An automobile, a vibrant yellow sportscar, pulls up to the front of the school. Its mirrored windows reflect the faces of a large crowd, waiting breathlessly for the car door to open. A man steps out of the driver’s side, dressed in a formal suit, with the roguish appeal and smile of James Bond, the famous 007 agent.
He walks around the front of the car and helps his date get out. The two of them stride hand in hand towards the school as flashes go off and people point at them. As the beautiful couple enters the building, an old station wagon chugs its way through the parking lot. I get out, wearing a jacket and tie, and run toward the school. My hair is disheveled, and my socks are mismatched. I am running late because I had started reading a good book earlier that evening and lost track of time.I reach the front doors of the school, and glance at the glass reflection. A thin, slightly balding man stares back at me through black framed glasses.
He is wearing a corny tie, which is a little too small, and a belt, cinched up tight. He pats down his hair, smiles, and a little glint of suppressed laughter appears in his eye. Happy with the world, I open the glass paned door and enter.I catch sight of some of my friends, grouped in a circle, each sharing the story of where they had been since graduation. I step right in and listen in on the trials of the Bar Exam, the little things a wife can do to annoy you, and a chance encounter with the President, before she had become President. My turn comes, and I begin my story.
I had gone to college, as most of my friends had, but I stayed longer than I originally planned. The company that hired me for my first Co-op was so impressed, that they offered me a job right then. I loved it there, helping to design new products for people, and I loved the challenge of working on many projects at once, but I loved school more. I arranged to Co-op with them each year while I worked my way up to a masters in Mechanical Engineering. It took me a while because I kept taking classes in History, Politics, and other humanities to enjoy myself, learn, as well as to broaden my resume. I still work for that company, and actually hold a patent or two. I enjoy working on new problems, always trying to find the best way to make something. I begin to describe my latest design challenge, when I notice my friends’ eyes are all glazed over.
Realizing that the problems of transmitting information to a construction robot on the moon was not as exciting to some as it was to me, I apologized for rambling and remained quiet for the remainder of the conversation.The rest of the night, I rambled from one group of friends to another. I told some of my brief stint as a soccer player in college, ruined by a bad knee, which I always mentioned with a groan and a rubbing of the knee itself. I also mentioned how I was still a soccer referee, and bragged how I sometimes did some professional level games. I also tried to get one of my friends to sponsor the soccer team I coached. We were trying to go to New York to compete in the regional tournament.Later that night I left, whistling and humming to myself.
My pocket was full of street and email addresses, and my date book had enough lunch dates to satisfy the hungriest or loneliest person in the world. My book, a final refuge if all had gone wrong tonight, laid untouched in my inner pocket. I drove off, more happy with my life, than jealous of a yellow sportscar.