Starboard – Chapter 5

It’s nearing the crack of dawn in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, when Owl’s eyes spring wide open. Instantly, his neurons begin to relay signals within his brain as they attempt to retrieve all the knowledge he has been storing within his memory. Successfully, the information he has been gathering starts to trickle in. At first, bits and pieces of a larger picture, then, wave after wave of it, soon his mind is inundated with facts which he begins to recite to himself; all before his body, even has the chance to do its morning stretch.

Laying in the darkness of the room, his brain has already created situations which he has to resolve using his acquired expertise. Each new scenario strewn up, is reenacted vividly within his mind, and then followed by potential answers that could provide the best resolution.  


“Scenario 1: A man has trained two German shepherds to guard his property. Signs on the perimeter state, “Beware of Dogs.” and are clearly visible. The signs have been up for well over two years and his neighbors, that routinely walk past the man’s property, know about the dog’s ferocity. One day, the man’s next-door neighbor, noticing that the dogs were not outside, decided to hop over the fence to retrieve a frisbee that had gone over from playing with his son. Upon entering the man’s property, one of the dogs, that was sleeping under the porch, attacked the next-door neighbor severely injuring him. Subsequently the neighbor sues the man for the attack. Will his suit prevail?”

Processing the situation, he just created, he mentally scrolls through its index to justify why the suit will or will not prevail. But as he navigates through the rivers of information, the waters become murky as his thought process becomes obscured.

Am I late? No. It’s still dark outside

I should get out of bed. No. We have plenty of time

It’s a lot of information. Maybe you shouldn’t have played online for an hour


With every passing second his thoughts overwhelm him causing his right foot to bounce forward and backward more and more rapidly. Eventually anxiety prevails and as a result his body is now restless in bed due to the incessant bouncing of his leg. As the foot continues to bounce, the sheets on the bed recede away from his body.

Does my car have enough fuel? Yes, you filled the tank last night.”

Where are my keys? Right where you have always left them.”

Why am I so tired? Because you decided to play online, again.”


With an exasperated sigh, Owl swings his legs out from the bed and onto the floor. Wriggling his toes into the shaggy with rug, he stands up tall, brings both his arms overhead and stretches upward from the balls of his feet to the middle fingers of his hands, holding the elongated pose for a quick breath. Floating back down to earth, his heels land softly on the rug when an unsatiable itch takes over one side of his tummy. Yawing, he arches his back and succumbs to the itch, giving his belly a good scratch. Attempting his best to collect his thoughts, he decides to leave his bedroom and make his way to the kitchen. Walking past the full body lengthened mirror in bedroom, his eyes only catch highlights of his silhouette as sunlight begins to break through the darkness.

I should go to the gym. Why, you haven’t been there in months

It will help clear my mind. It can hinder it too if we run into …

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP the electronic sound of the alarm clock blares into space causing Owl to quickly pivot and rush to turn it off by slamming on the top button. In the silence of his room his mind continues to nag.

Well, I can study while on the stair-master. You can study here and save time.” Owl huffs and walk over to the closet to grabs a pair grey sweatpants. Slipping them on one foot at a time, he rides up the drawstring waistband to hip level, leaving his sparse pubic hair to the open air.


Opening the door of his bedroom, he peers down a narrow dark hallway towards the island counter that separates the kitchen from the living room. With every small stride, the sole of his foot recoils upon contact with the cool tiled floor. When Owl finally makes it to the island, he takes a small detour and he heads to the living room to turn on the TV for some background noise as he prepares his coffee. Fingering around the thick black bezels for the power button, his fingertips eventually graze the power button nub, before he presses it, his encircle the protruding nub to ensure that it is the Power button and not one of the other buttons. Once he finished examining it he presses down on the button and within a second the TV blips awake. His fingertips the quickly glides across the bottom of the bezel to find the volume button and slightly raise the TV speaker.

“… it is estimated that the project will cost around 1.5 billion dollars and will take a year to complete. Funding for the project comes from the newly passed infrastructure bill which includes the upgrading of existing communication lines for a faster more reliable service.” The firm voice of the news anchor continues. “At the top of the hour we will have an interview on with Alaskan Republican Senator Goto and her thoughts and the project”. Owl adjusts the volume to a lower setting and walks towards the kitchen thinking to himself “Hopefully they’ll ask her why she voted against the bill in the first place. She is a republican senator from a republican state, you know they’ll ask only softball questions.


The morning light basks his dwelling in a cool blue tone allowing his eyes to make out the fuzzy shapes of the items sitting on the counter. Once in the kitchen, he opens a cabinet where he stores his favorite coffee beans. On days where the anxiety within him runs on high, he like the mellowness a warm cup of aromatic hazelnut black coffee brings. Placing the beans in grinder, the sound ruptures the stillness of the apartment for brief second, but his mind picks up again unfazed.

I should shave. No need, everybody will be too focused on their own exams to even notice you” He thinks as he scratches his cheeks and chin. “I should probably start getting ready.” For the first time today, he doesn’t answer back on himself.  He places the freshly ground beans into coffee maker and treks back to the bedroom.


Resting on a chair in the corner of his bedroom, is the outfit that he had picked up the night before. He pulls down his sweats and strides over to the chair where he grabs green bikini underwear with a floral pattern, sliding them on he realizes that they now fit a little snug against his waist. Next he throws on his favorite pair of light blue jeans and rolls up the cuff of the legs to reveal a little bit of the ankle. On the left ankle he wraps a brown corded anklet and then puts on a pair of green and white, no-show dress socks, followed by his favorite pair of tanned loafers. Hanging on the closet door is a simple white Henley with a dog collar. At last, he places on his marble green glasses and for the first time this morning, sees himself clearly in the mirror.

I should’ve gone to the gym today.” He thinks as he gives his belly a good shake up and down with both his hands. “No we can have any distractions when we are so close to the finish line, especially if …” The alarm of the coffee snaps him out of trance and sends him back to the kitchen to collect his drink.


Hanging on the refrigerator door, next to the unopened letter, is another envelope with large print on it that reads “DON’T FORGET ME ON 8/15”. Owl pulls the envelope away from the fridge door and dumps its contents onto the island counter, a hard tap followed by soft one. Unfolding the letter that slid out last, he skims it through it one more time “Present this to the proctor of the Bar Exam along with your ID. Please make sure that the name on the ID matches the name on this form.” Owl grabs the ID which made the hard thud and cross references it one last time. “Reagan K Morozov … they match.”  He stuffs the letter and ID back into the envelop and bolts out of the apartment for the long day ahead.


Next Chapter: Pablo and Partner have a chat.

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