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Anais Vionet Apr 4
It’s monsoon season here in New Haven,
gone, are the banked, fluorescent colors of sunset.

This feeling hit me, like a rogue wave.
“We have to go out tonight,” I announced, to no one in particular.

I think I’d hit my capacity for monotony.
Lisa looked up from her book.

“The moment has to happen,” I continued,
with an animal-like awareness of the immediate,

“For the ****** ****** imaginary
and as something to cherish in backward gaze.”

“I’m for that.” Lisa shrugged, almost indifferently - she was used to my purple prose.
“I’m buying,” I announced, to no one in particular.

“Then let’s DO this thing!” Sunny called-out from her room.
“Where are we going?” Leong asked, poking her head out of her room.


I took an m-cat practice test earlier today.

In the dorm, before breakfast and the test, I was staring in the mirror.
“Hey you, where ya been—how ya been?” I asked myself.
I followed up with, “Are you ready for this—are you up for this?”
Lisa stuck her head in the bathroom, “Psyching yourself up?” she asked.
She’d be taking the test later too.


The tests took about 6 hours. I’ve taken the downloadable ‘practice tests’ but not strictly on-the-clock. There’s just something about sitting at that official, green terminal - on an uncomfortable plastic chair, being timed by officiously grim and callously indifferent bureaucrats. (#chefskiss)

I felt like the young, haunted governess in ‘The Turn of the *****’ by Henry James. Except my ghosts were my entire, immediate family - who’ve taken this test before me and done really well.
My mom’s apparition hovered over my shoulders - making a snarky noise when I picked certain answers.
My spectral brother sat by a window, feet-up on the desk in front of him, boredly checking his watch.
My intangible sister sat at an empty terminal, as if she too, were taking the tests, and finally Step (my stepfather’s doppelgänger) ghosted in, like a Spielberg effect, through the closed classroom door, periodically, to voice his support.
The place seemed positively crowded.

I got a 507 (out of a possible 528), in the 76th percentile (they said). Not good enough (yet).
I’ll take the real test in July (sigh).
In order to get into a med-school you have to take the mcat (medical college admissions test).

*our cast*  (a reader asked, ‘who are these people?’)
Lisa, (roommate) 20, grew up in a posh 50th floor walk-up on Central Park South, Manhattan. A Molecular biophysics and biochemistry major.

Leong, (roommate) 20, is from Macau, China - the daughter of a wealthy industrialist and a proud communist (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it). A molecular, cellular, and developmental biology major.

Sunny, (suitemate) 20, a cowgirl from Nebraska and also a molecular, cellular, and developmental biology major.
Anais Vionet Mar 20
(There’s a song for this: ‘Confessions’ by Sudan Archives)

I remember it like it was yesterday (it was yesterday).

I arrived on a cool (42°f), blindingly sunny New Haven afternoon. It was as if they’d opened up that troubling ozone hole just for me.
I was as happy as I’ve ever been to be back. It was as if New Haven actually meant freedom.

I’d opened the door to our suite, dragging every bag I own.
After intense hugs, I'd said, “PIZZA - NOW.”
So, Lisa, Sunny and I, after some debate, selected Town Pizza.
Town Pizza’s specialties are those thin, gourmet pies with crust-free cauliflower crust, oil (not environmentally problematic tomatoes), topped with panda cheese and tofu.
In a shocking development, I got the cheeseburger special which I hit like a vape. †

SO, the three of us were there, happily devouring. Not bothering anyone, when this guy stopped at our table to offer us salvation and introduce us to - whatever (yadda yadda yadda)

I didn’t catch the entire pitch; I may have momentarily dozed off.
“No, Thank you.” Lisa said, politely but dismissively.
Not taking the hint, he reached into his cheap shoulder bag for pamphlets and began a new tac.
“Go away.” Sunny said, unblinkingly, but he jabbered on, showing the unaware persistence of long covid - like we were interested or tolerant.

“I’ll show you my bra if you’ll shut up,” I said, with my best deadpan face. Lisa and Sunny shrieked with several kinds of outraged laughter.
He became a statue, like a Twilight Zone episode where time stops for one person. A second passed during which he didn’t blink or breathe. “eheheheheheheh* I toned, like a buzzer.
“Two late!” I gameshow said, shrugging, “You didn’t verbally accept, sorry, I don’t make the rules.”
He shook his head and walked away—with Lisa and Sunny giggling and waving him off stage.
Our mission was accomplished. We’d defended our water hole like lionesses.

