Sunday, April 18, 2010


I was accepted to nineteen schools.

The stage is suddenly lit brilliantly, harshly. The AUDIENCE winces and blinks. THE PROSPECTIVE STUDENT stands in the middle of the stage in front of a long, plain table with nineteen identical glasses of water in a row. He's holding a manila file folder.

I went to nineteen different sleeping bag preview weekends and stayed with nineteen RA's and listened to nineteen different presidents tell me not to come to their school if I only wanted the brand name experience and that I wouldn't hear that anywhere else. Nineteen tour guides told me to tell them if a car was coming, nineteen sets of people watched me awkwardly wander in late to the information session, nineteen College Prowler Off The Record books are on my bedside table.

THE PROSPECTIVE STUDENT walks upstage to stand behind the table. He places his fingertips on its surface.

I have nineteen glasses of water here. They're from nineteen different taps from nineteen different freshman bathrooms I visited on nineteen different college tours, and they're numbered.

A beat.

THE PROSPECTIVE STUDENT holds up his folder.

I also have a spreadsheet.

Another beat. He puts down his folder.

Then he starts drinking. The AUDIENCE realizes what's happening now, and they hate it. He drinks every drop from the first glass and then breathes and then puts it down and moves to the next one. There are no pauses, just bottoms up and for god's sake don't spill. It's clean. It's mechanical. The AUDIENCE's quiet murmuring turns into nervous chatter. Onstage, it is bright and still. THE PROSPECTIVE STUDENT is on his twelfth glass and shows no signs of stopping. People begin vomiting in the crowd, and then the screaming starts. It's chaos.

The PROSPECTIVE STUDENT finishes the last glass of water. He stares for a second, and then he opens the folder.