The sun is so bright in late May mornings. You can feel it cooking you as you sit on a cheap rented chair. Why can’t they do this inside? Forget the steam engine or the written word. Air conditioning is the greatest invention known to mankind.
Everyone here smells like a flower or a used bar rag. It’s borderline nauseating. Last night’s bourbon is leeching out of your pores. The worst part is you’re wearing a dress and lousy piece of cardboard on your head. Imagine how pissed you’ll be if you need to have this thing dry cleaned because you sweated through it.
There are three types of people at a graduation. There are the overexcited gushing ones. They cannot shut up about how they worked so hard and are so happy and they have such big plans. Then there is your type. They would be the hung-over crowd. They want to sleep in and have their diplomas mailed to them. You could care less about pomp and circumstance, the tune and the spectacle.
Egging the whole thing on are the family type. This is really about them and their sacrifice. College is huge money pit. They want to believe it’s going to pay off and now they think they see light at the end of the tunnel. They will digitize every moment on their Sony’s and proudly replay the instant they stopped paying your tuition. The whole lot of them look like the paparazzi at the Oscar’s.
The worst part is the seating arrangements. You sit with fellow students from your department. Next to you is the brown nosing girl who asked twenty questions in every class you had with her because she wanted to make sure the professors knew she was paying attention. Not tough questions, stupid ones.
On the other side is the guy who would never let you see his notes. He actually told you once, “How we rank upon graduation determines our ability to find work afterwards. It’s not personal, but I don’t want to lose out on a good job because you used my notes.” He said this with a smile, as if you would understand his logic. He used to wear a tie to class. You ranked one spot higher than him. Guess you didn’t need his notes after all. Douche.
If it were up to you there would be concert seating, an opening band, maybe even a mosh pit. When they called your name and you got your diploma they would let off a little pyro. You struggle to see where your friends are at. If only you could share this revelation with them. They would be totally in to it.
When they call the name “Mark Davis” you get up in front of everybody and shake some old guy’s hand. Remember to smile big and face the crowd. It feels like the Grammy’s. What’s the point?