The Listening Party

Personal essay that will help us to know you better. Families, intellectual and extracurricular interests, school and community events, people who have influenced, significant experiences, personal aspirations, or anything that pops into your head.


My brother lives in a "gated community," one of those manufactured neighborhoods. It was like we were driving through the streets of a toy city, a miniature suburb built for the amusement of a god-sized obsessive compulsive. I myself was steering the matchbox car, a massive and ancient gray truck I borrowed from my dad, and my girlfriend Alexis occupied the passenger's seat. Clone after architectural clone, we watched the houses float by the truck's windows. We were headed to our very first Listening Party.

I really didn't know what to expect. My "brother" Keith is actually my half-brother--Dad's first marriage--and quite a bit older than I. He's very intelligent and congenial, albeit occasionally unpredictable, and good looking for someone in his late thirties. He's just the sort of older sibling to suggest a vague "listening party" in the middle of the school week and actually inspire me to come. Plus, his friend Astrid was going to be there. She's "hip." I'm not certain what that means, but if someone were "hip," it would be Astrid. (She and Keith met in a health food store-he sells aged garlic extract and she's going to be a naturopathic...

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