The Idealist

Everyone needs that first entry to establish his or her purpose; this just happens to be mine. It is actually a character sketch of myself that I wrote a year ago. As such, some things have changed: I currently do not attend college in Iowa, and instead live in a dorm 600 miles away; the "Tower of Babel" has been re-organized and resides within my entertainment center with my other books; and my 'significant other' and I are no longer together. Nonetheless, my personality characteristics are still intact, as are my insomniatic tendencies and soft spot for Playstation 2 games.

She is in bed, awake, spinning herself around in her sheets until she is tightly wrapped in a chocolate brown cocoon. It is cold, and if it wasn't for her mother, who is also an insomniac, she would creep into the hallway-taking care not to step on the creaky floorboards-and turn the furnace up. She looks up at the half-painted ceiling, debating about whether or not she should read a few more pages of Ethan Frome. She sighs, rolls onto her right side and squints at the electric green numbers across the room. It is four o'clock in the morning.

She rubs her eyes and reaches for her glasses—a pair that she refuses to wear in public because she believes that they are too large, too silver, and "absolutely horrid." She flicks on the lamp next to her bed and is momentarily blinded. Blinking, she glances around her exceedingly tidy room.

Her mismatched, yet color-coordinated black furniture is perfectly aligned with the floorboards and house her self-bought computer, DVD player, and personal library. Above her, a large, renowned photo of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's hangs on the wall. Inspired by the photo, a "chandelier" now brightens a once-darkened corner in her room, and gold accents highlight the black-and-white photographs that dot the room. Two white flokati rugs lie parallel to her bed and window, and, as she sweeps the room, she notices that one of them is misaligned. Rising out of bed and straightening it with her toe, she smiles to herself, thinking of how her family would once again accuse her of having OCD. She straightens the pile of schoolbooks that rest at the foot of her bed, and re-adjusts the clock on top of the computer, its harsh, green numbers scolding her for being awake at such an hour.

Plopping down into her black, leather computer chair, she looks at the stack of books in the corner that patiently wait to be read. Dubbed "The Tower of Babel," the pile contains works of Jane Austen, William Faulkner, and Friedrich Nietzsche. A copy of the Apocrypha and the book "What's So Greatabout Christianity?" anchor the stack. She struggles to think of what she will read next; her indecisiveness once again hindering her from making a simple decision.

Aware that she has a headache, she rubs her eyes again, as well as her forehead, and even slaps her cheek a bit as her fingers slide down to her neck. She gazes at one of the numerous photos of her and her boyfriend of more than two-and-a-half years. He is in college as well, though he attends what she stubbornly believes to be a mediocre state university three hours away. The distance is incredibly hard, and so she thrives on the short, mostly inane phone calls that they have throughout the day. She misses him terribly, and has taken to occasionally playing a game with herself; imagining that at that moment, he is in the same room as she is.

She is, in fact, playing the game now, visualizing his fluffy, golden curls hidden underneath her comforter. She thinks of his sapphire eyes and is reminded of a well-known, Elton John song. "HOLD ME CLOSE, YOU TINY DANCER," she sings to herself in a loud whisper, her mouth exaggerating the lyrics. She suddenly finds the house too quiet, and so gets up to flip through her alphabetized collection of CDs. After some deliberation, she picks out Shiny Toy Guns, an eighties disc, the soundtrack to Shrek the Third, and a mix that one of her best friends made her. Placing the mix in the first slot of her stereo, she turns up the volume and waits for the CD to whir to life. "Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone…" James Taylor's voice echoes throughout the room.

She suddenly feels an overwhelming sense of loneliness, and wishes that she had someone to talk to. Since her friends are obviously asleep, her ‘significant other’ is three hours away, and her mother is finally exerting a rhythmic pattern of snores, she thinks about writing in her journal. However, she has a problem that inhibits her from being completely truthful in her computerized notebook—she has a hard time being honest with herself. Or, rather, she believes herself to have certain negative characteristics-those that label her pessimistic, criticizing, and brusque-and no one can convince her otherwise. She fails to believe that the people she loves see a girl that full of potential, ideas, and imagination.

With that combination, they believe that she could be a writer. Nonetheless, she deems herself a dilettante—a collector of books and occasionally played Playstation games. So instead of turning on her computer and succumbing to what she believes could be a good essay, she picks up the top book from "The Tower of Babel" and crawls back into bed. Thankfully, she finds herself falling asleep after reading only a few chapters, and so she places the book tenderly on the floor and gently removes her glasses. She fastidiously smooths her comforter and blankets around her once more before turning off the light and placing her head on the vanilla-scented pillows, waiting for her dreams to transport her through all the stories she's already written down.


  1. ^ Hi ^
    I liked the nostalgic button better when below it, it said "take me back". Oh well times change. You know, reading these excerpts has been a task but a joy. Good luck with the career and enjoy life as it comes.

  2. Thank you for your honest criticism. I think I removed it for the technical reason that Blogger had it appear twice. However, I'm thinking of yet another redesign, so I appreciate your suggestion.

    Thank you so much for reading. Blogging itself has become more of a task; life does keep me from it, which can be good. However, it is also saddens me that I cannot chronicle as much of it as I would like. There are just far too many things to remember.

    Again, thank you for sticking with me and reading through old words. You have no idea how meaningful that is to me. I, too, wish you the best of luck in your life and your world.



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