burli desperado #1

by noneofyourbusiness

“Well, I have to live like a fugitive … Someone’s coming after me / And I’m running, running, yeah”. -Warren Zevon “The Long Arm of the Law”

It isn’t easy living life on the lam. Since the start of January, I’ve been living in Burlington against the wishes of UVM. I’m a sophomore, and, if you were to ask the university, I’m an at-home student living out of state (which counts towards my dorm requirement). It might sound like I’m living large, but that isn’t quite the truth. 

There are a number of methods I take to hide my whereabouts. If anyone around town introduces themselves to me or tries to strike up a conversation, I have to give a fake name. I try to use a different one every time, but recently I’ve been partial to John Marshall (SCOTUS Chief Justice 1801-1835). Additionally, I always keep a change of clothes in my backpack and take the long way home, to ensure I’m not tailed back to my apartment. Whenever I attend my virtual classes, I use a green screen keyed to my room at home, and a VPN placing me in another state. I’m not taking any chances.

I cannot, under any circumstances, go on campus. This of course precludes me from taking basically any of the cool courses, as well as attending Water Tower meetings. When I want to submit an article, there’s a complex, but largely straightforward process I follow. First, I typewrite an article, to prevent a digital footprint placing it in Vermont. Then, using a pair of surgical gloves at all times to prevent fingerprints, I place my article in an envelope with no return address and mail it to my P.O. box in my home state. Once it arrives, a trusted associate of mine plants it in a pre-fingerprinted envelope with typewritten address labels (so there’s no handwriting to examine), and mails it back to Vermont, where it’s received by the Water Tower editorial staff, who have been sworn to secrecy as to my identity and current address. 

This might sound extreme, but during the first week of classes, I hired a lookalike actor to impersonate me and visit campus on my behalf. Within 45 seconds of swiping my CatCard to enter a building, campus police had arrived on the scene with full SWAT gear and gas masks, to avoid potential out-of-state contamination. It was only after he had been “subdued” (read: beaten to unconsciousness and tasered multiple times) that campus police realized that this person was not me, and that there had been a case of mistaken identity all along. The actor has, thankfully, nearly recovered from the attack, but unfortunately he was hospitalized at the UVM Medical Center, where I was unable to visit him, for obvious reasons. 

Moving forward, I’m taking serious steps. I’ve purchased a pair of counterfeit license plates for my car, using numbers taken from the same make and model, registered in-state. I’ve also been getting better and better at applying face and body paint to conceal my identity (if you’re confused by this, look up Dazzle Camouflage or the music video for “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye). 

Anyways, the cold Northern night is quickly approaching, and this apartment is so poorly winterized that I have to put on so many layers I can’t move my arms in order to stay warm, which means this has to be the end, at least for now. If you know who wrote this, no you don’t, and if you see me on the street, that wasn’t me.

Categories: around town, february 22 2021

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