Friday, January 02, 2009


My circumstances were such that I had a lot of roommates and housemates when I was a student. At the University of Georgia, I was unable to get a dorm room and had to scrounge for off campus digs. My first habitat was a double wide trailer in a trailer park outside of Athens with Al, a pre-vet student from Brooklyn, and Jeff the Hobbit, a perpetually stoned, hairy little man from Calhoun who was obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons and who never seemed to leave the trailer. He did on one occasion come with Al and me to a porno.

As the trailer park turned out to be too far from campus for a carless student, I next roomed with a certain Travis H. from Atlanta, a minor Coca Cola heir, in an old lady's garage that had been converted into a guest house. This was very close to campus and on the campus bus route. Travis and his best friend Hector were party animals, and I accompanied them on a few of their forays into the Athens night life, not a few of which ended up in brawls. I would have happily stayed with Travis, but a dorm room opened up and I wanted to have the dorm experience.

My roomie in the dorm was Ralph, a huge ER Burroughs fan (a plus) and the president of the Campus Crusade for Christ (not such a plus). I had been immersed in religious fanatacism in high school and did not intend to get back into the subculture in college, so I was a hard case for Ralph. And since I didn't drink, smoke, do drugs, or screw, I was an enigma to Ralph and his minions. Knowing the jargon helped me mess with their minds. I joined the Episcopal Student Union to get them off my case. So Ralph and I were just amiable room sharers and never developed a social relationship.

When I transferred to American University, I lived in a triple because I had to watch every penny. The first semester, I had Curt B., son of a prof at Penn State and an Elton John fan, and Guy B,. a melancholy literature majot transferred from Towson State. I never realy got to know Curt, but Guy became my fast friend. He walsked around all semseter with a copy of Vanity Fair, the novel, and enaged in a futile courtship of an inaccessible girl who lived on the ground floor of Lett's Hall. He wrote bad poems and mooned about. He drank like a fish and very nearly flunked out of school despite being highly intelligent. I knew from unrequited love, having engaged in a pattern of chasing girls who clealry weren't interested in me in high school, so I endeavored to mentor him.

Neither Curt nor Guy were interested in staying in a triple (and maybe they didn't like living with me) and moved out at the end of the semester into doubles, Guy with a mutual friend Mr Mike down the hall. I had the room to myself for several weeks in the beginning of the Spring Semester, and then Kassra and Mehran, Iranian dudes, moved in. Kassra supported the Islamic Revolution (not enough to participate in it, apparently) but was a peerless partier. Mehran supported the Shah and was more moderate in his sinning. We had some heated discussions that semester. I went with K and M to the St Tropez disco in Georgetown a few times and marvelled at their ability to pick up women with the English phrases I had taught them. I taught them to talk like the Czech brothers from the Akroyd/Martin skit on SNL. "That's your funeral!" always cracked me up. I helped them get into East Tennessee State when they finished their ESL program at AU, and I'm sure they enjoyed living in the rural south during the Iranian hostage crisis the following year.

So ended my undergraduate career of cohabitation.

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