction, and she is as gone as the wind from the ravine.
Michael Caine, the celebrated actor, is running for political office. His office is a shed with a corrugated iron roof on the edge of the campus. I have volunteered to work for him, for I am a fan of his long acting career. Because I lost the woman in the crowd, I hurry to the shed. My fellow volunteer is waiting for me there. He is a young lad who has been there a bit longer than me. He seems affable enough, but I do not see his face clearly. He opens the shed door, and we step into a cramped, stale space with no central air and only one, dim lightbulb over the desk. The desk is on the left side, when we step into the shed. It is covered in dust. There is a dirty, black, typewriter mat on the wood desk, but there is no typewriter. A few scraps of newspaper spread across the surface are the only signs of a used space. To the right is an even smaller space, really no larger than a closet, where we volunteers have a shared desk. There is no light in there, and the stale, dirt infested air back there is almost unbreathable. On the wall are several bulletins which have to do with Michael Caine’s campaign. There is a 1970s era wall phone that I am supposed to answer whenever someone calls. The dust on the receiver suggests that it has been a long time since I have had to answer the phone. My fellow volunteer slips into the dark volunteer space, and I am left alone beside the desk waiting for something to happen.
I hear the rattle of the mail door slot. I watch with some apprehension as a small hand pushes through a folded, yellow booklet. The booklet drops to the floor. I pick it up, and place it on the typewriter mat. The black font upon the old, bent, dogeared booklet tells me that this is a much handled play. The woman I had been following earlier has given Michael Caine a play in the hopes he will agree to star in the performance. I am totally incredulous, though I keep my outward emotions under control. Surely, he will not even consider this little play. Michael Caine gets paid millions to act in A list movies. He is a certified star. So what is the likelihood he actually will acquiesce to don the stage in a student theater production? I feel fortunate that I am here in time to retrieve the play before he arrives. Nevertheless, strangely, I put the play on his desk, and I am leaving the play there for whenever he sees it. Is there a part of me that thinks he may do it?