2 AM, Tuesday, halfway done with my senior year of college. I was anxiously contemplating what I would do tomorrow, and then this summer, and then next year, and then for the rest of my life. Then came panic, and, shortly following that, a flashback.
Losses are lonely. They leave you grasping at the memories of entities that may never grace your fingertips again. Friends may offer “where did you last see it?” or even briefly join your search team. But when the search team tires of trying to undo your mistake, you’re all alone. The consequences of your actions—the shame, the anxiety, the grief—are felt only by you.
Getting tickets was a nightmare—the chances were slim to nothing. One in a quarter billion. But somehow, the odds worked in your favor. Seems pretty arbitrary, if you ask me. You were offered a front row seat under one condition—you would stay for all of it.
Have you ever blindfolded yourself and ran head-on towards oncoming traffic? Or laid down in an empty road at night with Ryan Gosling? If Benjamin Franklin never flew that kite, you would never have even seen that seminal, dangerously romantic film.
“The madame will be joining us soon. Her horse sprained his ankle on the journey down Second Avenue,” my grandpa said in a mock British accent. My grandpa is a writer, and jumps at opportunities to knit fantasy into everyday experience, be it with affected accents or outrageously butchered attempts at Mandarin.
It it is January 14th, Dean’s Date. You are hunched over a 500-page anthology of Russian Literature, writing your final paper. The deadline is in 2 hours and 18 minutes and every second counts. You ask yourself, why?! Why did you leave these hunks of textual meat in the oven until the last possible second? Why do you always wait until the deadline?!
I entered Alexander Hall, heart pounding, clutching a small spiral notebook and an orange ticket. The narrow, rounded hallway bordering the theater was filled with a labyrinth of lines. I frantically weaved through and approached an usher to ask her where I could wait in order to sit in orchestra seats.
I haven’t seen you in a while. And I suppose you’ve never really seen me (remember, I am just one proton). Though I periodically get lonely, I manage to stay positive. This is a joke, Oxygen. You see, I am always positive in an electromagnetic sense (I am a proton!), but my morale—well, with a relentless positive charge comes a great burden. O—may I call you O?—nothing comes easily to me.
I am fulfilling my destiny!” These are the words I heard billowing from a field to my left, as I thumped down a running path in Central Park. Startled, I looked towards the source of the voice; my eyes met a massive, sandstone obelisk, referred to as “Cleopatra’s Needle” by some, and “Central Park’s Dick” by others.
It’s a Thursday night. I’m sitting at my desk, staring at a tormenting problem set, when I hear my door swing open. An eager head pokes in through the doorway. “Yo, Lils,” the head says. “Want to come to a naked party later?”