Tomorrow, I return to Poly Prep, the place I spent much of my time in for eight years of my life.
Unequivocally, it’s somewhere I hate.
I spent most days by myself sitting with a blue tray at a lacquered table eating whatever glop they gave me or curling up in the fetal position somewhere isolated.
It’s a place that always made me feel bad about myself, that nearly killed one of my friends, that produces more and more people who hate themselves as opposed to a gain in any sort of self-esteem.
Yet, near all of my inspiration, all of the ways I’ve changed throughout college have been reactionary to my experience there.
Even if I’ve had to run away from Poly, it gave me something to run from.
I walked by there drunkenly one night with a girl who didn’t care to much for me and a flask of Jack that thought it did. As I passed by its bars, I shivered, it felt like vooodoo, I needed to get away from this place. I felt like if I got too close, somehow I’d become the person I was again that this world I had so carefully constructed for myself with some measure of self-esteem would collapse or implode or just vanish.
Meanwhile, the girl I was with swung from the poles of the gate.
Later that night, I tried repeatedly to kiss her by the basin of the East River. It was cold and the park we were at was full of hoboes and midnight joggers. She kept on pushing me away, but our history was so fucked up by that point that I didn’t know whether that was a come-on.
I ended up going home when she tried to bite my tongue.
God damn Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and the 95th St stop of the R train.
You’ve taken my years and some happiness, but you won’t take me.