A Statement of Purpose-Related Short Story

The monitor taunted Collin with every word he had written. Paragraph upon paragraph of why he was the right candidate for the country’s top graduate programs in neuroscience laughed at him, beckoning him to make even more adjustments to the Frankenstein’s monster his beautifully crafted opus had become. He firmly planted another cigarette butt into the mountain that was steadily rising within the silver ashtray on his desk and rubbed his temples slowly.
“I’ve spent over a fucking week on this piece of shit and it’s already gotten worse!” He grumbled.
“Relax, bro!” His roommate began. “Let me roll up another one so you can get some inspiration, or at least a break,”
Collin turned towards him slowly. The light from the monitor revealed a gaunt face that bore a look of frustration, rage, and exhaustion combined; the shadows upon his face only made the sight more unnerving.
“Don’t you think I’ve already had enough to smoke, Thomas?” He rasped as he jerked his thumb towards his ashtray. Thomas huffed in annoyance as he reached for the stash in his drawer.
“You know I hate people calling me that, bro,” he said. Collin turned back to his computer silently and stared at what he’d written so far. A list of suggestions for his opening sentence greeted him:
Curiosity is what has driven great minds to reach the conclusions…
There have been three constant factors affecting me and…
The words mocked him: he imagined a chorus of scornful onlookers clad in dramatic masks standing around him, their malevolent voices jeering and singing the words back to him with contempt.
Curiosity is what has driven great minds to reach the conclusions…
There have been three constant factors affecting me and…
Collin’s fists trembled. His heart pounded in his chest; the mere sound of it tempted him to punch a hole in his computer. But he couldn’t afford another computer, and every college student’s life lay within the things. He instead slammed the screen shut, causing the imaginary crowd to vanish.
“I can’t take this anymore,” he whispered. “Fucking work, tests, Carrie on her goddamn period this whole week and now this,”
“Just take a break, quit burning yourself out!” Thomas repeated. He’d finished rolling a joint-the third tonight-and was clumsily searching for his favorite lighter. Collin did not answer his roommate as he got up to find his shoes and jacket.
“Where you goin’?”
“Taking a walk.”
“It’s one AM, bro! Just chill with me and hit the sack and you’ll be fine tomorrow morning!” Collin was not in the mood to tell his roommate to piss off, nor was he in the mood to get high, oddly enough. He threw on his jacket and stuffed his pack of cigarettes into one of its pockets.
“I thought you said you’d smoked enough?” Thomas asked in annoyance. “So now I’m supposed to have this all by myself?”
Collin simply huffed and made his way out the door.


About optimistthepessimist

Always in transit.
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