Through most of my high school life I kept a prose-poetry chronicle of my emotional life, concentrating hours of classes and car rides into the way the closing of a door made me feel. These are selected entries I wrote during my college application process, and they span over the course of nearly a year and a half, tracing my development both as a college applicant and a writer.
In the face of the newly released Yale decisions for the class of 2014, I have compiled the following entries as a retrospective of my own emotional journey. These are isolated slices of time, brushes of emotion’s eyelashes against my skin, and though they may seem to make limited sense, I ask you not to try and understand them. I ask you to try and feel them.
1. on visiting
the tour guide with the small feet sold me when he told me i could touch the first books ever to crumble, and he finally got the artsy girl from new york in the blue framed glasses to smile with half her mouth. her hair was so red, she was so far from where we were walking, but i felt that her periphery was leaking oil paints onto mine, so i decided to take one for the team and walk a little slower.
2. on interviewing
people kept slipping hints to me as we shook hands among view books and eyes dressed in limerence, and i can’t wash them off no matter how hard i scrub at my palms.
sometimes i wake up and the ink is printed backwards on my cheeks, and you tell me how lovely it is that i am blushing away my bad feelings.
3. on december
you cannot paint the colors of waiting for the mail to arrive.
4. on “maybe”
deferment is more manageable two days later when it’s snowing outside. don’t check the mail tomorrow, don’t ask yourself what else you could have done. don’t dream of coffee shops in connecticut, don’t imagine stone gates and elevators you were too nervous to maneuver. plant paper underground and wait till spring. it will grow into a yes or a no on your doorstep, and you will still wake up the next day in bed with your covers over your face and your whole life spread out like fields of answers.
5. on other options
i spent two weeks on the steps where caesar stood, and then i came home and there were letters on the stairs, there were decisions to be made, and there still are, swirling around emblems of schools in california i hadn’t really thought of until now. tomorrow i want to pack a certain blue sweatshirt in my backpack just in case something happens, and i promise you it does not have to do with the weather. i have already checked that twice.
6. on yes
yesterday there was the open door, there was screaming as passers-by covered the ears of their children because my elation was sin. there were cookies in white paper bags, there was meringue i ate even though i hate it because everything tastes better to a tongue that has licked so many envelopes, that has tasted so many minutes of waiting.
7. on those i must now leave behind
to the seven cups in my room, to the seven spiders crawling over my skin, biting a new constellation on my leg. (one glass contained something illicit, so i hope that means one of these bites will expand like infant ink on used napkins. i keep waiting for my superpowers to kick in, so i can visit all of you whom i am going to miss so violently, whose voices will parade though my skull, hammering with intangible fists, begging to escape into my sight. i am going awaken with bruises on my face.)
8. on 2014
a year ago i feared the cruelest april fool’s joke, like those few warm days in march that settle on the upright hairs of your forearm. now i have grown in three directions, but my torso is arcing toward you, you who are waiting. i still remember what “maybe” tastes like, it’s like waking up in the morning realizing you forgot to wash your face last night, those lucid sculptures are still printed in text backwards across your forehead, those blue beads of sweat are gathered in the place between your eyebrows where you keep your bad feelings. (i need to teach you how to blush them away.) i am going to watch the nativity of the next generation. listen to how i feel. the mother screams during birth because she cannot bear to breathe. the baby screams because it cannot breathe at all.