Cal’s name isn’t short for anything so perversely people make it longer. He gets California, Caltex, and his mum calls him Calamine. She spells it Cal o’ mine on his birthday card. She is a bit tickled by this joke. There is this girl in his chemistry tute who has cracked one of those strange evolving nicknames which began as Calorie, then became Kilojoule and now he’s just become Jules. That’s what everyone at uni calls him, and he likes this, having a different name in this whole other place. Jules is different to Cal. Cal wears pyjamas his mum bought him for his birthday, and he plays indoor soccer and has trouble sleeping. When he can’t sleep he watches early episodes of Dr Who on YouTube. Jules though talks about music and tries to crack onto girls by discussing quality documentaries and the relative alcohol content of the limited range of cocktails available at Happy Hour at Manning. The girl in his chemistry tute is responsible for all this, this transformation into a much cooler dude. That girl, that deus ex machina of a lass, calls herself Lil but everyone knew her as Nancy. Lil and Jules quite liked each other and once after chem prac they saw a band together just two blocks from campus in the courtyard of a badly gentrified pub, and they nearly got together, they nearly kissed, they certainly thought about it, but Cal and Nancy intervened and so they ended up being just friends. Cal and Nancy should jolly well mind their own business.


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