The world changes on Tuesdays. September 11th was a Tuesday. Columbine was a Tuesday. I remember only because when Dad picked us up from school and told us, I thought he was trying to tell us that something had happened to Mom. Tuesdays. Miserable. Worse than Mondays. Lives are shaped, molded, changed forever on Tuesdays.
And this Tuesday was no different than the rest. Phone calls were made, emails exchanged, desperation. I didn’t cry, not once, although I should have. Maybe I will. Someone reneged on a promise, left me in the cold, left me to live alone next year in a city I don’t know well enough to navigate by myself.
And so the decision was made for me. In case you weren’t aware, the first college that ever rejected me was Lewis and Clark, by my own fault at not sending the paperwork in rapid succession. That time delay, the time I so very much needed, cost me a future with someone I care about. Well, at least an academic future. And so, this fall, I believe I will embark on an adventure yet to be known as “Chicago, the Second Time Around and Just Maybe this Time, Things Will Work Out.”
Take care of Mom for me next year, please, make sure she doesn’t get too lonely in the house. Buy her plane tickets to come see me, or me tickets to see her. Tell her how much you love her and don’t let her get sad. It sounds strange, but I’m scared to leave her, really. I’m starting to tear up, something I haven’t done all day. It’s been a nice semester. I get to see her everyday, for the most part, and I get to talk to her and hang out with her and go see movies with her. People think I’m weird, but I love her so much. It’s nice to be at home, and to get to sleep in my own bed, something I probably won’t ever do after the end of this summer. I’ll be gone, out on my own, living the life I probably won’t even enjoy, educating myself, paying with someone else’s money for a degree that cost too much, too much time, too much money, too much heartache, too many tears.
There’s no place for me, except home, but I can’t stay here forever. I hate to say that; I hate to go back to Chicago, but something is telling me why not. Just go for it, just do it, get it over with. Be done, be educated, be a functioning member of society.
I was denied a credit card today. Apparently, to get credit, you have to already have credit.
Once again, I was reminded how mediocre I am. It’s a thought that has been haunting me lately, I’ve been brooding about it now for years, but I always held onto the thought that maybe I’d find something I’d be great at. Spring break brought hints by others that I should just become a teacher, something I would never deign to do. No offense, I’m not quite tough enough to teach, I wouldn’t be fulfilled by it; I would be left frustrated, unsatisfied, exhausted and annoyed.
That’s what I am now. All of it, and then some. I am terrified of the future, of what I can’t do, what I should have done, what I’ll never do.
And before the rest of my life begins, I have to kill two more years in Chicago, all so I can get a job, make money, get married, procreate and then expire. Great. All of it. Great.
What did you want to do before you settled into your lives of mediocrity? What was your great ambition?
Will I ever get to see mine fulfilled?
endnote: This was an embarrassingly melodramatic post, to your minds, I’m sure. I apologize. There’s no other outlet than the comfort I find in making the pretense that no one reads this. And once you have, and are unsatisfied, feel free to inspect your own ambitions and then realize that no one ever gets exactly what they want. Sacrifices must be made for the sake of society, and this is mine. Chicago. To you, it’s a city. It’s a school. I should go. To me, it’s endless torture, much like any other school, any other city, any other place. I can’t settle, for now. I’m restless and it must end. So it is. Chicago. 2010. And then, wherever my life will lead.
And the many plane tickets, airports, car rides in between.