Collegiate Placeholders

It was the first time I’d been to a ribbon cutting. Some people were excited. The rest of us were there for the champagne. We’d been called from upstairs to join the event, to make the ceremony more lively, to fill out the photos. The crowd of suits was bubbling. Calls of “Where’s Greg?” surfaced and repeated. Those of us on the periphery asked, “Who the fuck is Greg?” and “Are there snacks?” Eventually, as if on a horribly delayed cue, a man I assumed was Greg rushed past with an arm full of scissors. I imagined him running from class to class, banging on the glass of the doors, his face flush, making a cutting motion with his index and middle fingers to whoever was inside. Then he started handing them out. Women with towering hair grabbed their pairs. Greg looked out over the crowd, an asking look in his eyes. I raised my hand. I would take the last pair of scissors, I would do my part, I would help cut the ribbon. He looked at me, cocked his head, chuckled and said “no”.

I had two glasses of champagne and three shrimp-sliders before I headed back.