Feelings best translate to the nightmarish segment of a childhood funhouse, the tunnel right before the end, it revolves in an ongoing circular motion, and through it you scamper like a gerbil in a wheel, attempting to remain upright on your two frantically blinking light-up sneakers, but the omnipotent presence of gravity trumps all. There’s an immense O-shaped beam of sunlight pouring through and perhaps your mother or friends or somebody is flinging a wrist left and right, casting a frivolous beam of laughter up at the skies, oh she’s so precious, look she can’t walk right!

Feelings best translate to the contrast between emotions upon placing Piketty’s Capital in my shopping cart on Amazon, and struggling past the first ten pages. Tackling Capital seemed like a remarkable idea until I realized my lack of time, patience, and intelligence. Feelings are my useless economics degree, and you are a 600-page Amazon bestseller. But you could be any book, really; you could be Harry Potter and I’d be both the robe-clad girl in line for Barnes and Noble at midnight, and the bible-thumper who thought Voldemort to be satan. You’d be Twilight and I, both the twihard and the English professor raising my nose at lowbrow literature; the soccer mom flitting through Fifty Shades, and the Jezebel columnist condemning its misogynistic nature. Through and through, you are the book, demand exceeding supply and comfortably nestled at the top of all lists.

Feelings are necessary and you are the sufficient; if it were diagrammed, it would parallel a logical reasoning argument like the ones on the LSAT. If I went to class, then I got out of bed. Getting out of bed is necessary, going to class is sufficient. If I think of you often, sometimes with no clothes on, sometimes with your lips on mine, sometimes with your arm around me or just even doing none of those things and talking, smiling, laughing, showing each other the things we know the other would like, and then maybe kissing on the lips and each other’s necks and quietly giggling about how nobody else would ever guess that this thing could be ours, then I have feelings. Feelings are necessary, you are sufficient, and perhaps one day those dizzying feelings will dissipate at last. After all, you are the latter half of an admissions test diagram, you are the wheel that challenged me against gravity, you are the geekonomics summer must-read I couldn’t handle. Because some things that once felt so radically innate, like asking to spend time with you, suddenly place me at odds with the bare bones of nature’s power itself, as though gravity is gracelessly rolling me off my rubber soles.

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I want to go volunteer in Ghana this summer for 3-4 weeks. I found this amazing education program for teaching English, Math, Compsci, or Science to kids. I’d teach English because I’m probably more illiterate than any of them in anything that isn’t in the humanities.

I want to spend five weeks on campus during the summer, being a research assistant for a project on economic development in western Europe. I want my name on the research project, I want the stipend and housing accomodations that come with it. I’m okay with staying in the valley for five weeks.

I have to leave home early to go back to school because of my new position as an RA. We have training and whatnot for like two weeks. I’m out by like mid-August.

The more I do, the more I feel guilty for not spending time home with mom. But it’s like she knows. She knows that I don’t want to stay home and sit around with her and drink coffee and help her manage her emotions. But I feel guilty for it. I don’t want to be home all summer though, and I feel like mom’s taking offense to it.

Maybe I won’t apply to volunteer in Ghana. Maybe I won’t get the research assistant position– maybe I won’t even accept it in the slim chance that I actually get offered the position. I’m happiest when I’m not existing to please mom, but I’m guiltiest when I’m not existing to please mom.

1) Academic advisor. Save me, please. What am I doing this summer and how is it April yet I don’t have an internship lined up for this summer? Rather, why is it April and I’m in too much of a slump to apply for an internship, and have at least twenty bookmarked on my computer but shudder every time I go to apply for one?
2) The further I get into college, the more I fear law school. I don’t know what’s going to happen with my life after I graduate in two years. I’m not sure if I have the grades for law school, or if it’s even the right path for me. Maybe I want to get an MBA afterwards. Maybe I want to do a fellowship and work towards a PhD and be a professor. I know I want to pursue another higher degree after I’m done with my undergrad, I’m just not sure what to do. Or where.
c) Let’s say I do go to law school (if I’m fortunate enough to be accepted). Where do I want to study? That literally determines where I take my bar exam, and consequently, where I work in the future.
d) What if I’m just never going to get accepted into a postgraduate program whatsoever?

e) As a side note, I’m really digging Emory University’s law and MBA programs. And a cool fact is that in the case that I can’t decide (or rather, still want to have an MBA on hand in case the job market for lawyers is actually as screwed as it is now, by the time I graduate), they offer a joint MBA/JD program. In addition to which, taking the Bar Exam in Atlanta wouldn’t be bad. Living in Atlanta wouldn’t be bad. My dad’s friend’s son works as a huge litigation lawyer in Atlanta and he’s already said that whenever I need summer placement or an internship while in law school, or even a job after graduating, he’s willing to take me in. I want to get out of New England though. I need to get out of New England.

