On Wanting by Charlotte Pocock

The morning of my first in a series of near-chronic migraines, someone had taken to an add for discounted Clipper Cards outside the Rockridge BART Station with a sharpie. Black marker blurred over the black type on bold yellow paper with a question, simple in its phrasing but complex in its meaning: WHAT DO YOU WANT? It was underlined twice, the lines crossing sloppily towards the end. You could tell it was written in a hurry. Beyond the throbbing in my temples and the twisting of my empty stomach, I thought of what it was that I truly wanted. I was to take the SAT in a month– a clinical symptom of my college diagnosis– and I had already visited two college campuses, so it isn’t as if my future has not been called into question. It’s all been more about expectation than want, however. Necessity.

I cannot picture a life in college, or how I would be making a living after, but it is without a doubt the path that my life is going to go down. I have modest expectations. But since the discovery of this rushed my transit existentialism, I have begun scribbling my desires down where I can: candle wrappers, cafe receipts, lipstick price tags, the corners of my library copy of In Cold Blood, teal-stained post it notes. Here is a list of what I have comprised so far, but in this process I have discovered is that what I want most of all is to grow up satisfied with what I have. 


  • I want small and tiled kitchens and the ability to sustain plants.

  • I want coffee boiling on my stove and fresh nectarines on my table.

  • I want the sun on my collarbones and I want the wind in my hair.

  • I want the orcas outside my window and the museums preserved.

  • I want the Venus di Milo to never go out of style

  • I want my grandchildren to know the ocean as I have.

  • I want mud in my boots.

  • I want to have enough regrets to not wreck me.

  • I want gilded frames and Milan and neon lights and Tokyo.

  • I want my mother to stop worrying and I want my brother to be happy.

  • I want malt milkshakes and French cinema, rainwater and tapioca.

  • I want a thousand lives, each one with more time than the last.

  • I want more than I deserve.

Charlotte Pocock, class of 2019

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