Thursday, September 11, 2008

Something For Myself (2006)

This is a chronicle of what most people would say is a normal young adult existence, but to me is a soap opera just drenched in drama, corniness and utter confusion. I've just started my freshman year in college. I go to a relatively small school with about 5000 undergrads in...we'll say Arizona. It's a breeding ground for young, beautiful, well to do kids who will either do nothing with their lives or go on to rule the world. Nothing in between. My problem is this. I don't know which category I belong in. I consider myself a pretty smart kid but I'll admit that I can be easily distracted. But anyway, I came to...lets call it...Hillmans University all the way from Chicago, Illinois. Based on some of the stories of some of my high school friends, I am a lucky one in that I had a pretty easy transition to college. I love my school and I think it might just love me back. No complaints.

Love? Ha. While I may have the ideal relationship with my school, I have far from the ideal with my boyfriend. Correction: Kinda, sorta boyfriend. Correction: I don't know what the hell he is. His name is Jake and he goes to school in Maine, which might as well be a million miles away. We stupidly started dating this past summer, right before we went off to school. When we first started going out, I didn't even know if I really liked him, but to make a long, unnecessary story short, I basically fell for him. He was my first real boyfriend and it hit me. Hard. We continued to date for three months at the beginning of the school year. Now, its winter break, I have no idea what we are and no idea what to do. I am very annoyed, very confused and still very much in love with him.

To me, Jake is the epitome of cool. He's sort of quiet and pensive. Because of this he often seems like an asshole. But under all of that bullshit and hair is a boy (not yet a man) with good intentions and a lot going on in his perfectly shaped noggin. I can't even talk about him...write about him....without getting all excited and giddy. But yeah, now Jake doesn’t know what he wants and I don't know what I want, even thought I know I want him. I also know that we are both positively insane. So for now I guess I'm waiting. Like that Michael Tolcher song. "Waiting for something to change into something worth waiting for." Just like that. Maybe this Michael character and I should meet and have a little chat?

Let’s change the subject now. Too confusing. My roommate just walked in. Let’s talk about her. She's this leggy blonde who you can just tell as the queen of her high school. When I first met her I thought, Yes, I can do this. I lucked out. This girl is cute. She's normal. She's cool. We can be friends. Similar thoughts continued for about twenty four hours until I realized that she is sort of crazy. I mean, she is still cute. She is still relatively normal. She is still cool, but she's just a little too...too...something. She goes out and parties and you'd think we'd be a perfect pair but she's also very dramatic and the last thing I need is more drama in my life. For this reason, we hang out with the same people but we are not BFFs. It works out because we can talk and laugh and I genuinely care about her and trust her but I outlets and can get away when I need a little less crazy in my life. Miranda (that’s her name) seems to be PMSing all the time. She must have at least twenty five different personalities. Luckily for me though, when she's feeling bitchy or hysterical she usually takes this out on someone else, not me.

So Miranda walks into the room. Or rather, sashays into the room, looking like a supermodel, with a seriously devious look on her face. I swivel around in my computer chair and smile as she throws her Marc by Marc Jacobs shoulder bag onto her bed. She turns around and looks at me devilish smile growing on her heart shaped face.

"So," she says pausing dramatically, "I just saw Sean." Sean is the guy she likes. Today. I nod. "And he was like. 'Hey Miranda' and I was like 'What’s up Sean' and he was just, like, smiling at me like...a cute little freak and I was like 'What Sean' and he was like 'What Miranda' and we kind of just looked at each other for a second, just smiling away and I was like 'I better see you out tonight' and he was like 'I better see you out tonight' and I was like 'You might' and then I just walked away!"

She looks at me, smiling so big, waiting for me to say something. I don't say anything because everything she said was just one big run on sentence and it's taking me a second to comprehend. Slightly annoyed she says, "Shar, do you know what this means?"

I don't. "Um, that you'll probably see each other out tonight?"

She's huffs, "Oh my God, Noe. No. It means that he likes me. I mean we hooked up on Saturday and I haven't really had a chance to talk to him but the fact that he wasn't all awkward mean that he likes me. Or at least wants to hook up with me again. Which is more than fiiiine with me. Mmmm! So excited!"

With this she squeals and scurries over to her bed to retrieve her Blackberry. She starts typing away, undoubtedly to her two "besties," (her words, not mine) Nicole and Ginna.

"Well that's awesome, Miranda," I say genuinely. "I'm so jealous of you. I want a boy, too!"

"Okay," she says snarkily. "You could have one if you wanted one." She pauses. "You stupid bitch! You do have a boy! Shut up!"

I laugh. She cracks me up. "Okay, if you are referring to Jake, he is not my boy. I don't know what the hell he is and you are the lucky one. You have something new. And here I am, the idiot who tried to do the whole long distance relationship. Freshman year. Everyone's moving on but me."