A few minutes later Lisa said, “He DID shut up, I’m not in law school, but I think you owe him a flashing.”
“I guess he wasn’t in law school either.” Sunny observed, between bites.
“I’m taking this to the supreme court,” I promised.
“How did the supreme court get to decide every ******-little thing?” Lisa asked, biting her abomination flavored pizza.
slang and notes…
devouring = eating like barnyard animals
Twilight Zone = More, so much more, than the most creative moment in man’s evolution. *
panda cheese = Ok, I made that up because it sounded gross.
† the author, in no way, endorses vaping, vape-related consumables or accessories
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: ******: considered cheap and distasteful

*our cast*:
Lisa, (roommate) 20, grew up in a posh 50th floor walk-up on Central Park South, Manhattan. She shares my major (Molecular biophysics and biochemistry) and is easily the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen in person (and she’s sensitive about it). Our tastes match, in everything (fashion, media, music, humor) except men.

Sunny, (suitemate) 20, is from Nebraska, she’s a cowgirl (seriously, she has a quarter horse and barrel races). She’s an outspoken fem-facing ladies-lady whose life is an endless parade of ‘sleepovers.’ Sunny always knows all the best gossip and she’s somehow befriended all the professors.
Anais Vionet Dec 2023
Lisa and I wrap and rap for Christmas.
Can you imagine the two of us doing that?

We’ve got Christmas playlists going
Christmas scented candles glowing,
a tinctured but milky hot-chocolate flowing.

“Stir the marshmallows with the candy canes,”
Lisa says, like that’s something she had to explain.

We’re humming, singing and laughing,
and dancing because we’re happy.

We’re dashing to finish our wrapping,
we can’t have our suitemates catching
us executing the plans we’re hatching
to surprise them with gifts, enchanting.

The paper’s exotic, delicate and glittery
bought at Boyars Gifts, in New York City.
Why do the scissors keep getting lost?
Getting low on scotch-tape - we’ve used a lot.

We’ll be putting them, sneakily, under the tree
where they’ll add glamor and tease to our festivities.

I love the lights of the season - I love giving gifts.
For me, playing Santa is as good as it gets.
(BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: tinctured: mixed with alcohol)
Like Christmas tunes?
Stream my (free) unique Christmas playlists.
Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!
Anais Vionet Nov 2023
In numerology twelve has special meanings - they’re twelve days of Christmas, twelve months in a year, and Taylor Swift’s had twelve number-one albums. All we care about at Yale, are the twelve days until Thanksgiving break. This semester has seemed as long as waiting in line at the DMV, or holding one's breath under water.

My roommates and I are like family, heck, we spent last summer together. The combinatorics of eight girls bonding as tightly as we have are redorkulous. We’re not Disney-family, of course, at times there seem to be too many noisy, unruly, competitive and occasionally combative kids in the car and university life has its unforgiving undercurrents too.

Success can seem fleeting, to students at the top levels academically - as fleeting as the last quiz - and in this environment, where every paper is expected to be unique and brilliant, the stresses are multiplied. We’ve been told, since we were six, how important grades are, we’ve slaved tirelessly to master our numbers and letters and we’re continuously and rigorously evaluated, as we ascend our various academic ladders.

All the while, ticking and bomb-like, is the knowledge that there are only ‘X’ number of seats in med-schools, law-colleges and associates hired on wall street. The result is, we can be wounded, deeply, by a red pencil mark or the most casual, conversational inflection of a professor.

We’re told that there are general subjects to avoid - like money and religion - I’d add grades to that list. While there’s nothing like the euphoria and pride that comes from being effective, the truth is, universities are elaborate competitions where winners, losers and future opportunities turn, to a large degree, on grades.

I’m in my dorm-room, hunched over my laptop like a miser counting her gold. I’m going over my grade spreadsheet and giggling, quietly, with delight. Lisa comes up behind me, like a ninja, “What are you giggling about?” she asks, leaning over my shoulder to see my laptop.

I jumped, guiltily, like a teenager caught surfing ****, and pressed the screen-lock button, in mindless reflex. “JeeSUS!” I gasped, turning towards her in laughing irritation, “don’t DO that!”
“Oh,” she said, “you HAVE to show me now,” moving in even closer.

