So I applied to college. To all the best schools. It seemed appropriate. I got roundly rejected from them all. I ended up sneaking in – sometime in late July, a good eight months after most of my fellows had gotten their acceptances – to my safety. Which was a big urban university of middlin’ repute. I was already somewhat upset that I had not been granted outright admission to it, since I was a double legacy with a solid B average & test scores that were hundreds of points above the college’s mean. My mother and I – a pattern, here? – drove eleven consecutive hours to DC for my waitlist interview. The interview was 15 minutes and then we drove right back. They told me right there that the commitment I’d demonstrated by such a ludicrous car ride was going to be what got me admitted. If I’d lived closer to the school, I woulda been outta luck.

I was there for a few months. I was terribly unhappy. The classes were EASIER, the students LESS ENGAGED. I talked myself into junior- and senior-level classes, for which I was wholly lacking the prerequisites; still I was bored. The shining city on the hill was dirty and dull. And I was sad.

I spent most of my time at the Kennedy Center. I was going every day – sometimes twice a day. Or the District museums, or walking its parks, or walking the city. I would eat breakfast in front of the OEOB, every day. My little life.

I was determined to stick it out. At least for the semester. What I start, I complete. And I would have too, if some frat boys hadn’t jumped me in my bed and beaten me into the hospital. They were drunk, I was nearby. Outside of the physical therapy it was almost a blessing, because it got me out.


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