The Sally O’Reilly Experiment

A few years back my friend Mandy was sitting in chapel and came up with a character: Sally O’Reilly. She introduced Sally to the (campus) world during a reading at a coffee shop, and her friends liked her so much they encouraged her to write more. So she decided recently to start write excerpts of Sally’s life every day for the next six months. She is entitling this: The Sally O’Reilly Experiment. Below is an excerpt from her blog… Check it out:

The Roommate

Sally O’Reilly is fortunate enough to have the top bunk in her dorm room. The top bunk, as Sally O’Reilly well knows, is its own other world: above the line of sight, a top bunk-er can shuffle to the extreme corner of the bed pushed up against the wall and hide from an obnoxious suite mate, or a top bunk-er can watch a movie on an over-heating laptop and dispel the blue-white light with a strategically placed pillow. The top bunk is ideal. And Sally O’Reilly has claimed it with one fell swoop of her purple-sheeted pillow on the plain blue mattress. Done and done.

Sally O’Reilly is methodically putting away her jeans in an old wooden chest of drawers. Her older brothers sit wide apart between the boxes and suitcases, complaining about the sweltering heat. There is no air conditioning.

As Sally jams socks into the small upper drawer, another girl comes into the room. Sally’s brothers stand up and wipe their upper lips and foreheads, tug at the damp neck of their t-shirts. And Sally turns around and sees her new roommate: she is taller than Sally, skinnier than Sally, and has brighter bluer eyes than Sally. Sally O’Reilly doesn’t like this set-up. But this roommate smiles broadly at Sally and when she says hello, she steps into the room and gives her a little hug, shoulder blade-touching-shoulder blade. Sally O’Reilly straightens back up and she feels—not knowing she didn’t feel this before—happy.

So now, although Sally O’Reilly can read the testosterone-charged brain pulses coming from either side of her, she ignores her older brothers for the moment and talks to her roommate like an old friend, and—beyond the normal careful calculation—offers her the top bunk. That’s overkill, Sally O’Reilly, but that hug makes you feel a little less unwelcome here. And if you can buy friendship for the price of the top bunk, it’s worth the boredom-besotted bottom bunk. Her roommate smiles and thanks her, a little awkwardly. But she declines the offer and says she likes how social the bottom bunk is. And Sally feels, although still very happy, greatly relieved as well.

© Mandy Joy Satta 2012

Mandy Joy Young currently lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and workds from home as an instructional designer. Here current goal is to get people hooked on Sally O’Reilly. So follow her blog right now! 


About Jeremiah Dowling

I write poetry and take crazy pictures in an Orange Chair all over the United States while reading amazing books.

2 responses to “The Sally O’Reilly Experiment”

  1. Mandy Joy Young says :

    awesome! thanks, Jer!

    post my stuff whenever you want to. seriously. 🙂

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