I unlocked the display with a sigh and my fingerprint. She scooped up my laptop - not waiting for permission or explanations. Her eyes swept the spreadsheet like a bitcoin miner and after a second, she asked, “You made this?”

“Yeah,” I said, with pride, adding, “‘Melon’ helped,” (lest I lie and take all the credit). Melon’s an ex-roommate of my bf who’s got several PhDs in math (One in ‘computational mathematics’, a second in ‘mathematical modeling’ and he’s working on a third in ‘decision sciences').
“Clean,” she said, scrolling it up and down and chewing on her bottom lip. “Why were you hiding it?” She asked, handing the computer back.
“I don’t know,” I shrugged, “grades can be radioactive.”
She nodded, understanding and asked, “Can I get a copy?”
“Sure,” I said, saving it and forwarding a copy to her. The little Mac made a ‘whoop’ sound.

Roommates should share everything.
Anais Vionet Oct 2023
Hold the phone, hold the freakin’ phone. Lisa’s got a boyfriend!
I’ve never seen Lisa with a boyfriend. Lisa draws men like fireworks on a dark night but I’ve never seen her keep one. I mean, it’s not unbelievable but it’s on the edge.

Then, one Friday evening, he came to visit. His name’s David - “call me Dave,” he said, meeting eyes and offering micro-expression smiles as he nodded around the room. Knowing he was coming, our suite’s common room was full, as if everyone came to see Lisa do a dangerous magic trick.

Dave’s got a young, Michael Keaton vibe going (the original movie batman), with a cocky, easygoing confidence and comedic snark that suggests he has everything under control. He’s 26 years old, about 5’11’ (a little shorter than 5’9” Lisa in heels - but he doesn’t seem to notice or mind), with brown eyes and unruly brown hair.

With some cagy sleuthing (I asked) it turns out he met her at her father’s (company's) Christmas party last year! I was there - and they’ve been secretly communicating for ten months!! How did I miss that? My situational awareness is obviously porous, and unreliable - was the room spinning?

You know, I hadn’t really focused on it before, but one of Lisa’s flaws is that her feelings and opinions don’t always show up in her expressions - it’s very annoying.

I’ve always been interested - umm, obsessed - with fashion. If I weren’t going into medicine, I’d have majored in fashion (called ‘Interdisciplinary Studies’ at Yale). Anyway, Dave’s been “dropping in” for the last few weeks - every Friday afternoon - arriving from Manhattan in his (my guess ~$6,500) business attire. What does Dave’s fashion sense tell us?

His business suits (charcoal-gray or olive-green) are Brioni, his dress white shirts are Thomas Pink, his ties Hermès and his shoes are Santoni. He’s slim and well tailored. I give him 5 stars.

If his work attire is lux, his casual attire speaks volumes as well. His weekend wear is a white dress shirt, open at the collar and jeans - both crisp and starched to hell and back. The long, stiff, white shirt sleeves are never rolled up. The jeans - deep blue and new - have a razor sharp crease down the front and his shoes are burgundy, Timberline, boat shoes with no socks. That outfit screams (Texas) oil money.

“What is it you DO?” I asked him, that first night, as Lisa was off getting ready to go out.
“I’m a “M & A weasel,” he said, shrugging nonchalantly. (that’s Mergers and Acquisitions, if you don’t know - with one of the Morgans - JPMorgan or Morgan Stanley - I can’t remember which).
He’s one of those reviled, monied, ‘Wall Street’ guys. Yep, he‘s in control of everything.

“Tell me about you.” he said, giving me a serious, intense look that held immediate charm. He seemed relaxed, his suit coat off, his white dress shirt glowing in the suite’s soft lighting.
“I’ve got the highest GPA in Yale’s pre-med program,” I informed him, adding, “ my opinion.”
He chuckled (which, of course, made me like him more).

You know, life in an education bubble can get tedious. Sure, it fills our days from edge to edge and satisfies our basic needs but it can be stifling - a faraday cage filtering life into carefully measured doses. Come Friday nights, we’re ready to hit it.

One thing I like about Dave is that he wants to be one of us and he’s never tried to peel Lisa away for himself - I think that shows an ease and generosity of spirit. Did I mention that Dave’s a Yale alum? He KNOWS New Haven.

The first night we all went out, it was the whole clan - my roommates, the girls in our sister suite, Dave and Andy (a friend of Sunny). We went to an expensive harbor restaurant to get to know Dave and seafood-martini celebrate. We had an epic time. Dave fit in like family.

