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Submitted on
November 24, 2013
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sip, swallow, repeat
is the mantra of every college student
facing their inevitable unemployment with
vodka dribbling down their acne scarred chins.

put education first,
they said.
we will always be here for you,
they said.
and sure enough
the first eighteen years of your life were spent believing
them just like the teen mom on television who
believed that the father would propose.

then you turned 19
and god said,
"let there be student loans"
leaving you shackled to your dorm room floor
by economics textbooks written by a miserable spinster
with a pretentious name in helvetica font.

and if that wasn't bad enough,
you have to pay for them by scrubbing toilets
at the thai bistro across the street
and bagging pregnancy tests for antsy high schoolers
at 2 a.m. in the morning.

you're tired, slightly delirious
and the pungent smell of microwave curry
wafts off your moth-eaten sweater.

every other week you
experience an existential crisis,
wondering why a mass-produced sheet of paper
with a lousy degree stamped on it
is worth your descent into the wonderland of debt.

on thanksgiving,
you find yourself surrounded by cheshire-faced relatives
and snot-nosed cousins breathing down your neck.

"you have your father's eyes"
they say.
"you have your mother's smile"
they say.
and you suddenly realize that sympathy and divorce go hand in hand
but empathy is rarely found.

your aunt brings out the turkey
and it's dry for the fifth year in a row.
she apologizes, passes the cranberry sauce,
and somehow that's dry too.

you excuse yourself from the table
and quietly slip out the front door amid the sounds
of drunk uncles debating politics
and dogs salivating for the turkey wishbone.

before you know it,
your hands grip the steering wheel and your front
headlights have found the nearest bar.

your eyes spy the first chair available
and you think to yourself,
why
i'm practically a yogi
as you meditate on the humble phrase
sip, swallow, repeat
diary by chuck palahniuk has consumed my soul
Add a Comment:
 
:iconlawlessness45:
Lawlessness45 Featured By Owner Edited Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This piece is so brilliant, once again.  I may have commented on it already, but I just read it again and it strikes me again as powerful and lonely. Funny how you can read something, leave it alone for a while, then read it again and experience the brilliance all over again.
Reply
:iconyogateacher:
YogaTeacher Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is wonderfully wrought, very real, and titled beautifully. I suppose it'd be nice if it were fiction, but alas... Thanks for writing it.
Reply
:icontommyboywood:
tommyboywood Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
sorry, should have provided a link: fav.me/d6yzkr4
Reply
:icontommyboywood:
tommyboywood Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is hilarious, yet sadly too often true.  For my take on college angst, see my piece "'Twas the night before finals"
Reply
:iconiyraemm:
IyraEMM Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
i like how real this is. everything you write is so beautiful.  
Reply
:iconmomo-madness:
momo-madness Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014   Writer
aw what high praise coming from such a talented writer! thank you lovely :heart::heart:
Reply
:iconiyraemm:
IyraEMM Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:tighthug: always welcome.
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:heart: :clap: Oh my goodness, this is a simply incredible piece. I find it, sadly, very easy to relate to. I wish I didn't, but unfortunately… My favourite parts of the piece would definitely have to be:

"put education first,
they said.
we will always be here for you,
they said.
and sure enough
the first eighteen years of your life were spent believing
them just like the teen mom on television who 
believed that the father would propose."


and

"every other week you
experience an existential crisis,
wondering why a mass-produced sheet of paper
with a lousy degree stamped on it
is worth your descent into the wonderland of debt."

:heart:
Reply
:iconmomo-madness:
momo-madness Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014   Writer
oh well aren't you just the loveliest human being!! :heart:

thank you SO much for the wonderful comments and props to you for running another wildly successful lit roadtrip! :clap:
Reply
:icontheemptychest:
TheEmptyChest Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013
This is so true and relatable it's not even funny. 
Reply
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