There are girls giggling bubbly, conversing in the falsest of whispers about their pride in their heterosexual selves. “I wish I was still a virgin,” one announces proudly.
I am in a library.
I think to myself: One more giggle, and I will lose it. I say nothing. I never will. Nothing changes.
My vaguely written, uncared-for paper, lies half written, as I listen to a half dozen girls buzz over just how interesting they all really are.
I am aiming for the cookie-cutter answer, that one direction those same giggling girls are all searching for, that due-north line that is perfectly average, perfectly same, perfectly not of my own conception. I struggle. Nothing changes.
I quote frequently, it takes up space. They are the only land masses in the indiscernible ocean of my personal bullshit.
“Which of our friends would I sleep with?” one girl asks aloud, responding to a whispered question with an outspoken, identical answer. To one member of the aggravated audience of those fervently hunched over their laptops, their unannounced guest speaker just hit a nerve.
“This is a library.” Another girl. At a different table.
That girl is a hero, I think to myself.
That girl is ugly, the be-Ugged lemmings in the adjacent section of the library think, as one.
Superwoman leaves eventually, fed up. I, however, cannot help but give in. To become trapped in the she-devils’ web of bastardized conversation. It is what they want, after all.
As I walk past the pack, glaring in my most grandmotherly of ways, I realize the Den Mother is in my class, and is writing the same paper as I am. She types furiously on her pink-encased MacBook, simultaneously conversing with her peons about her hookups and what-nots. She has found due-north.
I have lost my compass.
They leave, as one. Finished with the same essay I have interrupted to comment on them. With ease, they can produce the mindless drivel that I so desperately seek. Without their perfectly disgusting conversation, my mind wanders, but deftly avoids the box on the left of my laptop’s screen, titled: “Term Paper.”
After an unfulfilling game of Tetris, I step outside for an unfulfilling cigarette. I see another classmate of mine, wearing seemingly the only article of clothing he owns, his uniform frat-hoodie.
He says, with pride bordering on hubristic precision, “I mean, bro, I try to treat girls as disposable pleasure.” He nods at me in the ape-like acknowledgment that is appropriate to his gender.
He continues walking. I can’t get him out of my head. I am relieved that I have something to ponder, other than that which could be productive.
The frat-clone haunts me the same way the voluminous flock of sorority-sheep had several hours earlier. He had mentioned in class earlier that he was going to NYU for grad school. He never raises his hand, is in class once a week, and will likely be a greater success than I will ever know.
I have come to realize that college is entirely sex and bullshit. Success in college is measured only in the individual’s ability in those two categories. There are no brownie points to be earned in the fields of love or education, but only in the manipulation of those fields. There is nary a time when you hear people brag about how committed to their relationship they are. It is never, “I’m so interested in my course of studies,” but always, “I had a perfect view of that Korean kid’s exam yesterday.” Success in college is found only in following the due-north path, stopping only for fornication when the opportunity presents itself.
I will not finish this paper, I will not get into NYU grad school. But at the same time, I am at once the be-Ugged lemming and the frat-clone. I must be. I am just not as good at it.
I have lost my compass.