tales of a girl in the city

février 09, 2004

100 Things. Re: Moi. Part V: The College Years. Finally.

41) The day I moved into my college dorm was the first day I had ever set foot on its campus. I had been to New York City only once before my first day at college--for a weekend-long high school choir field trip where we performed at Bellevue and I saw a crazy man's penis and sang for an amputee ward. In that order. It says something about me that this bizarre experience did not deter me from moving to NYC for school. I'm not sure what it says, but it definitely says something.

42) I had applied almost exclusively to schools with both prestigious music programs and strong academics. I got into exactly none of those schools, and was devastated. I ended up at Barnard as a last choice, thinking that going there meant that I would never become an opera singer.

43) I met the guy I'd lose my virginity to, Gustavo, on my second day at school. We slept together for the first time about four days before my 18th birthday. He was an extremely charming person, and an incredibly effective compulsive liar who went to elaborate lengths to construct a certain level of believability around every lie he told. It took me and my friends and family about nine months to get to the bottom of all of his varied stories. Among his most amazing stunts: Calling me from an airplane phone at home in Wisconsin over Christmas vacation, using a stolen credit card. Stealing a labtop computer from a girl on my floor. Giving me a bracelet packaged in a Tiffany's box and jewelry case...that was not from Tiffany's. Stalking me for almost two years after we broke up.

44) Unlike other times in my life when I may or may not have appreciated my own good fortune, I feel 100% positive that I appreciated how fantastic college was every single day. I found it bewildering (in a good way) that my single responsiblity was to read about complicated, vastly interesting things and then write and/or talk about them with (mostly) smart people.

45) My first voice teacher in New York talked about her nipples all of the time. She had sung at The Met when she was about 19 years old. She had an enormous potrait of herself in her living room and a slightly nutty son who accompanied all of her students in his boxer shorts. She had probably had a fabulous voice at one time, but she--like many voice teachers--had no idea what made her voice fabulous and therefore made a not-so-great teacher.

46) She took me with her to sing at an opera festival in Germany the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years. The former-East German city we lived in brought to mind two words: concrete hive. I left the city often, taking long train rides to Amsterdam with a girl named Serina who told me that her boyfriend had had a leather dominatrix outfit made for her.

47) When I got back from Germany, I auditioned for a new voice teacher at Juilliard whose student had heard me sing that summer. She accepted me into her studio and so I ended up studying there for the remainder of college. "Take that!" all you lesser-known conservatory programs that rejected me in high school. *she does small, brief victory dance*

48) Junior Year it was my New Year's Resolution to see a boy named Luis naked.

49) New Year's Resolution achieved by mid-February.

50) Seeing Luis naked pretty much defined the latter half of my college experience. He listened to Edith Piaf on Saturday mornings. For two years we had drama and great sex and 3:00 in the morning on his rooftop. When asked once, while sitting at our favorite bar, why he kept doing a funny (sexy) thing with his lower lip, he smiled and said, "I'm diverting my kisses." He was a heartbreaker and a man-child who looked great in white t-shirts. Even when it was terrible, it was wonderful.* College.

*Rose-colored glasses? On.