Thursday, April 29, 2010

Frat House Memories, A Cautionary Fable (Part 3 of 3))



Following Eric’s reaction to my newly acquired lodgings I nearly didn’t ask my parents to help me move in for fear of them calling the health board to shut the place down, but their reaction was quite the opposite of disgust: they were downright enthusiastic to help me move. My mother was babbling a mile a minute when I told her of my decision, extolling the virtues of getting out on one’s own.

“Oh Kenny that’s so wonderful!” she exclaimed, taking my clothes out of my drawers and stuffing them haphazardly into brown paper grocery bags. “You’re going to make new friends and have new adventures and have such a wonderful time! I’m so excited for you!”

She had emptied my entire dresser and was eyeing the space it currently occupied (and would conversely free up when I left) with a look that could be easily mistaken for drug induced euphoria. When she moved to my closet and began sliding all my hangers together for quick removal I felt the need to stop her.

“Mom,” I said, hoping the combination of tactile stimulation and verbal address would bring her to the present. “I’m not moving out today.”

Her head snapped around as if she had been rear ended on the highway and the look on her face was what you might expect from someone who had: a mix of anger and confusion tinged with a bit of sickness.

“Oh,” she said, disappointment apparent and unconcealed. “Well, whenever you’re ready, your father and I are ready to help. Sure you don’t wanna move your bed, dresser, and some other small stuff today?” That was encouraging.

Whereas my mother was decidedly catholic and indirect about the situation, my father was straightforward and about as subtle as right hook.

“It ain’t no secret I like to have my “eggs” in the morning,” He said, eyeing me warily as he cracked open his morning Coors-in-the-yellow-can. “and the quicker you get to movin out the quicker I get to be doin what I like. Catch my drift?”

I nodded vigorously although I had absolutely no idea what he meant. I had never seen my father eat anything but Coors Heavy in the morning for as far back as I could recall.

Did I mention my dad is a black man? I can see how the Coors heavy would confuse some readers if they didn’t know that. Did I mention that my mother is a white woman? I figured the reference to Catholicism a few pages back would make white or Mexican the only viable options.

Did I mention that I’m a biracial child? I’m not sure if that’s the proper terminology for my condition, as I’ve heard so many over the years. Let me list some of my favorites.

- Oreo
- Blackinese (because of my squinty eyes)
- Wack (a clever mix of white and black)
- Half-rican

I apologize if I’ve destroyed the notion of the main character you've already formulated in your mind's eye, but you’re going to have to put aside that blonde-haired, blue-eyed, cargo-shorts-wearing, pop-collared, titled-visored, flip-flopped, WWJD-braceleted, jeep-driving, Abercrombie dipshit if you really want to enjoy this story.

This is the tale of a Half-rican named Ken and his experience as a frat boy, er, man. Frat man.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Frat House Memories - A Cautionary Fable (Part 2)



My mind made up, I marched past the still babbling form of Eric Fox and straight to the RA, lighting up what must have been his twelfth cigarette judging by the size of his initial drag. Eric was close behind, desperately trying to talk me down from the ledge that was this frat house dorm room.

“I’ll take it.” I said, handing him the pre-made out check for two hundred and fifty dollars and ignoring Eric. I had decided long before I got here that I was moving in.

He glanced briefly at the check and stuffed it in his pocket, producing a key in the same hand as it came out of said pocket.

“Cool man.” He said with the cigarette dangling from his lips as he handed me the key. “It’s all yours ‘til school starts. Your roommate doesn’t move in ‘til then.”

“Suitemate.” I corrected him. “There’s two of us in the suite conjoined by the bathroom right?”

He looked at me like I had asked him to shave my back.

“There’s two of you in a room. Four of you in a suite. I gotta get out of here. See you next month.”

He turned and walked away so rapidly, he created a vacuum that whisked the cigarette smoke away with him. Two guys in that one little room? There was barely enough room to turn around without smacking into two walls at once. Four men sharing one bathroom? It would be like a Sports Arena restroom, but in my house. I suddenly wasn’t so sure I could go through with this.

I tried to halt him, to ask him if he was serious, but only a string of unintelligible sounds came out. On top of that, he was all but gone. He had managed to cover roughly fifty yards in about two seconds. I dimly wondered how a smoker could be so nimble. It was no use, even if I had managed to make an intelligent query he probably wouldn’t have heard me anyway: My words would’ve been completely drowned out by the maniacal laughter of the suit-clad imbecile behind me.

Part 3 incoming this wednesday

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Frat House Memories- A Cautionary Fable (Part 1)




*The Ides of March got me. I know I've really been slacking on the blog, so I present to you a special treat: The first chapter of my college memoir. The names haven't been changed to protect the innocent or guilty as of yet, so I apologize in advance for throwing you under the bus. Don't worry though, I'll have all the names changed when I get to the bad parts. Enjoy*

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“I’m sorry, but I forgot. How much is it?” I asked.

