How many people felt like that guy

Published on Jul 2, 2020

There was an odd post on Facebook between you and [[dave]]. A movie based on a book about an author you and I wanted to read, but couldn't ever seem to. We were just getting in the habit of reading finally what others considered the good stuff. And reading this author was going to take us over the horizon.

We were more confused back then. Sometimes we liked this because anything seemed possible and sometimes it felt bad because the worst seemed the most likely.

I was so alone on this night. I had walked all the way to the east edge of campus, but I could see the light to her roommate's bedroom on I had to turn back and walk all the way back to [[Westcircle]] alone.

It was in the library while trying to do my homework that I saw this post. And in my phone there was a text from you about how this guy had been such a promising writer. On Wikipedia I learned he published a short story while very young. I wanted to read it, was so driven, that when the article turned out to be behind a paywall I signed up for a New Yorker account using my parents' credit card just to read this one story using their online PDF reader that was reserved for older editions of the magazine.

My dorm had always been so messy that I didn't like to be there unless I had to. Still, I hated the feeling of coming into the overheated, bright, salty air of the 24/7 library. My fingers and cheeks were still numb when I finished this short story. And immediately there I knew I wanted to write a short story as well.

I cancelled the account before the free trial ended so that my parents' credit card wouldn't be charged. And I hadn't thought of saving the text of the story in order to read it again. I guess I never imagined that I'd want to. But after that I reiterated that story in my head for years. The echoes not only stayed in words, but in my actions and feelings. I walked around acting like that guy. Watching the world see me as that guy. It's funny to think about how many people have seen themselves as that guy.