Vlad in Thought Catalog

Vlad in Thought Catalog January 10, 2013

This post is somewhat off-topic, but a creative non-fiction essay I wrote just went up on Thought Catalog. I’m starting to care more and more about the craft of writing, and I think it’s nice to branch out a little so I thought I’d share for any interested readers. I touch on a lot of the shit I’ve been struggling to deal with over the last year or so, like graduating and starting a new job and handling the death of one of my classmates, Marina Keegan.

It’s pretty personal, but I’d be interested to hear what readers think:

Off-White Cable Knit Sweater: It’s the night before commencement and your family is visiting. You have a solid buzz because your family stresses you out and you still have to pack four years of your life into boxes, which terrifies you. At a campus store that sells packing supplies, you notice a vintage looking cable-knit sweater with a big, navy-colored felt “Y” on the front. You imagine football captains in the fifties wore this kind of sweater and you decide that you need one. It costs too much but fuck it—you’re about to be a Yale graduate. The next day you go home and wear it for the next week because fuck it—you’re a Yale graduate.

You’re wearing this sweater when you hear that one of your classmates died in a car accident. You had never talked much, but you were in a play with her your freshman year and admired her a lot. She had a musical going up in the Fringe Festival in a few months and she would have started a job at the NewYorker in June. She was one of the most talented writers you knew, and she died senselessly, randomly, and less than a week after graduating.

She was an atheist, like you, and you have an existential crisis. This lasts a few days. In the photo of her that circulates online, she is wearing this vintage Yale sweater under a yellow jacket, and you remember that you owned the same canvas bag that she did. You laughed together when you realized that both of you had gotten it by searching “canvas bag” on Amazon and buying the cheapest one. She was everything you loved about your school and you start to wear something else.

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Vlad Chituc is a lab manager and research assistant in a social neuroscience lab at Duke University. As an undergraduate at Yale, he was the president of the campus branch of the Secular Student Alliance, where he tried to be smarter about religion and drink PBR, only occasionally at the same time. He cares about morality and thinks philosophy is important. He is also someone that you can follow on twitter.

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