I Cheated

Listen, University, we need to talk
I really wish that I had been more upfront about this
But I’ve been seeing other colleges
I said you were the college of my dreams
But I’m not sure what my dreams are anymore
I made a commitment to you
But sometimes I feel like committing made me need to get committed

What do you want to know about him?
He’s beautiful
I like that he’s more prestigious
That when I got in a girl in my bio class told my friend
“I didn’t know Ariel was that smart”
He’s ranked higher than you
When I’m with him people look at me differently
Like I am something
When I’m with you they look at me
Like I’m going to be something
I don’t like the people you hang around
They’re nosy and noisy
They join frats and talk about beer pong on the admitted students’ page
His friends ask about books
And really ask
They dig into the writers and eras
Yours just talk about hating the rival school
He is only three hours away
And he’s close enough to my parents that they can visit
But you want me to move across the country for you
To abandon all I know
And sell my soul to the West coast
Next him you’re fat
Your enormous
And I feel lost in your excessive flesh
He’s small
A mix of familiar faces and places
Yet new scents and tastes
I feel like when I’m there I matter
You make me feel insignificant
Just a damn number
And I know
That was the thing you thought I liked about you
#1 film school
26 in my major
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in merit scholarships
But sometimes I feel like you bought me
He’s more expensive
Too expensive
He knows that he’s world class
Everyone tells me that you are the one
That you will open doors for me
Before I walk into every room
You’ll make me famous
But my closest friends
The people who actually know me
Whisper his name in my ears
And I smile
I like the fact that your past loves
Are George Lucas, Judd Apatow, Shonda Rhymes
And that being with you puts me on their level
But yet I still feel ashamed to wear your shirt
Because although I once thought that you made me worth something
I feel like I’m settling
I hate that I have to stand up for you
Tell everyone how amazing you are
That this is a big deal
(And so am I) goddammit
When I’m with him they know
I know
I hate that I need everyone to validate me
That I need a fancy name to put on the back of my car
That I feel beneath everyone unless they are being dazzled by something
By me being exceptional
Because my greatest is fear is being ordinary
Scratch that
My greatest fear is that my greatest fear is being myself
Because I am mundane
And that shreds my soul
The thought of being a spec on no one’s radar
At least make me be an unseen iceberg
Let me sink something titanic
I don’t even feel like I know you
You aren’t the unattainable dream I thought you were
Sometimes I wish I didn’t even apply
I spent so much time trying to attain you
I worked so hard perfecting essays and plays and samples
(My supplement was over 30 pages)
The thought of giving you up is unheard of
Because I’m bound by this “once in a lifetime opportunity”
 But maybe mine is the wrong lifetime
Maybe the right lifetime
Is the girl who has been making movies since she was ten
I’m a poet
Not a screenwriter
And I don’t think I’m adequate at that
Tonight my mother told me that I will never make it
I have no talent
And that I’m living a delusion
And all the connections and reflections and inspections
Will never transgress me from being nothing
Because that’s all I have
And I believe her
Because mother knows best
That I’ll never exceed the rest
I’m a high school girl not fit for the men
Because when they separate us I won’t even fall with the boys
So I put on his sweatshirt and lie on my bed some nights and cry
With him I feel safe
I feel at home
Appreciated by people who see things in me I never thought to see in myself
Sometimes I don’t want to go back to you because
You terrify me
I’m not sure if I know you
And I’m not sure if I know me
And you tell me that I am good enough
I’m not sure if I can handle someone who loves me
Who wants to pay and care for me
You’re challenging and more intense than even I am
You want me to become a better me
And make you a better you
While he just wants me to improve
Just wants me to adhere to his standards
To mold in his community—which already is a close fit
You’re distant and foreign
I don’t know if I can discover all of you in time
But I was talking to one of the girl’s who’s been with him
And she says that
Terrifying can be good
And there is something
Terrifyingly wonderful
Mysteriously mystical
About you
And I enrolled in you
I committed myself to us
Even though I don’t understand who I am yet
Because there are only a few degrees of feeling
Between fear and thrills.


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