I’m kind of used to paying for off campus stuff because some of these girls are tight and I’ve got a bag, but when the waiter brought the check, Dave and I found ourselves both reaching for it.
“May I?” He asked, with his Keaton-like smirk. “This time,” I said, with my own shrugging smile.

Later, back at our suite, Dave’s heading back to his hotel (less than a mile away) and slowly, quietly, saying goodnight to Lisa by the front door. “You’ve got some awfully long legs,” he said, like a 1940s black & white movie gumshoe. Taking her gently by the back of the neck and waist and twisting her tall, thin frame in a dancer’s backbend dip where she hung, suspended in his arms.

“I’d like to shimmy up one of those legs like a native boy looking for coconuts.” She chuckled.
Leong and I, sitting on our red corduroy couch, exchanged eye-rolls and smiles - he’s a romantic goof, but somehow, he carries it all off - right down to the kiss.
Fashion 411 - the business attire - how did I know?...
Brioni suit (Italian) - the buttons, mother-of-pearl, are delicately engraved with the logo ($6000)
Thomas Pink shirts (British) - there’s a faint, near invisible fox's head logo on the cuffs ($200)
Hermès ties (French) - silk, equestrian motifs, hand-rolled edges, giving them a 3D look $250
Santoni shoes (Italian) - there are crown symbols on the soles $800
Anais Vionet May 2023
Chick-fil-a = the best place ever
jade = *****
brooke = gorgeous
mishin = the boss, as in “You aren’t the boss of me.”

We’re on vaycay. School is OVER, COVID is over. We’re in New York City and we’re doin’ the town this time. Lisa told me, “You showed me Paris last summer, now I’m going to show you New York City.” Her mom, Karen, smiled and gave a little sideways, “Yes, yes we ARE’ nod.

Leong and Sunny, two of my Yale roommates, and my BF Peter are staying in Lisa’s (parent’s) 50th floor Manhattan apartment for the week. The apartment is singularly stunning, with its all-glass views of Central Park and the city, but it only has five bedrooms - so we’re doubled up a bit.

One of the things that makes Manhattan chick-fil-a, is that the Broadway theaters are 15 minutes from Lisa’s door. You step out, whirl around Columbus Circle and you’re on Broadway! Minutes later, you’re in your seat, Oh, and don’t forget to get the cinnamon crusted almonds.

We saw ‘Bad Cinderella’ the night before last - that was only a ‘West End’ show (I’m learning to be a Broadway snob). Tonight, we’re going to see Hamilton. Last night, we saw ‘Hadestown.’ I didn’t know anything about ‘Hadestown,’ but Leeza (Lisa’s 13 year old sister) has seen it three times now.

We’d just finished lunch and Lisa started off a debate. “Is Orpheus (one of Hadestown’s leading characters, played by Reeve Carney) superhot - the hottest man alive - or is he the littlest jade ever?
“He’s brooke,” Leeza swooned dreamily, fanning her face as if it’s hot, “I’d definitely hit that.”
Lisa gasped, “shutUP, you aren’t “hitting” anyone.
Leeza’s been driving Lisa up-the-wall all morning. We had Pancakes and bacon for breakfast and Leeza’s been all rude and maple sugar buzzed ever since.
“You aren’t mushin,” Leeza snorted, and as Lisa gave her a threat-laden look, Leeza finished with, “that man can get it.”
I’ve seen this before - and these sisters are heading for it.

Leong adds “Orpheus sees a submissive woman in distress. What he thinks he sees, is a typically beautiful woman, by societal standards, who he knows nothing about - and he’s like, ‘I want to marry you.”
Sunny leaned into the conversation fiercely, saying, “He doesn’t KNOW her! Wouldn’t you just punch that guy in the face?”
“Probably,” I answered, laughing, “if he weren’t in a frigging MUSICAL!”

“Excuse me,” Lisa interrupts, “you’re telling me that this scene doesn’t perpetuate the idea that only looks matter?” As one of the most beautiful women in the WORLD, Lisa is sensitive to objectification.

Sunny adds, “One reason to cancel him - I assume we’re trying to cancel him now - is that he sees a woman in distress and says ‘that’s the one, the love of my life,’ - a beautiful woman who can’t survive on her own.”

