Greg sat at his card table, working diligently. He carefully formed each of the letters of Roman text…an inane and mind numbing task that, despite all ill feelings, must be performed for his Letter Form class. Every stroke takes incalculable concentration; lines must be straight, spacing perfect, pressure varied throughout the stroke length…everything must be exact or the eraser had to be called upon to rectify error.
It was an unnerving feeling that caused Greg to cease his activity. “Is someone looking at me?” he wondered. Only his beloved friend Steve was in the room, busied by the limitless diversion of the Internet. Greg slowly, quietly put down his pencil and ruler and allowed his gaze to intercept Steve.
Steve sat innocently at his keyboard, undoubtedly listening to a new Foo Fighters song or that U2 cover by Johnny Cash. Greg, satisfied that his paranoia was completely without cause, resumed the application of graphite to paper.
It was not long before that nagging gut feeling came back. This time Greg quickly snapped his neck up from his work, instinctively, to the only other person in the room…Steve. As he did so, he shouted the vile accusation: “STOP LOOKING AT ME WHILE I WORK!!!”
Steve, with feigned surprise, said, “Hey man, I’m just checkin’ out these phat tunes from Pat Benetar…calm down.”
For a moment Greg’s hands shook with rage and he felt an instinctive pull toward the x-acto knife on the edge of the table. Realizing the absurdity of his sinful impulse, he bitterly continued his seemingly endless task. Was the constant monotony of forming hundreds of Roman characters on a sheet of paper making him go insane? His mind flew to a memory of a story he’d heard about the art professor who worked too long at developing the holy grail of fonts, Times New Comic Sans Bold, and then completely lost his mind. “I’m just imagining things,” Greg thought. If only he could believe the comforting lies he told himself. He resumed the scrawling…
…Steve, upon hearing the telltale sound of pencil against paper, turned from the screen displaying his formidable library of Neil Diamond songs and began again to stare.