Volume 4, Chapter 2-2: A Simple Art Project

Memory Dive 1: Artwalk

Time Period Unknown

Zhuyu, Kisai, and Ichaival stood near a statue with green seaweed draped over it. Upon closer inspection, the seaweed wasn’t real, but rather part of the display. Ichaival held an expensive camera, pointing the lens at the sculpture.

Zhuyu wore a zipped up gray hoodie and surprisingly, not dress pants. Instead, it was a pair of light tan cargo pants. Ichaival wore something similar and a grey pull-over hoodie. Kisai wore a white zipped up hoodie, with a red shirt underneath, and black jeans.

I noticed Ichaival’s face was much broader and rounder. Kisai and Zhuyu both wore glasses. Zhuyu pointed at the statue and Kisai inspected the gold plate in front of it. Ichaival stepped away from the two and then directed his camera at the object. He took a photo and showed it to his two friends.

“I wish it was better weather. Sucks to have to take photos like this,” Kisai remarked, glancing up at the grey sky.

“It’s a lot better than when it poured rain last time,” Zhuyu pointed out.

“Hey guys, how many more photos do you think we need?” Ichaival asked, going through all the photos on the camera.

“Enough to create a nice board, right? Let’s keep walking. We still have the photos from last time, right?” Zhuyu answered.

“Of course. I wouldn’t delete them,” Ichaival replied.

“Let’s go to the places we missed out on last time. You know, the pier would be a nice place to film something,” Kisai commented.

“Oh yeah, for the movie, right?” Ichaival agreed.

“It’ll be kind of hard though. You have to carry all the stuff here,” Zhuyu remarked.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t want any equipment damaged either,” Ichaival said.

“Yeah, like your umbrella. Do you still have it?” Zhuyu asked.

“No, why would I keep something like that?” Ichaival shook his head.

I was a spectral ghost, hovering above them, observing their actions. They spent an hour walking along a network of piers and taking pictures along the way. They were working on an “artwalk” project. A familiar name was mentioned, Mr. Derek. This must be their last year of high school.

“I think Dr. Mink would love it if we took a photo of that,” Zhuyu exclaimed, pointing at a round, black statue.

“What is that thing? Oh, mobius strip, something math related,” Ichaival read off the plate in front of the statue.

“You think he’ll give us extra points?” Kisai asked, a half joking expression on his face.

“Maybe if we talk about it,” Zhuyu replied, reading the description as well.

“Let’s get a few shots,” Ichaival suggested, adjusting the camera.

“I think we’re good. Let’s check around for places we might have missed when it started raining pretty hard,” Kisai answered.

They passed by an aquarium but did not enter. It started getting dark eventually. Really? They actually spent their time doing work. Granted, it was just photos and most of it was just sightseeing, but still. It amazed me they actually stayed on task, not doing anything else. Zhuyu glanced at his watch after they passed by a novelty store.

“This is much later than we came here last time,” he remarked.

“Yeah, it’s getting late. You feel hungry? We should stop by a store here and get some food. I’ve never been to some of the places here before,” Kisai suggested.

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“Sounds good. I’m down for that,” Ichaival agreed.

“Sure,” Zhuyu nodded.

They walked down a few blocks and entered a restaurant. I looked up at the sign and it read “Crimson Hawk”. Kisai sat on one side alone while Zhuyu and Ichaival occupied the other. Ichaival had the window seat and although the skies were filled with grey clouds, no rain fell. A large ship was parked outside their booth window with no visible passengers.

“What kind of burger should I get?” Kisai asked, checking the menu.

“Whatever you like, I guess,” Zhuyu responded.

“Preferably something not too fatty,” Ichaival said, perusing the menu too.

Zhuyu set the camera up on the edge of the table and set it on auto. Everyone glanced at the camera except for Kisai. He gave a side glance, placing the tips of his hands on the table as if to emphasize something.

“You know what we should do? Everyone order something different so we can try each other’s things,” Kisai suggested.

Zhuyu and Ichaival nodded. After a few minutes, they ordered their food. In the meantime, the waitress placed down a bucket of fries. Kisai poured ketchup on the side and dipped it. Ichaival picked up a bottle of seasoning and sprinkled it over the fries. Zhuyu took a few fries, placing them into his mouth without dipping them in the condiments.

“These are hella good, especially the seasoning. I wish I had this at home when I cook,” Ichaival commented.

“Yeah, the fries are pretty good too. The texture, you know. The seasoning is pretty good too. It’s bottomless fries, right?” Kisai agreed with Ichaival’s assessment.

“Yeah, it says so on the little menu here,” Zhuyu replied.

“So when’s this due again?” Kisai asked, pouring more ketchup into the basket.

“We still have two weeks. Don’t worry about the board. I got that covered. We just need to print out the pictures,” Zhuyu replied.

“Alright, guess we’ll do it last minute like always, right?” Kisai asked.

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“Hell no, we’re not. I want to get this finished early. I can go get the pictures printed out. But, we’ll need to pick out the ones we want,” Ichaival shook his head in disagreement.

“Wait, how are we going to organize it? I was thinking that we might do a collage thing where we have all our photos laid out,” Zhuyu asked.

“That’s a lot of pictures, but it should be fine. It’ll be the best one after all. We’ll get an A for sure,” Kisai said, moving their glasses of water when the waitress brought their order.

Everyone bit into their burgers. Kisai watched the contents of his burger slide out. He placed it down on the table with a sigh, pushing everything back in. Zhuyu devoured his food, finishing his burger first. He took a sip of water and glanced out the window. Ichaival and Kisai exchanged parts of their burger.

“How is it? Different than you expected?” Zhuyu asked.

“Sort of. Do you guys ever feel your head get itchy when you eat spicy things?” Kisai asked as he placed his burger down for the seventh time.

“I can’t say I do,” Zhuyu shook his head.

“I think I know what you mean,” Ichaival replied.

“We need more of these fries,” Kisai said and called the waitress over.

Kisai and Ichaival finally finished their burger aftr ten minutes. Everyone ate fries again once their main food was gone. Apparently they were very delicious, but I didn’t quite see the appeal. I ate stuff like that too, but it seemed they were going overboard in their praise.

“You think they sell this seasoning?” Zhuyu asked.

“If they did, I’m buying a bunch of bottles. It’s really good,” Ichaival commented.

“I don’t think they would now that I think about it,” Zhuyu said after some more consideration.

“I wouldn’t mind having this at home,” Kisai agreed.

After talking about random and trivial things, the three friends finally took out money to pay for the meal. Ichaival asked for a box and dumped the remaining fries, along with the seasoning, into it.

“You’re taking it, right?” Kisai asked as he slapped down a twenty.

“If you don’t want it, I’ll take it. The seasoning especially. I can use it when I get home,” Ichaival replied.

“I don’t want it. Go ahead,” Zhuyu said as he counted out fives from his wallet.

They exited the restaurant and Kisai took out his phone. Everyone’s phones, except Zhuyu’s, was an early version of a smartphone. The zero vector user had a slide phone, the upper right side of the screen chipped. Interesting, was it because of money or practicality? Before I could speculate further, the scene around me broke down. Guess my time was up.

MIND DIVE 1 END


“Tomo, you okay?” Kisai asked, his voice bringing me back to reality.

“What? Oh yeah, sorry, I kind of spaced out there for a while,” I replied, shaking my head.

“Sounds like something I would do. We’re heading out now,” he remarked, pointing at the front door.

A bit boring for the first mind dive. However, I gained insight into their characters. No drastic differences between then and now, besides physique and overall appearance. What was I expecting? It was only two or three years ago. Things appeared the same for now.

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