“She didn’t need him,” I suggested, “he was a burden on her.”    
Peter, who’s been working away on his laptop, looked up and said, “I can’t tell if you’re joking.”

Leeza, snarked, “Then go back to your little coding.”
I think I gasped and Peter looked a little shocked.

When Lisa, who’d gotten up to get some ice, heard that comment from Leeza, she said, “THAT’S IT,” in a steely voice.

Leeza, who was sitting with her back to the kitchen on the huge white sectional, had a millisecond to look over before Lisa pounced on her. She came in from her backside rolling over onto Leeza, trying to cover her mouth.

Leong, and Sunny, who’d never seen these to wildcats at it before, squealed and flinched out of the way. Peter, an only child, found this delightful and hilarious. He burst out laughing with glee, as he too, cleared some space.

“You’re trying to silence me!” Leeza yelled, giggling and grabbing Lisa’s arms as they got into a full, sister wrestling, flailing ball of hair and arms. Rolling off the couch and onto the floor. “SHUT UP,” Lisa demanded at the top of her voice.
“She’s trying to silence me!” Leeza howled again, “I will not be silenced!” This match continued for a hot minute until Lisa got Leeza’s arms pinned with her knees.
“Apologize!” Lisa said, out of breath, as she began to ponytail her hair.

“Excuse me,” Leeza yelled, herself gasping for breath but trying to blow strands of her red hair out of her face and wiggle free. “I’d like my lawyer - get OFF me - you ******* Karen!”

When that doesn’t work Leeza starts yelling, “HELP, MOM, ****!!” at the top of her lungs.

Karen, on a laptop in a glass walled alcove just off the living room, had seen the whole everything. Folding down her laptop lid, she stuck her head out and said, “Girls.”

Then Michel, their dad, is in the doorway, “What are you two doing?” He asked softly.

The fight immediately broke up, Lisa and Leeza sheepishly disengaging. “Nothing,” they said, together in near perfect union. Lisa gave Leeza a wide-eyed, tilted head look and Leeza said, “I’m sorry Peter, I was only foolin’ around.”
“I know,” Peter replied, chuckling, “but it was worth it.”

Sunday - drum roll please - this Sunday (Mother’s day), we’re going to see Taylor Swift in concert.
On Monday, Peter and I jet off to Paris (and Saint-Tropez) for 10 days. He’ll get to meet my Grandmère and Uncle Remy - I’m SO hyped.

I’m squeezing a lot into the first three weeks of summer. My fellowship starts June 1st, and that’ll take all of June and July. I can’t wrap my head around being a junior next year. Where’s the time GONE?
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Laden: something heavily loaded with something, literally or figuratively.
Anais Vionet Mar 2023
Darkness has pressed up against our lattice windows. Classes start again in the morning. I’m being reabsorbed by college life. I’m a planner. I’ve been going over my syllabuses, repacking my bookbag, charging my power banks, checking and rechecking the assignments due tomorrow. After watching me prep for hours, Peter said, “You’re not going to the MOON.”

Peter asked me last Friday, “Are you excited for Monday? (I’ll find out if I get my fellowship.)
“I’m more excited about tonight,” I said, “I like going out on the town.”
“Wow,” he said, “you’re so different - not like the other girls at all.”
“No!” I said, laughing, “We’re stuck in a rut, we only go to one or two places, ever - if we go out at all. When people come to New Haven, I need places to take them - places besides pizza. At home, in Athens (Ga), I know twenty places - this is RESEARCH.” I assured him.

Peter settled back into his doctorate-fraternity-house yesterday. Tonight (Sunday), there’s music in the suite, the crazy noises of people and the comfort of returned friends. All the roommates are back, greeted with hugs and kisses, as they dragged in their luggage.

Lisa arrived with dinner, for 10, from Dominick's, in Manhattan. Spaghetti, salads, rolls, extra sauce - in six, small, suitcase-sized insulated bags. It was a logistical marvel. It’s only 90 minutes from Manhattan to the residence - we didn’t need to rewarm anything. “I KNOW we could have just eaten in the dining hall,” she said, shrugging, “call it zany - one last hurrah.”

Everyone seemed happy to be back. There were travel stories, questions, and laughter. Oh, and Zeppole, little powdered sugar custard desserts that seemed the worst for travel. Everyone seemed to have an eye on the clock though. By 11pm the suite was quiet. Très unusual.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Zany: foolish or eccentric

A song for this would be “Kennedy” by feeble little horse
Anais Vionet Feb 2023
Ever played rose, bud and thorn? It’s a game where you go around in a group of friends and share what’s happening in your life. A rose is something good, a bud is something hoped for, and a thorn is a problem. Yeah, we’re hopeless oversharers.