"You and Jake..." she pauses, searching for something to say. I wait for her to call me a stupid bitch again or say something slightly rude but completely true, but instead she says, "You and Jake will work everything out. Don't worry. Either you'll be together or you won't be but whatever happens, you'll be okay." God, I love this girl.

"God I love you."

She smiles, obviously please with herself. She suddenly drops her Seven jeans and disposes her canary yellow tank top. I gape at her perfectly toned, tall, slim body and shake my head. I take it back, I hate this girl.

"Well, I'm going to work out with Nicole and Ginna, wanna come?" I don’t know why she asks me this. She asks me every day and every day I say no. I am not the working out type.

She puts on her work out clothes- a tiny little work out shirt and spandex- and pulls her long curly blonde hair into a pony tail on the top of her head. Nice little distraction for the boys at the gym. “Okay, whatever,” she says, “well, we’re going to dinner right after so want me to call you?”
“Yeah I can do dinner, but I cannot do gym.” She nods, grabs her keys and Blackberry, struts out the door, laughing to herself. She truly does not understand why someone wouldn’t spend half the day working on their appearance. I guess I can understand why someone would, but I am far too lazy for that.
Skip to later tonight. It’s Wednesday night and we are going out and going crazy. I just straightened, or burned, my shoulder length dark brown hair and now I’m deciding what to wear. My trust Hudson jeans for sure but what to wear on top? I mentally go through my closet and veto every single thing. I ask Miranda if I can borrow something of hers. She nods enthusiastically. I’m making my way over to Miranda’s closet singing along to the song that’s blaring out of my speakers- “Showstopper” by Danity Kane when I hear my phone beeping annoyingly. Immediately my heart starts to race and I get nervous. I dash to my desk , telling myself in my head, it isn’t him, it isn’t him, even though I want it to be Jake more than anything. My heart actually stops when I see that is in fact him and I try to compose myself as I answer the phone.
“Hey you,” I say, maybe too excitedly.
“What’s up,” Jake says in his cool, sexy voice.
“NothingI’mjustgettingreadywhatareyouupto?” My voice goes up about a hundred octaves and my words all blend together like a Queen song.
“Ah. Nothing. Sitting. About to take a shower.”
“Oh, cool. Are you going out tonight?” I hear panic in my own voice and wish it away.
“Yep.” All nonchalance. Pisses me off.
“Coooool,” my mood audibly lowers. I hate to think about him going out because now he’s allowed to do whatever he wants. I am too but I don’t really want to do anything else but him. Ha. How ironic. “So whets up, Jake?”
“Nothing really. Just calling to say hi. It’s weird not talking to you, like, every second of the day.”
“Yeah I know,” I think I hear a little sadness in his voice and although it’s wrong, it makes me happy. “It is weird. But hey, it’s like an extra ten hours a day to do other stuff, right?”
“Yeah what other stuff Shar?” He teases.
“Oh just stuff.”
“Oh, right. You think that because I don’t talk to you every day anymore I still don’t know your routine of sleeping, writing, eating and going out?” He always makes fun of my big appetite. Thank god, I have what must be a relatively fast metabolism or this could really get me. “I know you, Shar Peterson.” I can hear the smile in his voice and for some reason I desperately want it to go away.
“Not anymore.”
Silence on the other end. Mission accomplished. I immediately regret saying it. “Oh,” he finally says.
“Um…well…yeah…” I try to recover from this one but I can’t think of anything to say.
“So, I gotta go. Shower. Talk to you…” Later? Tonight? Please? I think frantically. “Soon,” he says instead, in a way that lets me know it may not be soon.
“Oh ok, bye..I’ll call…” Click. He’s gone. I love you.
Damn it! I scream in my head. Only, it’s aloud because Miranda jerks around and looks surprised. I throw my phone down and catch my roommates stare. “I’m an idiot. I’m a fucking idiot,” I say, defeated, and throw myself (landing and nearly breaking my phone) on my bed.
“What’s wrong?” She slowly comes up to my bed and puts a hand on my back.
I sigh, trying hard, really hard, not to cry. “I just don’t know what to say to him anymore. I’m, like, sooo incredibly awkward. It’s really hard. And….awkward. Did you hear?”
“Only your side but I can guess how it went.” Miranda says gently, honestly. She clears her throat a little and I await her inevitable advice. “Shar, I know you love him. I do. But I think…to be honest…you have to let go. A little. I’m not saying give up. Keep loving him if that’s what you want…have to do. But you have to get out there. Put yourself out there. Just a little. Please. Have some fun. Otherwise, you’re doomed.” The last bit sounds like a third graders’ ghost story but I know the other part is right.
Instead I say, or whine, “But there’s no one elsssseeee.”
“Okay,” I hear the real Miranda coming back and I know that the considerate Miranda has just left the building. “You, Noe, are an idiot. Jake is not the only guy on the planet.” She leaps off my bed and put Snoop Dogg’s “I Want to Fuck You” on my iPod. Loudly. She starts swiveling her hips like a professional stripper. She motions for me to come dance with her and although I try not to, I can’t help but give in and try my hardest to forget about the disastrous conversation that happened just minutes ago. The whole situation to too complicated and I refuse to do complicated tonight.
