One-Page Narrative 5


January 4, 2008
A Memory of a Time Alone

At college I consume three Nalgenes of water a day. My body is accustomed to those three liters, so I can dehydrate myself if I forget to drink for a few hours.

Lying on my bed I try and figure out what is bothering me. Something is driving me crazy. I have a terrible taste in my mouth. All I want is something substantial—something satisfying.

I drink more water around other people. Speaking and interacting is enhanced with the throat-lubrication and mind-refreshing qualities of water.

I still don’t know what I’m going to major in. “So what is so special about your school other than good foreign languages?” I remembered my grandmother asking me. God, I don’t know.

If I spend many hours alone in my room, I will forget that I need water.

Maybe I should just take a nap. Actually I’m really hungry. I want to take some more candy bars from the Cook Commons office. I really shouldn’t. Oh right, I still have seventeen apples and oranges accumulating in my room that I have removed from the dining hall. I will have an orange first.

Although it’s all I need, zillions of unresolved thoughts fly through my mind and drinking water seems insignificant compared to my increasingly perturbed state.

Four years is nothing unless I make it something! I have to remember this. I have to mark my time with meaning. How can I balance human relationships with personal accomplishments? I don’t want to waste time “hanging out.” I want to spend quality time with people instead.

My eyes sometimes get dry and exhausted. The colors in my room seem too bright.

Shit. I have so much work to do. I am just staring at my economics reading. If I were under time pressure, I would have finished this chapter hours ago. These concepts are easy. What is wrong with you? Why would you want to put more pressure on yourself? There is absolutely no reason to need time pressure to complete assignments efficiently. Deal with it. Stop whining. You are so lucky.

If I do realize that I am thirsty, the blue Nalgene seems too far away to be worth a walk for a sip of water. I become lazy.

Who are you to complain about anything? Here you are, at the heart of American privilege, in a beautiful place with amazing resources, people, surroundings, food… and everything. What is the matter with you? Maybe I should drink some water.

Finally I will move and chug. I can gulp a third of a liter in one sip if I need to.

Oh, right. That’s what I needed. Okay, time to finish this chapter and then meet them for dinner.

I can deal with the other issues later.


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