My rose today is the weather. I wrote a piece a week ago complaining about the lack of snow in New Haven. The next morning it was 2° with a wind chill of -30°. My roommates gave me the evil eye - like I somehow brought it on. “God doesn’t listen to me.” I ‘d said, defensively.

My thorn is, Anna’s parents are here for a few days and she’s very on edge. She spent yesterday with them but today they’re coming to our suite. I was surprised when I first saw them, they’re straight off the farm (if the farm was in the 1800s). They seemed to huddle together, defensively and consulted each other so quietly that they buzzed like a hive of bees.

Her father, a very tall man, was wearing a plaid flannel shirt under a long, thick, dark gray, Dickies coat (it says Dickies on the pocket) and jeans. He has a medium-long white beard and a black-felt, wideawake hat which he worked slowly in a circle by its brim (I think that would qualify as a comforting gesture).

Her mom, Abeba, the spokesperson for the pair, is a thin woman with mostly gray (used to be brown) hair. She was dressed simply in black high-top shoes, a plain, deep green, floor length dress under a sweater and long, thick, gansey shawl with matching barrette.

When I reached out to take her hand in greeting, she regarded me with a coolness I found unnerving. All the other parents I’ve ever met were friendly, even huggy, on introduction.
“They’re Quakers,” Anna said, (note the “they’re”) like that explained everything. When I looked confused, she reached out her hand, at arm's length, and touched me lightly on the upper arm with her index finger. After a moment she revealed, “That’s a Quaker hug.”

Anna had said they were quiet, “judgy” people - and here they were, in our common room, judging the books on our shelves (With titles like, “this book is gay,” “Good girl complex,” “The big **** *** book”) the clothes on the furniture, the laptops on the floor, the “art” on the walls and the disarray in the kitchen. They kept hat and purse in hand, as if they were expecting a fire drill. They’re a whole new category of houseguests.

At one point, Peter came out of my room, dressed in shorts and t-shirt but drying his hair. Sometimes he showers in my bathroom after working out. He smiled warmly at Anna’s parents and said, “Hi, Peter,” offering his hand to Anna’s father, Milhous (Peter can be very charming when he wants to be). Milhous stood up awkwardly and shook his hand, “Good day,” he said solemnly.  

Anna’s mom however, seeing Peter come out of my room, blushed from top to bottom and gave me a look that was worse than any spoken disapproval. The top of my head seemed to grow warm, but a glance at Anna revealed that she was embarrassed to her core, and my blooming irritation faded.

Imagine living under these passionless despots your whole life? I gave her a smile and moved on emotionally. Her parent's disapproval was so banal it was almost laughable.

Anna’s so happy, hilarious, bold and brilliant - the fact that these dour, sour, saturnine, in-the-margin sodbusters produced her - seems random - one of the wonders of the universe.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Despots:  cruel rulers who have total power.

In-the-margin = unimaginative rule slaves
Anais Vionet Feb 2023
I shaved my legs this morning. “Alexa, put dinosaur Band-Aids on my shopping list.”

Once you get in the college routine, time speeds up
One minute you’re young and carefree
the next you’re young and free-time free.

MIT guys

A group of MIT students were visiting Yale for some event. Sophie, Anna and I were in the residential dining hall. I’d finished eating and I was trying to read, when this group of MIT guys swauntered in.

My impression of MIT guys is that they’re short and they flirt a lot. They’re all over the place, like they’re manic or on holiday and they think they’re going to pick up girls. (on a Tuesday night)

One guy said, “I’m new to the area, could you help me with directions to your house?”

Another came up with, “I’ve just become religious, ‘cause you’re the answer to my prayers.”

“What are you up to tonight?” This short stranger asks, leaning rudely on our table and acting like he’s lookin’ to get inside-the-ride.

