The Letter Is Sent
The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.
The weekend before registration, the weekend before Spring Day, the weekend before the rest of my life… It seemed like such a significant thing when I slipped a letter professing my “like” for Heather T. that weekend and later it seemed like such an insignificant thing and now… Now I can look back on it with distance and see that it really was the impetus for a lot of things, a lot of changes. So, even if I’d soon be sorry for sending her that note, in the end I would be happy.
Everyone who knew how I felt had been prodding me to do something so I would shut up and leave them alone about it. Jimmy was the first and foremost among them and I think he was with me when I put the letter in the mail slot that morning. I think I’d finally written it the night before and I’d been working up the guts to send it to her all night. Jimmy, or someone, provided the moral support. Whoever it was did everything short of pushing the damn thing into the slot themselves.
The rest of the weekend progressed as normal. Sunday night came and it was time to camp out and register for classes. It was a Bradford tradition. The best classes filled so fast you simply had to be in line the night before or else you wouldn’t get what you were after. My freshman year it had been a practice to show up early in the morning. This year it had gotten truly ridiculous.
I was near the front of the line, about ten people down. People were bringing sleeping bags and televisions. We ended up watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the hall that night. It was the first time I ever saw it and I was amused by everyone doing the callbacks at the tiny fifteen-inch screen.
Heather T. was there too and I was trying to guess whether or not she’d gotten the letter yet. She was smiling and saying hello, but not mentioning anything to me. It was weird. I couldn’t get a read at all.
Eventually a fire alarm sounded and we all had to evacuate the building. It was later discovered that my friend Prok was up in the radio station and someone with him (I think it was Stacey) was waving a CD around at a bee that was in there and that they accidentally hit the fire alarm.
The firemen came in and inspected and they let us stay in the hall that night but it was a major fucking no-no in terms of the fire-code and it was the last time they allowed camping out the night before registration.
Eventually I got comfortable enough to get some sleep. I think I might have even laid down on one of the couches in The Useless Room for a while.