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NONFICTION I knew better than to get my hopes up. I knew better

than to think anything would have been a done deal. I just wish I had not told anyone my plan.

I didn’t get into graduate school. Which would not

have been so bad, but the Harry Potter girl from my Public Speaking class did. She got accepted into the graduate program at the fancy communications college we both started at, where she stuck it out and finished in three years. The place I ran away from after one semester.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if the comments on her

Facebook status update didn’t say “Yay! Now you can still play on the Quidditch Team.”

At seven, my father told me that he was sure I was

retarded when I was born. He used that term. But he did use the past tense. I guess that was supposed to make it less offensive.

But you feel retarded. When everything goes so wrong. Goes wrong so quickly. Δ There is a weird feeling entering the world of

nonfiction writing. People don’t just hate your story. They hate you. Or at least that is what it feels like.

Was it just you? Was it how you wrote you? Or was it

that stupid misspelling that anyone could have had on page four of your writing sample.

At some point in the two weeks where you could not

sleep as you looked over everything that you needed to do. As you looked at the several piles of paper that accounted for your writing career in front of you, you missed the second “I” in outlining.

It is that same nightmare you had senior year of high

school, of everything going wrong. But this time it is different. This time everything is just gone. A waste.

It is why you ran away from that first semester at the

fancy communications college. It is the feeling that one day you would figure out that there is not talent in the fingers that hit the keys that write the essays that encompass the transitional stages that say it all in pithy one-liners awkwardly spaced on the page, with plenty of blank space in between.

And it hurts because you thought for a moment

there was a real talent. That there was something real within that blank space. You over-stepped.

You, you thinking you knew it all. Understanding the

rational of why that piece on coming out of the closet shifted in and out of second person. As you came to recognize on the page the reasons, yes the reasons, why you, you as the narrative voice needed to shift back and forth. Why it was only honest if a piece regarding coming out of the closet had multiple narrative voices—tones. Because it was confusing.

But maybe it was too confusing. Maybe it was too

much. Maybe all that thought that you thought you put into it was not real. That is probably it. Maybe you need to rethink your pattern for crafting a narrative. Maybe you need to examine why all that white space is there.

Why you always press enter at the end of a sentence. Rather than keeping it going. Are you simply afraid of what could come out if you

kept going, kept writing on one line? Or is there a reason? A reason besides the chronic migraines that make it impossible to read blocks of text.

Who inspires you to write this way? Who are your

idols in this writing career? Don’t you know? Don’t you know what makes you

important in the realm of writing is the writers you find yourself in conversation with?

Of course you do. You wrote that essay already.

You spoke clearly that you understood that there is a larger dialogue between texts. And yes, you consider what you write as a text. Even as you write your nonfiction you want to quote Barthes. You want to be dead as the author.

But maybe you want to be dead. Since that is what

your high school guidance counselor said. She was pretty much positive that you were always an inch away. Maybe you just wanted out of school. Maybe you just needed time to think things over, figure what you wanted out of life or to even figure out what life meant as a whole.

You know that is bullshit. You don’t want to go all

Holden Caulfield on this thing. Hell, you didn’t even read that book when it was assigned. You bullshitted the bullshitter.

Why didn’t you have a back-up plan? Why didn’t you

have a plan? Why was there no planning class in the second grade, where seemingly everyone else made up their plan?

On the final questionnaire you receive after

completing your degree, they ask you if you would have done anything different with your time in college, and in the picking of this institution to attend. They give you five lines to answer.

They don’t want to know. 37

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