The College Interview

August 7, 2011
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I’m sitting down in the uncomfortable straight-backed chair and I realize simultaneously that first, there’s something about my interviewer’s graying hair and tapping left foot and dark brown glasses that I don’t like and second, this black skirt is at least two sizes too small and I’m trying to remember whether or not I still have the receipt and can return it and if so where the receipt is and then she says, Samantha, what is your first-choice college? and my whole mind goes blank, like I erased something from a term paper I realize too late I really needed to know, and I ask her if we could please skip that question and she looks a little irritated and she says, Samantha, what is the attribute you look for most in a college? and I say the same thing and she says, very irritated now, Samantha, what is your favorite thing? and I ask In the world? and she taps her foot more quickly in response, the right one now, and I think about it for a little bit and then I say
waking up to see the sunrise and going back to sleep, the smell of ballpoint pen on paper, calluses, the smell of the city after it rains, and tissue paper flowers, and cold showers in the summer, and stained aprons, and tangerines, and wine glasses, and small TVs, and coffee-stained paper, and antique stores, and Chinese lanterns, and mud pies, and blowing dandelions into the wind, and iced coffee, and –
and she makes a little noise in the back of her throat, like a choking parrot, and I look up at her and she’s looking at her watch and tapping her feet more than ever and I realize a third thing, that I never want to go to college and I would much rather juggle flaming torches in New York City for a living and I smile at her and I say “Good day” and then I smile again to myself and I walk down the hallway whistling and open the door and stand out in the blinding sunshine and I wonder where the best place to buy flaming torches would be.

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