At around 9:30 all the girls pile into our dorm room to pregame. It’s me Miranda, Nicole and Ginna, and my two closer friends Bailey and Keslee. Keslee, being the alcoholic that she is destined to be, brings two handles of vodka- one Smirnoff and what indistinguishable. Never good.
“Okay Kes, I’m not sure we need two handles between six girls,” I say, laughing at her.
“Hey you never know what will happen,” she says, wiggling her eyebrows. None of us know what this means, so we all laugh.
Kesley is God’s gift to men. While Miranda is “hot” in every way, she is also a girly girl and probably too much so for most guys. Kesley, is sexy. She’s a normal height with curves to kill for and the best dark, wavy, long hair and mischievous, big, dark eyes. She’s very pretty and has amazing clothes that flatter in a way that’s just not fair. On top of this, and perhaps best of all, she can sit and talks with the boys about who knows what forever. And she can drink like the boys too. For all of these reasons she would be the perfect girlfriend but she doesn’t want to be anyone’s girlfriend because she doesn’t “do…that.” ‘That’ being commitment. So basically every guy on campus is obsessed with her.
(Note: If they are for some reason not obsessed with her, they are obsessed with Miranda)
Bailey is this adorable little red headed girl. When you look at her, you think she’s probably the sweetest, nicest, most innocent person on earth. Not so. Bailey is nice but also a little bit on the slutty side. I would never, ever but Bailey and innocent in the same sentence. Repeat, ever. She’s basically on the prowl twenty four-seven and can’t go five minute without talking about boys and sex. So, while Kesley is sexy, Bailey is sex. Kelsey is God’s gift to man, while Bailey is (basically) a man.
Miranda’s besties, Nicole and Ginna, are kind of the same person. Nicole is pretty in a generic way, with strawberry blond hair and freckles, while Ginna is basically the same, with ever-changing hair colors. This week Ginna’s hair is chestnut brown, which she says is her natural color. She says this every time.
“So, shots anyone?” Baileys says. She raises her eyebrows and looks at us like she trying to seduce us. Seems like she’s doing a pretty good job because we all shoot up our hands up in the air like school girls eager to please their teacher on the first day of school.
“Nice ladies. I like your style,” Miranda says as Bailey starts pouring shots. I can tell Miranda is scheming something. I can see the clocks turning in her head. I wait for her to speak, expecting something profound based on the look of concentration on her face. “Shar,” she finally says, like she has the just cured herpes.
“Tonight,” another pauses, she loves to make her audience wait, “you are hooking up with someone.” She looks around the circle of girls, waiting for praise. I start cracking up and Miranda look pissed off.
“What? I was expected you to say something mildly realistic.” I snort.
“Alright, Noe,” she’s getting worked up and for a moment I’m scared. “You are really starting to bug me. Will you get over yourself already and admit that you are hot and might even be able to do better than Jake? If you’re meant to be with Jake, then you will be. Until then you should stop wasting your time and mine and stop moping and have fun because that’s probably what he’s doing. If he’s not then he should be too.”
I try to speak but can’t. My mouth is agape. This is the shit I need to hear but no one tells me. I need a kick in the nuts every once and a while.
“Maybe you didn’t realize Noe, but college is the one time in your life when you’re allowed to fuck up a little bit. You meet people, you have random hook ups. You fall for someone, you get screwed over by someone. I’m sorry but I’m so sick of sitting and watching you suffer and act like a wounded cat. I want you to be the fun, crazy, happy Noe you are when you’ve momentarily forgotten about Jake- all the time! Believe me, you are not the only person who doesn’t know what the hell is going on, either. I think some of us just hide it better. Work on it.” She finally breathes and waits for me to say something. I don’t, so she continues.
“Noe, do something for me?” I nod, entranced by her impromptu speech. “And…do something for yourself.”
We are all a bit taken aback by Miranda’s random words of wisdom, but they really do something to me. I feel like they have been absorbed into my body and are swiveling around, stirring, creating some kind of new Noe soup. Everyone sits in silence. I assume they are waiting for me to finally say something. I see out of the corner of my eye, Bailey trying to quietly take a shot. I don’t say anything for a couple more second and then I nod my head again, more assured this time. I pick up a shot glass with an orange cactus on it that says “Why is this cactus orange?” I really don’t know what the answer to that one is, but I do know what to do next. I raise the shot glass up in the air with a smile.
“To doing something for myself!” I say with more confidence than I’ve had in what seems like a long time. The other girls starting hooting and hollering, clammering to pick up their own shot glasses.
“To doing something for myself!” They all yell in unison.
And with that, the night begins.
Maybe, Noe

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