Graduating College and “In the Bedroom” (2002)

It was my last semester in college, and I wanted to re-take “Intro to Creative Writing” because I had gotten a C- in it the first time and I couldn’t allow that on my permanent record. It’s hard to imagine caring about such things in retrospect, but in the early aughts I had it in mind to go all the way to my English PhD, and what kind of doctor of literature would have gotten a C- in a fucking beginners creative writing class- where the girls write about boys they’re fucking who don’t want to date them and the boys write about girls they like from afar- who are sometimes sitting in the very same class.

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Zenith (the low hum of a blank screen)

“This is a warning: here comes the morning.”

She had done her part by having a kid. Something anyone could point to as making her accomplished enough– anything on top of that is a victory lap. No one would fault her for keeping things quiet- drinks on the weekends, maybe a date, vacation time over the summer. This is how she eased into her forties, and there was nothing terribly wrong with it- even if her only wish were to politely color within the lines and walk away with a terrifically neat and tidy picture of a live well lived.

First time I had dated someone so incredibly settled– she even had a house to go along with the kid. Only a few years older than me, but it felt like decades. With my baseball cap turned slightly askew, I still think I’m a twenty-five year-old rock star with a full road ahead of me. This is the fantasy you indulge in when you’ve never chosen a path- you pretend that you still have choices, and that you could be smug about those boring types with their suburban homes and vacation clubs.

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