DYSTOPIA–Many people in the Dystopia College community have seen Fallon Starr, who is homeless, on and around the Dystopia campus, and some have even treated him to a coffee at Rocket Fuel Coffee Casa or a beer at the Dead Albatross. But a few have discovered that you can’t judge a book by its cover or a homeless person by his cardboard dwelling.
Freshman chemistry major Solo Wallflower made this discovery just recently. “I was really stuck on a problem for organic chem the other day, and I was sitting on that broken bench in Brown Park, just mulling it over and kind of talking to myself, I guess,” Wallflower said, “and then the solution just suddenly came to me.” The answer didn’t come from Wallflower himself, though, but from Starr, who had overheard his rumination while resting against a nearby tree, re-reading Proust.
“I was so surprised,” Wallflower said. “His solution was dead-on. I mean his thinking was way sharper than mine.”
Samantha Sabrina Eastwick, one of the coven leaders for the student organization African Lesbian Satanic Witches for Peace, had a similar experience. “I was working on a new spell that required deciphering some ancient runes,” Eastwick said, “but I couldn’t make newts or wolfsbane from them.
Enter Starr, who “read them just like they were regular English.”
Senior English major Rich Kidd said he has had some “really profound” discussions with Starr about difficult philosophical problems and about the “consumerization” of education and the neglect of the humanities. He said Starr’s conversation is well worth the price of a drink.
Starr spends a lot of time in the Dystopia library, especially when the weather is bad, and reference librarian Nerdine Bibliophile said he makes her job easy. “If Fallon is around, I don’t even have to Google for answers when someone need help; I just ask him.”
The explanation for Starr’s intellectual acumen lies in the past: He once attended Dystopia as an undergraduate–an honors scholar triple-majoring in math, chemistry, and philosophy–and went on to graduate school.
So how did he end up homeless? Was it drugs? Mental illness? Crime?
“None of the above,” Fallon says, “just massive student-loans debt that I could never begin to repay.”
But things could be far worse, he said. “The winters here aren’t really that cold, and I have a flexible schedule, library access, and a sturdy refrigerator carton shielded by an overpass.”
Starr is just one of several homeless people dwelling on the fringes of the Dystopia campus. Another, M. T. Boxx, made the news recently when he donated five dollars to the college because its budgetary woes seemed worse than his.
T. Allen Culpepper