Tuesday, January 20, 2009

That time I wasn't myself

Again, this is a tale from the past. Enjoy.

In just five days, the calendar will tell me that it is the 29th anniversary of my birth. Too me, it most likely will be my last birthday. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not predicting my death this weekend (but that could be very possible with my Chicago Bears playing in the Super Bowl on my birthday), I am just determined to stay at the nice age of twenty-nine for the rest of my life.

But as I sit at this computer, viewing the fuzzy screen and imagining that my fingers are pounding furiously on the black keyboard below, I realize that I’ve been a bit of a fuck up my entire life.

Well, I don’t mean that I constantly muff things up due to poor eye-hand coordination, or the lack of the seemingly useless knowledge that almost every other asshole in Chicago seems to hold so dearly to their hearts. What I speak of are the acts that I’ve committed in the past for a laugh or just to start trouble.

Like the first time I went away to college some ten years ago.

I was enrolled at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois in 1996. The first day that we, as students, were allowed to move in to our dorm rooms was a Saturday, if I remember correctly. Mom and Dad drove me down, helped me carry all my belongings onto the elevator and into my room and left me to live by myself for the first time in my life. And after most of the parents had left their offspring behind and voyaged home, all of the freshman students in the tower I was living in were called down for a resident’s meeting in the conference room.

Now, the tower that I lived in for the nine months while I was enrolled at ISU was named Watterson Tower. It was the tallest building between St. Louis and Chicago at the time, and very well still may be to this day. The weird thing about Watterson though, it was thirty stories high and had five houses on each side. And of these five houses a side, the elevator would only stop every five floors. If you wanted to go to the 27th floor, you took the lift to twenty-five and hiked up the stairs for the remaining two floors. If it were floor eleven you desired, off at floor 10 and up one. You get the point I’m sure.

But the cool thing about this shitty elevating system and the weird flooring, was straight out my window, on the twenty-seventh floor, were the five floors only given to female students. And it took no time at all before some freshman girl came home wasted and decided to put on a strip show in the ceiling to floor windows of the rooms.

But anyway, once all of the students had finally made it down to the conference room on floor one to be welcomed to the University and told ‘The Rules” about Watterson Tower, was the first time I acted in the ways I spoke about earlier in this post.

The Dean of Students, Dr. Whatever Blowme, made it extremely clear that floors 23-27 of the West Tower, were for females only and not a one male student could ever be on those floors. He followed that up with the punishments for the crime if a male was caught on one of these floors.

“The first time a male is caught on floors 23-27 of the West Tower, he will be fined $25. The second time he is caught, the fine will quadruple to $100. And if there is a third time that the same male is caught on any of these floors, the fine will be pushed to the maximum of $500. Gentleman, are there any questions?”

At this moment in my life, I had sex exactly zero times. I had been dating a girl who wasn’t ready yet and I never pushed her into it. But who the fuck am I kidding? I wasn’t really ready yet at 18 either.

But I still couldn’t stop myself from constructing the question that I knew would have no answer. And I knew that I shouldn’t really ask the Dean of Students my inquiry. But for some strange reason that is still not understandable to me, I asked him.

“So, let me get this right. It’s $25 the first time. $100 the second and $500 the third. How much can I get a semester pass for?”

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