Thursday, November 03, 2005


I was buried.

My dad has always loved me, I think more than anything in this world. If it came to it, he would sacrifice himself so that I could live another day. But dad most likely suffers from Adult Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which causes the most well-intended person to hurt those around him. At the start of college, I was in many ways a newborn, a Hobbit on his first journey away from the Shire. All my young life I hoarded my essence, guarded it against all assailants. My dad couldn't touch it, not my mom, my step-mothers, the bullies at school, my teachers, the apathetic and bitter women I looked to for solace--nobody. At times they seemed like devils, scratching, clawing and digging for the secret place, trying to tear me down and remake me. So down I sank, down in a burrow where I waited for the long winter to pass.

My first day on my college campus, I felt a surge of euphoria, more than any drug can induce. I was free, free from the shackles of my family, free from the perceptions of my high school classmates, free to be whoever I wanted to be.

Nobody could stop me.

I didn't go to college to study, or to become anything. My only motivation was escape. And girls. My first year at Goldsworthy was a wash. It was an all-guys dorm and we all sat around and talked, played D&D, smoked pot and complained about the lack of opportunity. I moved to Stephenson Hall the next year into a co-ed environment, and that worked out a little better, but still I wasn't satisfied; I needed an edge. And that is when the brilliant idea of joining a fraternity hit me.

I rushed informally the latter part of the year at a few houses that had good reputations, but I committed a few critical faux pas that I do not wish to share. Let's just say, that "cool" for me was an act, and like my beloved Cowboys, I was good for 58 of a 60 minute game, and then my defense gave up the long ball.

So the next year I entered into the formal rush process, and as I described in previous posts, I became a pledge of the Fiji house.

And life there was good for the most part. I had a sort-of girlfriend almost from the start, but she dumped me cold, like she dumped the guy before me, and left me comatose on the couch for a few days, attracting a few God-He's-Pathetic looks from my brethren. Jeff introduced me to a friend of his girlfriend, and that worked for one night in a hot tub, then she dumped me because I was too chicken-shit to go all the way--I was practically if not technically a virgin, believe it or not. In fact, I was doing quite well at this point, meeting lots of girls--but I still wasn't satisfied. Now I was complaining about the talent level, like suddenly I was Don Juan.

I had one case of fatal attraction, a sweet girl from a sorority that shall remain unnamed. They were pretty much the only house that looked up to us and wanted to have joint functions. We had a dance with them and she took to me like a duckling to its mother, and I spent the dance with her. I walked her home and she obviously wanted a kiss, so I obliged, but only in a friendly way, minus all the mashing and grinding. She called to thank me the next day, and then called the next and the next. I finally told her that I had a girlfriend. If you have ever had to do this, you will understand what an awful feeling it is. I was awash in guilt.

From talking to members of other houses, and seeing the girls that hung out at and around their houses, I felt like I was really missing out. My impatience grew with the smallest of annoyances from my house. It was getting close to the time where pledges would become members, and little rituals were starting to occur. Each pledge had to face the entire membership that sat in the dark with candles lighting up their faces, as the president spoke in monotone and the mindless crowd intoned their ritualistic replies. It felt like a cult.

Little things, like getting us up at one in the morning to wash dishes, started happening. The pledges had to answer the phone when it rang, and we had duties to perform, such as waking up our brothers at times they sign up for, like a wake-up call from the hotel desk. Rituals became more frequent, and each made me feel just a little more stupid. I started fighting with the members.

We all slept on what we called the sleeping porch, which was basically what would normally be the attic. Dormers opened up to the outside, which had to be kept open according to fire code, so winters were quite cold. Two members tripped up the stairs and into the sleeping porch, drunk and stupid. I was fast asleep with most everyone else until they decided to talk to one another from across the room.

"So I fucked this bitch, and she had whopping hooters," Chris said.

"Nice!" Bill laughed like the over-loud drunk he was.

"Guys," I interrupted, "People are trying to sleep; can you hold it down?"

