I came home this afternoon and found the mail at the bottom of the stairs, and at the bottom of the pile was an envelope from Washington University in St. Louis. A thin one. It wasn't for me obviously. I've already experienced the horror of applying to colleges and I don't think I could go through it again. It was for my brother. Poor guy. For those of you who don't know Jake, he's the type of guy you can't imagine being rejected by anybody. Friends love him, girls want him, my parents worship him, and teachers wish every student could be like him. He's also hilarious and I love him. I once asked him how he manages anxiety and bad thoughts. You know what he said? "I don't have those." I would be jealous and resentful but I accepted long ago that Jake and I are just different people and he got the better chromosomes. Anyways, you can imagine how much my faith was shaken when I saw that envelope with Jake's name on it. I went upstairs to found him watching t.v. on the couch.
I said, "Hey, theoretically, if you got a letter from Wash U would you want to open it right away?"
He goes, "Yeah, why? Did something come?"
"I mean... maybe. Well, yeah. It's small though, buddy. I'm sorry."
And then it was weird. He looked (for the first time since I can really ever remember), vulnerable and a little scared. He didn't say anything, just followed me downstairs, saw the envelope, and cursed under his breath. I tried to make him feel better by reminding him that it's just a deferral and not a rejection, but honestly, the difference is negligible. Either way it's not an acceptance, you know? He looked so crushed and I blurted out, "What are you going to do now?"
"I dunno. Apply to all my second choice schools."
"No I mean what are you going to this minute? Like right now." He shrugged and I was confused. If I were him I'd DO something. I doubt I'd go and binge, because I'd be too depressed to eat. I'd probably cut myself, skip work that night, stop studying, and go to sleep for a loooooong time. Maybe even get drunk. But it has been almost 45 minutes since Jake read the letter and you know what he's done? Nothing. He has been sad. He went on his computer and checked the Wash U website to see if anybody else from his school got in... nobody has. He felt a little bit better for a minute or so when we discovered that... then he felt sad again. Now he is watching videos on YouTube. Is this a joke? Where is the wallowing in self pity? Where is the torment toiling? WHERE ARE ALL THE BEHAVIORS???? I am literally sitting across the room from him, just watching and waiting for him to do something like pull out a gun and shoot himself but so far nothing.
Around the same time he got his letter I got a response e-mail from the registrar, giving me a list of my grades from Freshman and Sophomore year (I've been wondering lately what my GPA is and I finally got around to asking). Here we have it: A-, A, A-, A+, A, B+, A-, A-, A. I was so pleasantly surprised! I don't mind bragging about grades because I'm chubby and grades are all I have.
Poor Jake. I'm going to buy him a burrito.
Also I realize my title makes no sense.