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The College Essay Monologue
My essay can’t be longer than five-hundred words? You have got to be kidding me. How am I supposed to get you to like me in five-hundred words or less?
Okay, okay. Let’s see….what do I want to write about? What can I write about, is the real question. I mean, I could always write about writing. I’m bored already.
I wonder if the application reader will be a man or a woman. I bet he will be a rotund professor with black little hairs shooting out from under his nose. You know, I really don’t know anyone with a great mustache.
Work focus work! Write about writing, write about writing. Why do I like to write? Well it’s beautiful really—when you write, somebody has to listen. Even if it’s only yourself. You are not going ignored.
Ah, great. So now he thinks you’re a closet loser with no friends. You might just go up to the application reader and announce: “Hi, my application makes me sound like a loser, so you are not going to accept me to your school.”
And then he will do a happy dance because he doesn’t have to write another rejection letter.
Okay, let’s make that not happen. What else am I interested in? It can’t just be writing. Writing makes me seem quiet, and I’m definitely not quiet. Well, there’s the problem. I see it. I’m not. Interested. In anything else. It’s…it’s….write or be slashed into a million pieces of girl-meat. Oh aren’t I a lovely thing. Aren’t I just a flower.
I have seen way too many articles about that Japanese cannibal.
And, alas! Now he is thinking about the cannibal, not you. You, you, you. What makes you different? I can’t exactly tell Mustache that I’m different because I am so intuitive I am almost not factual. That I look at people and detect by the lilt of their voice the subject of their thoughts and the conversation about to be breached. I cannot tell him that I don’t see sad eyes and happy eyes because everybody has sad eyes whether they know it or not.
I cannot tell him that I am seventeen going on seventy. And I cannot tell him that this is why I am a writer.
I cannot tell him that my writing is neither aged nor wise. Why would he want me then? I cannot tell him that I am old not in the way that I talk and act but in the way that I think..
When boredom takes over and sleep calls behind caffeinated eyes, the keyboard is my answer to an unfathomable question. In the morning I woke up, and I read a Facebook status about a girl who was pondering life, #yolo, and it was just a pinprick of a sting that reminded me we are all, all, all, in this together. Nobody knows. We…somewhere along the way, as a people, we decided we were so smart that we could figure it out. Where did I come from, what should I do? And now, years later with our iPhones and Kindles we call ourselves civilized but the truth is we can’t. We can’t know. It’s not for us.
Oh, this is why I write.
They call me scholarly for writing but I know that I am a coward. Writing, like reading a tabloid, is only another way to avoid the unthinkable fact that one day I opened my eyes and I was sitting on grass with a ball in my hand and no idea how I got there. I am awake, now. I am awake and capable of thought and so convinced that somebody on this blue planet or ours has figured it out and can teach me, but they can’t.
And it isn’t until the days of sad clouds and moist hot chocolate that I remember the truth about forever is that there isn’t one, everything dies.
One day I will die, and he will, too.
If I could, I would tell the application reader that he needs to take a good look at his life and examine whether or not he’s happy, because maybe tomorrow he’ll get prostate cancer and two months later he’ll die.
But I can’t tell him that.
Instead, I’ll tell him that I write to hold on to the intelligent side of myself that gets so overwhelmed with truth she cries into the corners of my head. I’ll tell him that I write to retrieve her, to calm her, to consolidate her. I write to pull back the duffel bags of words that seem to fall right out of my body and into the air, and I don’t remember seeing that part of the train track but it’s there. It used to be that something went in, stayed.
And if he thinks I’m a loser, if thinks I’m too quiet—
So be it. I know the truth.
The truth is writing is the tap tap of fingers pressing heartless black keys and clicking them together and waiting for something else to show up.
And sometimes it does—sometimes it does.
Oh, application reader, can you really not see? Can you really not see how writing brings me back into this fascinating, flawed, non-forever world?
I write to stay where I should: here, now, looking at the computer, thinking about a college essay.