On This-Date-Plus-One-Week in History, With Annotations
January 3, 1979
. . . I have applied to W_____, H_____, and S_____ [colleges]. I still have two essays to complete and the agony of financial aid. There is one usher at work who is always aghast at the places I'm applying to. I'm sure he thinks I'm either a genius or crazy. I know the former isn't true, so I'm beginning to wonder if I am insane. What if I don't get accepted anyplace? What if I only get accepted at S_______, which I really don't think is possible, but if it happens I'll have to go there and I really don't want to. I'm sure I'd crack under the pressure. So why am I applying there? I DON'T KNOW!*
I want to go to H______. M says I will have no problem being accepted, but that, although encouraging, is no guarantee.**
. . . So, I'm working as an usher at the W______ movies. I'm planning on quitting in the near future, but I don't know when.***
There's Ms. Z_____, the manager, who walks around quickly with her arms at her side and her hands perpendicular to the arms with her fingers curled in. (Understand?) She used to wear very loud wooden clogs that you could hear coming from inside the theater. She wears normal, quiet shoes now.
Dave M_____, the assistant manager, has a thick brown mustache and is not well liked.**** He rarely talks except when absolutely necessary, and he always has his eyes peeled for an usher doing something wrong. I'll be cleaning a theater and he'll have snuck in on his little feather feet to see how it's going.***** He rubs his temple while talking.
Pat S______ is the other assistant manager, formerly chief (or head) concessioneer. She's only about 20 and fairly nice. At least I think she likes me. When she nods or shakes her head, it's very firm and almost exaggerated, but that's just her way.
All the ushers are nice and pretty friendly, but the only one I have anything in common with is Bob E________, the aforementioned usher. He's applying to good schools like William and Mary and Oberlin, and he's interested in English and creative writing. I've only talked to him a few times, only once at length, but he's the only interesting person there.******
I want to leave, but I need the money.
. . . I just realized that I'm writing in parts as if I'm writing to a person. I guess I'm just assuming that this will be read by someone someday, even if that someone is me. I'm sure I'd be embarrassed if someone read this, even if I did. I've got to get over that syndrome if I ever want to be a writer, as I say I do. Do I?
*I got into only one, H________, and that's where I went. No, it wasn't Harvard. I wasn't that insane. I was, however, just insane enough to apply to only three hard-to-get-into colleges. Alternate title to this post: What Was I Thinking?
**Though it surely didn't hurt my chances that my brother, M, went there. Thanks for that, bro.
***It's a bit of a mystery to me why I was so unhappy in this job. I'd been working there since September, and it's not like I was doing construction or something. I mean, working in a suburban mall multiplex? I did eventually quit, in May, since I had to work most Friday and Saturday nights and I was tired of not being able to go out with my high school pals in our final months before college. It was only in senior year that I had started to socialize anyway. The problem was that I had a false sense of security that I could get a summer job with more regular hours: It turned out I couldn't pay anyone to hire me (a theme that would repeat itself in several subsequent periods of my life), and I ended up going back to the movie theater for the last couple of months of the summer. I didn't tell the assistant manager Pat S_______, who hired me back, that I would be going to college out of town and didn't plan to stay on into the fall. She was pissed when I gave my final notice in August.
****But with that thick brown mustache, he was kind of hot in a '70s way.
*****Little feather feet? Thick brown mustache? Hmmm.
******I was in loooooooove with Bob E_______. Oh, my God. Can you tell?