1. I’m actually rejecting boys. Tell me when this has ever, ever happened.

2. I’m also making out with boys. Tell me when this has ever, ever happened.

3. I’m also flirting with boys. Soberly. Drunkenly. Successfully. Tell me when this has ever, ever happened.

4. I’m having so much fun with it. Who cares? This has never, ever, ever happened.

An update on my interactions with specimens of the opposite sex:

my mind is a perpetual reel of subpar justifications; it tells me i want the impossible, the foreign, the extraneous. love is that. love is all of that, and thus the far back reciptacles of my mind murmur that maybe, just maybe romance is the key to happiness after all.

the other thing my mind is, is a hypersensitive communicator of waves to whatever it is that my heart is, anyways. sound waves. light waves. phrases. the meritricious drop of some pulsating automated beat. brief glimpses of faces without glasses. the chord progression of a song that lets my heart do that little pancake flip– my beating lump of aunt jemima’s, sloppily rotating mid-cavity in this scantily dressed, decorated cadaver. beauty’s in the small things, in the way a few notes go, the way you’d tap my shoulder some mornings at breakfast and i’d turn, and you’d already be along your merry way. i saw you diana, you ignored me again?

you’re something like perfect, if i squint hard enough, you’re promising and delightful and witty and thoughtful; everything i’d ever hoped for in a guy. it happened once; my back against your chest, your arms holding onto my waist, you’d grab my hand and twirl me around and i felt unstoppable, your eyes hadn’t left mine once; i felt beautiful and unstoppable; other boys had tried to dance with me that night but nobody was quite like you, nobody. and our fingers intertwined and i brought my lips up to your face and you turned away and uttered no, i know i’d been out of line james, i’m sorry i’m sorry i’m sorry. i’m sorry she’s not a computerized image. i’m sorry i’d acted the way i did. i’m sorry the first time i’d ever actually felt perfectly at ease with a guy was with you. i’m sorry.

it’s the way those notes progress too, that goddamn song makes me so goddamn giddy, i’d posted it on facebook and you’d liked it a week later– if you find yourself caught in love, that’s what the song was called. i could never say i’m in love with anyone; i’m in love with the intangible, and the intangible is the idea of you, it’s the idea of anyone, it’s the idea that love is the one thing i’ve never tried and butchured, and therefore maybe it’s the key to happiness. right?

we drove back north on the turnpike the next morning, my vehicle x miles ahead of yours, behind yours. it’s funny how in new jersey, it’s illegal to pump your own gasoline. do you find that funny?

we waited at a rest stop, your eyes diverted from mine. i diverted mine from yours. i just want to know, don’t you find it hilarious that new jersyians can’t pump their own gas? isn’t it just a goddamn fucking riot? won’t you answer me please?

this is not a computerized image, this is in fact my girlfriend, you said. mike’s hard lemonade in one hand — although you’d mocked the others for drinking mike’s hard– cell phone in the other. she was the screen before you’d slide your lock code in, the first image that would show up on your phone.

are you drunk yet? you’re not drunk enough yet. you’re still too sober. have another.

we did.

if you’re going off to war, well i’m sorry love, but don’t be sore if i cheer the other team, ’cause killing people’s not my scene.

phone slid back into his pocket, and he set down his drink to wipe his glasses. but you’re so damn adorable without your glasses; that scene from a wrinkle in time popped into my head. i used to love that book. he found her beautiful without her glasses; don’t let them see you with your glasses off, he said.

he looked up. can you see from across the room? i snapped my head in the opposite direction.

he looked down.

i feel like i crave love as a response to the fact that i’ve done nothing but perpetually let myself down. i crave love because every relationship i have is a duty to fulfill and satisfy another. when i was eleven, i’d made a pact with myself to diminish my voice and obey every word my mother ever told me, not because mothers knew best, but because it was the only way i would be able to survive peacefully in the house. that to be her alliance, and earn her love, i had to disregard my views of who was right and wrong in the house, and focus solely on supporting her, agreeing with her, conforming to her ideals and expectations for me, because otherwise i had nobody to love me. my friendships have done little; i know so few individuals who i can open up to and trust; even fewer who can discuss whatever i’d opened up to them about. somehow, i convince myself that falling in love will resolve this. and i know i’m wrong. it’s completely illogical. but i crave the intangible– i only just threw away the pamphlets from my dream college halfway into my sophomore year. i dream of mediocre men with girlfriends, and thigh gaps that look unhealthy, and the bland universe of sex appeal and female objectification. i want to be loved, regardless of at what cost, but i’m terrified of love. i walk an asymptotal line with it; dance in tissue-thin shirts that show the brown and black detailing of my latest victorias secret purchase, but cower away if you text too much, facebook too much, talk too much.

you are security. you are safe, i asked you to hold onto my id that night and you did, we walked back with your arm around the small of my waist, my head on your shoulder, the last of a buzz eschewing profanities out of our mouthes at the other teams as we laughed. and we laughed, hearty hiccups from the depths of the crevices encased by our belly buttons and spinal cords, coughed up giddiness and sincerety, pressed the button and skyrocketed to the seventh floor of the hotel as bethedsa shrunk below us, the whole team coughing up joy, and as we sat on the bed, you leaned over and put your head in my lap. i don’t know why. and we just sat that way for a few minutes, he reached into his pocket and gave me back my license.

rhode island, huh?

yeah.

we sat in silence, his head in my lap. i should get going, he said. we have to get going tomorrow. before the storm hits and all.

i miss you and i don’t, i’ve explained us to others and nobody gets it. it scares me knowing that what i want most is the impossible, that if you became possible, maybe i wouldn’t want you anymore.

My history prof says I’m doing too much, but somehow that’s still not enough for me. I’m planning on double majoring, double minoring. Holding up an internship over the summer. Becoming an English tutor on campus.
Anything to compensate for the fact that I wound up at a state school. Anything to confirm that I’m not a failure.

I’m sorry. I miss you. I hope you know drunken words are sober thoughts. I miss that sparkle you had in your eye the next day. I’m sorry I brought things back to normalcy to maintain our friendship. I like you. I miss you. Come out of your dorm room sometime, I’m making tea if you’d like. I know you like tea. I’m listening to music, I know you like that too. Come drink tea and listen to music with me, and maybe things can be alright.