The Vermont Cynic

An Upstanding Young Crimson


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I sat there; fully aware of what was going to happen to me. I wasn’t scared, and I wasn’t nervous. I slowly and calmly told my father that I didn’t get into Harvard.

His expression changed, effortlessly. He couldn’t believe me. He being an upstanding young Crimson himself could never father a son who was a failure, a son who couldn’t get into his beloved alma mater.

He yelled at me, spouting off a sermon about potential, and how a young man as privileged as myself needs to lead a certain life. His mouth shouted wide open, he’d already taken his jacket off, and that vein in his neck was about to pop blood and guts all over me. I sat there stone faced, blank as passing faces in the subway.

I thought back to when I was born. I can’t exactly remember the fact, though I have strange, vague recollections of being thrown into a red sweater with a big white H on the front – I think a picture of me in it is around here somewhere. My mother entered the room and, like always, listened to my father, grinned, nodded, and repeated. She would make an amazing stenographer.

There they were screaming about my future, save for my sister Myla who was already in Cambridge kissing John Harvard’s foot for good luck. Who was I going to become? It’s a haze to all of us, an impending cloud in my head with too many unanswered questions. My father finished yelling, the vein settled into its rightful spot, he coughed to try to ease the pain in his throat, and finally slung his jacket over his shoulder and left.

My mother left with him, attached to his hip. There I sat, silent, full from the one sided argument that had just taken place. I got up and headed towards my room, first passing my parents’ room and then Myla’s, finally stopping at mine. I stood in the doorway and felt a sadness purposely devoid of meaning. I made my way to my desk and pulled out a letter that had HARVARD UNIVERSITY across the top.

I began reading it to myself…”Dear Mr. XXXX, we are glad to inform you that you have gained admittance to Harvard Univ…” I stopped, and slowly tore the letter into little snowflakes, dropping them into the garbage. That life, I thought, just isn’t for me.

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An Upstanding Young Crimson