|This is NOT the guy that worked a middle-management job|
at my beloved 'piac and donned the suit but I can't find a
photo of him so . . . this will have to do.
Let me set the scene. It's December, 1997. I'm finishing my first semester of my senior year and I've already made/announced (there was a prime time special on C-SPAN about it - it is where LeBron got the idea) my decision to leave Quinnipiac early to finish undergrad school/start graduate school at The George Washington University. I had already wrapped up all the classes I had to take to graduate and I could blow several grand and just drink my face off for fourteen more weeks on 200 pristine acres in Connecticut or I could head off in to the world and get a test run at city living and politics, etc. Candidly, I had also started to rub some of my long-time friends a wee the wrong way (I was sorta' bored Senior Year and, newly minted at 21 I did what any lame, cliched college kid would do . . . drank a lot) and realized I might "get" while the "getting" was good. How perfect was my timing? Let me tell you about my last night on campus . . .
There was an annual tradition on campus on the Wednesday night of the last week of fall semester classes - the staff and administration of the college (it is now a university) would cook and serve a holiday dinner to the student body. There was a hay ride up and down "Dorm Road" and there was a Santa out front to take photos and trade barbs with. We never missed this meal. A) It was a FREE meal long after we had run out of meal points. B) It was fun. C) We could get a tractor-drawn ride to dinner while drunk. We started drinking in the mid-afternoon (we were all seniors, come on) and we rode up the road and to dinner with mugs of peppermint schnapps with a splash of hot cocoa. We ate. Talked official garbage to Santa (I was in my own Santa suit). We ate. Drank canned beer from a back pack. Talked with friends and invited everyone back to our place for a keg party. Because why not? My stuff was packed. My peace was made. Let's finish this.
Around 7PM we boarded the hay wagon to go home. I was very drunk. Peed off the side of the wagon drunk. Told a woman I'd always had a crush on that I had, well, always had a crush on her drunk. We wandered back in our suite and went back to drinking. Photos were taken. Laughs were had. Around 11PM a very good female friend of mine showed up (after about 100 phone calls to her dorm room (she had a final in the morning)) and we kissed in the back stair well (this was a big thing for me - stop laughing). We decided around 11:30 PM, after about a gallon of beer and a liter of schnapps each we should PROBABLY go get something to eat. As the fates would have it a sober woman, who had always had a crush on my roommate (who had a girlfriend and loved her very much, I should clarify) showed up JUST then and we designated her our designated driver. We drove a few miles to a diner where, ironically (?), I had breakfast the morning I went on to Quinnipiac's campus for the first time. We were all-caps DRUNK at this point. And in NO condition to be in public. Something about the meal (and the copious amounts of booze after) had NOT agreed with me. We got seated in the exact center of the place - tables all around alternated between our peers and families minding their own business. We continued to drink canned beer from a back pack and ordered grub. Right around the time my food was delivered I grew bored of the confines of a diner. What is one to do?
Cross the street and buy a pack of smokes (no, I'm not now nor was I ever a smoker) and some adult magazines - of course - and then walk aimlessly about for a bit before returning to the diner (purchases in hand). I basically rallied the troops and we paid our bill and we left. It starts getting fuzzy from there, frankly. I remember riding back to campus with someone I barely knew. I remember going to about three or four other suites/apartments on campus before heading back to my own abode. I remember it being about 1 AM when I rolled in to my suite (and by "rolled" I mean screamed at the windows until one of my suitemates came and let me in). I brushed my teeth for sure (it made me, uh, "ill" to do so). I went to my room where there were two girls in my bed (no - not in that "let 'east' meet 'west' way" but in that "Whoa, whoa, whoa, are those two girls I barely know ASLEEP in my bed? That is MY bed way." and my roommate was in his bed desperately trying to get to sleep despite having our designated, designated driver AND one of her girlfriends trying to get in his bed with him (again - he loved his then girlfriend very, very much) for what MIGHT have been the "let 'east' meet 'west' way." I did what any good, loyal, roommate and friend would do - flatulated. Really, really aggressively and told all four girls to get the eff out and then pulled out my smokes and adult magazines and implied things were about to get odd with or without them.
They left. My roommate thanked me. Mocked me. Thanked me. Went to sleep. I left the suite and hit the campus. I don't think I had an agenda at that time. It just became obvious to me that I might never sleep on that campus again. Might never share night in that space again (all this was irrational - I had Senior Week in May). I walked, aimlessly, to the apartment of the girl I had confessed my affection for on that hay ride so many hours earlier and was pleased to find her awake. I apologized. She said it was okay. We talked for a while (probably an hour). There may or may not have been some affection (I truly don't remember, sorry woman I once sorta' loved).
I had started to sober up. If you've ever been drunk for nine straight hours you will know - you do NOT want to be awake when sobriety creeps back in to your bloodstream. You need to be two Tylenol, a slice of white bread, a glass of water, and at least an hour of sleep away from eyes open when this happens so - like so many werewolves when the full moon first appears on the horizon I ran back to my lair and climbed in to bed. Alone. Thankfully.
I woke up not many hours later. My father was coming to pick me and my crap up and take me home for semester/holiday break. I felt like garbage but was very, very happy. I'd had one "last night" on campus with the friends I made my first night on campus and almost all the friends I had made in the middle. I kissed at LEAST two girls (which is about the same as I had kissed the entire rest of my college career). I laughed. Cried (I was drunk, leave me alone). Bought THREE things (booze, smokes, spank books) I was carded for. I had driven women from a room with gas and will power. I had closed out my college years. I went and returned my dorm keys and signed some paperwork. We loaded the mini-van. My father took myself and three or four friends to lunch. I rode back to Upstate.
THAT was the greatest night of my college life.