It’s 5:37 a.m. and I’m straggling through the slums in neon orange short-shorts I reserve for nights like these, nights like last night, along with the first shirt I saw on the ground which I couldn’t really see in the dark of his room but it’s large and now the sunrise has revealed it to be a tee shirt from some leadership conference or some shit and I think This is ironic because I was totally leading last night if you know what I mean and then I’m like is that even irony or am I just awesome?

Sorry. Either way there is no next time.

Point is I’m not even wearing underwear since I couldn’t find that either because it was probably tangled up in the bed sheets which of course we kicked off or maybe they were just thrown somewhere, I can’t remember.

Point is I was trying to bolt, so I didn’t do much rummaging.

Now the sun is so bright and I left my contacts in overnight and now there’s so much protein on them I can’t really see much and my eyelids feel sundried and I want a shower so bad I could cry and I try to look around but it’s hard because no matter what my eyes just won’t stop blinking.

And then my eyes adjust and I see it: the sunrise, so pink and tender and soft, rising over Princeton.

Oh yeah I’m standing by the U-Store at this point.

My whole body feels crumpled and my knees sometimes don’t catch me right away when I step and I’m pretty sure I’m really hunched-over looking, like a vagabond, but I’m walking one step in front of the other with varying success and I’m just like shit, birds are chirping sun is up leaves are turning and holy crap this place is freaking beautiful.

And then I’m like, I need to tell everybody.

Because I’m sweat-soaked and tired and I probably failed all my midterms, and I can just feel this massive hickey eating up my neck but this moment, it’s just so sublime, it reminds me of the kind of wonder and awe I had as a freshman and told myself I’d never lose and all too often find myself losing because sometimes shit is hard but then I have these moments when I open my eyes and I’m like wow let’s talk about this architecture.

Now I’m walking up Blair, kind of sideways because one of my knees still feels like it doesn’t work and I know that I’ll have two more hours to sleep before I go get ready and go to class and work my dumb job at dining services and do my homework and do my homework and do my homework and I know that it will probably be a really long time before I have any meaningful interpersonal exchange with really anyone even my mom because I’ve started screening her calls because I love her but I’m just so busy sometimes you know but the sun is just so gently beating down like it’s my father patting my back and saying way to go, you tiger, and the trees are perfect and the birds are just spot-on and the sky is dissolving from pink to blue now because it’s almost morning and it’s going to be such a beautiful morning and even though I’ll probably be shut in Firestone well past sunset it hits me, and I almost shed a tear I kid you not, that in the grand, like, scheme of things, like yeah I worked hard in high school but I’m no money-bags or whatever lots of my friends went to state school and you know what I could’ve too it’s not like that’s so farfetched, of course looking back at my high school life it seems like it was all aligned and I was meant to go to Princeton, but growing up that’s not what it felt like at all, it felt like everyone around me didn’t believe and I was just fighting against everything against my town against my classmates against myself, like I was always walking around with neon shorts and hickeys and bedhead, that’s how seriously they took me, and then some big hand descended from the sky and plucked me out of my averageness and landed me here, on these immaculate steps, climbing this place I still can’t even fathom.
Point is I’m just so lucky to be here.

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