“I’ve gotta read two chapters before tomorrow,” I said, somewhat annoyed with these dinkheads. They finally decided (realized) we’re boring and moved on to other female diners.

standing in line

Americans seem to love lines. I hate standing in lines. People don’t line up for things in Paris. There aren’t “bus lines.” The person who guessed right and is closest to where the bus door stops and opens, or the quickest person or the most ruthless person will be first on the bus. There aren’t any lines at cinemas or the boulangerie (bakery) or even at the Apple store - Apple tried to impose American style order - but #forgetaboutit.

possible mistakes

“I want a blonde boyfriend,” Leong said out of the random last night,
”and dye my hair blonde.” Leong’s from Macau, China. Her glossy, cornsilk hair is a sumptuous curtain of raven black.

“Noo,” Anna and Lisa said, almost in unison.
“I’d trade you,” I said, freely offering my baby blonde rat's-nest.

“There’s an individual,” Leong began, “I see when leaving chemistry class, who has the most beautiful head of frosted blonde tips. Let me just show you,” she says, pulling up her phone.

“You got a picture?” Sunny asked - she loves stalking.
“No!” Leong snorted, insultedly, “Investigative research on Instagram.”

“Is this a potential mate?” Sophie asked.
”I think it’s a suiter,” Leong said, slyly smiling, to laughs all around.

“Woah, Let me see em!” Lisa said, reaching for the phone.
“Gimmie!” Anna demands too.

“Should I project it?” Leong asks, waving her phone around to protect it.
“Hells, yes!” Sophie practically shouts.

“So, it’s the frosted tips that get you?” Sunny says, “Ooo, PSA, if you’re a man looking for a beautiful Chinese lover..”

Our 55” TV becomes Leong’s Insta feed and the pic pops up.

There’s a second of silence. “I think it’s a girl,” Lisa said, squinting and tilting her head.

We all study the pic. Is this the right person? I wonder.

“You may be a Lesbian,” Sunny whispers, before the room descends into chaos.
swaunter = saunter with swagger
inside the ride = get an invitation to something.. personal.
dinkhead = immature morons
Anais Vionet Dec 2022
My roommates are all up and about. It’s finals week and everyone is hustling about. Lisa came in from an early exam, it was snowing lightly, she looked right at home.

“How’d it go?” I quizzed.
“E-Z,” she replied, shedding her long navy coat and mango cashmere beanie. After dumping it all on her bed she joined us in the common room. “Blue State (coffee) is closing,” She announced.

Leong gasped, “What?”
“Three of the four Blue State locations are closing,” Lisa confirmed, “not Orange Street.”
“Why?” Leong moaned.
“What are you why? Lisa queried.
“They’re so popular!” Leong exclaimed, “There’s always SO many people in there.”
“That’s real,” I chimed in, “those places are packed and noisy.”
“They got bought out,” Lisa attested.
“By whom?” Leong wondered.
“By another coffee company.. maybe,” Lisa guessed soothingly.
“Oh, I hope so.” Leong stated, sounding depressed.
“You know what? Lisa added, “rumors were thick that Book Trader would close too.”
“No!” Leong bemoaned.
“I’m happy to announce that they’re not.” Lisa assured, “That’s something to celebrate.”
“I love studying at Book Trader.” I professed.
“And their bagels..” Leong mentioned dreamily.
“Oh, yeah,” Lisa agreed, “so good, so cheap.”
“Change is ineluctable,” Anna sighed.  
“WHAT?” Leong replied, looking confused.
“Inevitable,” Lisa told her, “change is inevitable.”
“Then just say that.” Leong grumbled at Anna, who shrugged.
“I need to go support my favorite coffee shop soon,” I declared.
“Which is?” Leong inquired.
“Coffee with a K,” Lisa and I blurted out, both at once. “It has an intimate, date spot vibe,” I explained, “and the chairs that are perfect for putting an arm around someone.”
“The Benjamin and Acorn (two on campus coffee shops) are going to be so crowded.” Sunny stated, joining the conversation as she started putting on her shoes to go out.
“True THAT.” I agreed.
“Common Grounds Cafe,” Sophie revealed, coming from her room, drying her hair with a towel, “bought out Blue State,” she confirmed. “it was in the Yale News.”
“OK,” I pronounced, satisfied. “Perfect.” Lisa declared. “Thank God.” Leong agreed.
“Coffee’s important.” Sunny proclaimed, picking up her coffee cup and book bag. “See ya!” she waved to the room absently, with her coffee cup, as she opened the door and stepped out.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Ineluctable: an unavoidable fate, inevitable.

A writing exercise to see if I could recreate a multi-person conversation, from memory, without using the verbs “said” or “asked.”
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