There were three of us in the room: The Residence Assistant, My best friend Eric Fox, and myself. I turned around a full three-hundred-sixty degrees to look at every wall of the fraternity house room, although a quarter turn of my head each way would have sufficed. This room was the size of a large gym locker and smelled equally ripe. Eric balanced at the threshold, bobbing his head outside for fresh air multiple times per minute. He wasn’t going to risk dirtying his Cole-Haan shoes on the carpet.

“Two hundred and fifty dollars per month,” he said, audibly and visibly put-out by explaining this to me. “That includes utilities. Who do you know here again?”

“Lieberman. Josh Lieberman.”

“That’s right. You’re Lieber-squats buddy.” He produced a cigarette out of seemingly thin air and put it to his lips. “We usually don’t rent rooms to non-brothers, but Lieb said you were thinking about rushin. Anyway, take your time checkin’ it out. I’ll be in the courtyard when you’re done”

He then pulled a lighter out of his pocket and lit the cigarette right where he was standing. He took a long drag and exhaled, kindly pursing his lips to the right so as not to blow the smoke in my face. He then turned and walked out of the room, rubbing his shoulder across Eric’s midsection as he did so. Eric’s jaw dropped in amazement at the audacity. He turned his head to watch the RA amble over to the far edge of the courtyard, puffing his cigarette the whole way. When Eric brought his gaze back to me the look on his face suggested that he had just been asked to hold a fresh turd.

“Dude!” Eric exclaimed, wafting the smoke from his face. “Are you fucking kidding me?”

I ignored this. I was looking at what was soon to be my room and I was in heaven. The room itself measured 10 feet by 10 feet with a 7 foot ceiling. The front window faced out to the courtyard, and the back window presumably faced out to the parking lot, but the combination of tin foil, magazine covers, and duct tape that secured the window- mounted air conditioner in place made it impossible to see out of. This room was a bit smaller than my room at home which I had been living at since grade school, but I wasn’t going to bring everything with me anyway. This would be just perfect.

The room was adjoined to another room by the bathroom, which the RA had informed me earlier that I would have to share with another student. I had shared a bathroom with my brother growing up. He wasn’t terribly messy, but he was freakishly hairy. Every time I used the bathroom after him there was always new pubic hair waiting for me on the toilet seat, or on the sink, and sometimes even in the medicine cabinet. I couldn’t imagine there being multiple sasquatch roaming the earth, so whoever I would share this bathroom with would be way easier to clean up after than my brother. This was going to be perfect.

I was in my own world pondering all this, but Eric was becoming increasingly harder to ignore. He was pointing out the many layers of paint caked on the walls, the abundance of dead insects on the ground beneath the ceiling mounted halogen lights, the hole in the ceiling that was leaking some substance that was substantially more viscous than water. The shrill hysteria of his voice came up to me slowly, as if I was turning up the volume on a Gilbert Godfried talk show broadcasting live, from hell.

“…and, and I think that’s a shit stain on the carpet! I think its human shit! You wanna move in here? You think you’re gonna get girls back here? I wouldn’t hold a dogfight here man!”

I sighed, long and heavy.

“Well, do you wanna get an apartment with me somewhere else instead?”

Eric sighed back. It was a perfect echo of mine.

“I can’t bro. I can’t afford to move out of my parents place ‘til I’m done with real estate school.”

He said this wearing a full Giorgio Armani suit with matching cufflinks. I didn’t think actual cash flow was his problem, but I didn’t have the energy to waste on his problems when I had large ones of my own, namely, moving out of my parents house before I turned 20.

In retrospect, this wasn’t a problem at all, as many successful people live at home into their mid twenties and save money so that when they finally do move out, it’s into a home of their own and not into a shitty apartment like the one I was looking at currently. At the time however, living at home at 20 was anathema to a social life. At least it was in my mind anyway.

I saw it as a headline in the paper the day of my 20th. “KEN OVERTON, FORMER HIGH SCOOL ATHELETE/PROM KING STILL LIVES WITH PARENTS & ATTENDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE. PELT WITH FECES ON SIGHT.”

I imagined my friends (who also all lived at home) shunning me for newer, cooler friends who had their own apartments. I envisioned the one girl who had been kind enough to allow me to have sex on top of her to vehemently deny that this had ever happened, but mention that she had heard from guys on the baseball team that I had an extremely small penis that twisted impossibly to the right so that it looked upside down at all times. I pictured my beautiful white jeep splotched brown, soiled from top to bottom with projectile fecal matter.

That last item wasn’t destined to happen for years yet. But I digress…

To Be Continued...