"And," Chris continued, "I told her I had a vasectomy, and she got all worried when I came. She was all like," his voice went falsetto, "'I thought I felt something.' So I told her 'it's ok, even though I've had the operation I still produce the fluid, only it doesn't have any sperm.'"

"And she bought it?"

"Shut the hell up!" I said. Charlie, on the bunk next to me opened his eyes and looked at me with a grin that said go get 'em.

"Hook, line and sinker," Chris said as he laughed.

"Oh MAN! What a stupid bitch!"

I got up, went downstairs to the kitchen and got a pitcher of cold water and brought it back upstairs.

"Ok, who wants to talk now?" I heard Charlie giggle, but Chris and Bill had suddenly lost their rapier sense of humor.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Chris said. I walked over and turned the pitcher at an angle over his head and let a single drop fall on his face. He slapped at it and looked me a warning.

"Pledge, you are making a huge mistake."

"There are no pledges or members up here, only a bunch of guys trying to catch some sleep. Instead, we have to listen to your fascinating story about inpregnating some girl that was stupid enough to listen to your bullshit."

Charlie laughed out loud.

"You better walk away or you are going to regret it."

"And I better not hear another fucking peep out of you tonight, because there is plenty of regret for everybody."

I suppose that was the beginning of the end.


Eve said...

Scott, this is good. I could feel it, hear it and almost touch it.
I, too, went to college to escape. That's when I changed my name from Evelyn to Eve - new woman, new life. Nobody knew that I was a social failure and I blossomed in that atmosphere. Glad I didn't join a sorority - I would not have held up well in that environment. Girls can be quite mean and that's pretty much what I was escaping from. Good post!

jenbeauty said...

Good for you Scott! I always thought it was horrible what some of the pledges had to go through. So many houses make you give up who you truly are. Takes a man to know when to stand up for himself.

I was lucky, we did not haze. Only really small things and no humiliation. I would have been like you if any kind of humiliation had been involved.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Can't wait to see you get busted!! ;-)

Tee said...

Wow - gotta read what comes next!

So interesting to see how men talk when women aren't around (well, not all men!)

Beth said...

Yeah well, my husband had a vasectomy and you still do have all the fluid, but none of the sperm so who's the dumbass? Both of them I guess!

Scott said...

Eve - So you know the feeling then. College is a place to recreate yourself, and it is a wonderful time to boot.

Jen - I never had a choice about standing up for myself, it was just inside me to hate the system. It sounds like you found a nice house to be part of.

Toast - Ha, we'll see about that!

Tee - You said it, not all men. But an amazing percentage has been represented here.

Beth - I suppose she wasn't so smart either, but do you blame the girl for contracting herpes because she had unprotected sex, when the guy knew and didn't say? Maybe so, even in that extreme case, but is it morally equivalent?

Shesawriter said...

"There are no pledges or members up here, only a bunch of guys trying to catch some sleep. Instead, we have to listen to your fascinating story about inpregnating some girl that was stupid enough to listen to your bullshit."

LOVED IT! Laughing my arse off. Thanks for the chuckle.


Moni said...

Good story Scott, I can't wait to read what happens next. ;)

The Zombieslayer said...

Scott - Some fine writing. Really ticks me off that some guys still think like that. Could you imagine if a child came out of it when he finds out he was the product of a lie?

none said...

The beginning of this post is truly wonderful. You are a wordsmith. Do you write short fiction to market? I am wondering since I don't know your history and haven't read much of your blog.

I am not a big blog reader. Sorry.
I almost didn't comment. A letter forthcoming when I get caught up with my work.

Scott said...

Tanya - You are most welcome, glad I could give you one.

Moni - Hopefully Monday. Thanks for coming by!

Zombie - Yes I can, and he was bragging about it. I guess we were all young once, but man.

Janie - What a nice surprise your comment is. Thank you so much. So far I haven't published anything. I hope to though. I wrote one short story (that needs some editing) that you can read here. I have it linked on the side. It's called Played Out.