I have this envelope in my room. It’s on a shelf that slides out in my desk. Beside it rests the box my GPS came in, the signed “goodbye” Frisbee I received from the museum, a hole-punch and a box of CDs.
I see this envelope every time I come into my room. I study it each time I sit down. I wonder every day.
On the front are typed words, normal for most, expected for most. It reads, “Business Reply Mail. Attn: Recruiting Section. Training and Development. Providence, RI … “
It’s a company out of Rhode Island that wishes me to join them out on the East Coast. This is what’s expected of most. This is what most people work through college for. This is the goal attained: a career.
They want me. They practically begged me. They’ve offered money. They’ve offered a car. They’ve offered bonuses, expenses, a place to stay, everything.
“This is what he wants,” they probably say to themselves. “This is what everybody wants.”
But I see this envelope every time I come into my room. I study it each time I sit down. I wonder every day.
On the back are hand-written words – something unusual, something unexpected, something beautiful. It reads, “I could hang out with you a lot more … ” and continues with a short message, a name and a phone number.
The Most Amazing Girl wrote that the night I met her. Of all the paper, of all the crap in my room to write on, she picked that, and believe me, I do have ample crap floating around my room. No. She chose this envelope. This large, blank, white envelope.
I see it every day. I study it every day. I wonder, do I call? Do I ask for another envelope to reply to the company? Surely the recruiters would send one instantly after all the talk they threw my way.
But I still see it every day. I study it every day. I wonder, do I call? Do I ask for another chance? Do I say to her, “You’re the most wonderful person I’ve ever met and there’s not a moment of my life which passes that I do not wonder what if … “
Do they wonder why they haven’t received my reply? Do they ask where I am?
Does she think of me as often as I think of her? Does she ask where I am?
Have they forgotten me? Have they found someone else? Does my name slip her tongue? Did they mention me to their boss? Does she mention me to her friends? Do they remember the conversations we had? Does she remember the conversations we laughed through? Does she remember me … and her … and us?
I have this envelope in my room. It’s on a shelf that slides out in my desk.
On one side is everything everyone else wants; it’s everything I’m supposed to want.
On the other side is everything I want.
The recruiters sent me an e-mail the other day expressing their concern for having not heard from me. I read it twice and looked once at the envelope.
Rhode Island can shove it.
Adam Reichenberger is a graduate student in economics and mathematics. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org