panic at the station
Sophomore year’s clocked-up my free time. Last summer I made some core promises (to my mom) to go harder on the pre-med track. Perfect grades are ok, I’m told, but they’re underdog, alone. So, this year, my “spare” time is split between hospital volunteering and a (nominally) paid research project. The goal of all this hustle is to pad my resume up, as proffer, for a 2025 med school slot. I’ve never felt so observed, judged and weekend-less, but playas gotta play.
Last week, Peter (let’s call him my BF) was invited to some random alumni event. He wasn’t excited about it, but he thought, “Ooo, free meal.” Actors and doctoral students are all about free food. Then, after he signed onto it, they told him the group was going, by train to Washington DC, on an overnight trip (all expenses paid) where they’d visit the White House and meet the President.
They took the train through New York and down to DC arriving late at night and then they had to meet in the lobby, the following morning, at 7am to get COVID tested for the White House. He said the White House experience, and the meet-and-greet seemed surreal. While he didn’t get to meet Joe, he shook Jill Biden’s hand, and in a parting, fog-headed moment, suggested she “have a good one.” (Hopefully, she did.)
As an extra, on the way back, at union station in DC, they heard gunshots and there were a few tense moments where they saw people in the station (outside the train) running about in panic. Eventually, security pronounced everything safe. A man WAS shot in the foot but that passes for a calm night in DC. All-in-all the event and train travel made for an exhausting trip for poor Peter.
Bizz, BIZZ-BIZZ-BIZZ At first, the alarm sound seemed unreal and unimportant. I opened my eyes and through my three, open dorm windows, I could see stars still flickering busily, like light off of so much broken glass. “What?” I mumbled.
“I have to go,” Peter said drowsily, as he kissed my forehead, “it’s getting early.”
It seemed I blinked, and he was gone. After he left, I woke up several times. The silence seemed heavy, almost solid and it easily pressed me back into sleep.
clocked-up = busied-out
core promises = inescapable swears
underdog = expected to lose
Proffer: “present (something) for acceptance.”
weekends = a mythical time to catch up*
Copyright © Anais vionet | Year Posted 2022
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