Sorry everyone. I really screwed the pooch on the first part of this
post. I meant to click "save as draft" and actually published it
instead. Dang it. Sorry.
So here's part 2...
Freshman year, semester two
I was in heaven when I left
Iowa State and moved in at Northern Illinois University. Don't get me
wrong, ISU as a school was spectacular. Gorgeous campus, great profs
(the few I had), incredible Campus Town. I just had shit roommates
that made the experience unbearable.
So I moved into Grant Towers North 3C in January 1994. I was going
to be living with a guy named Cornelius who was from Rockford. I had
no idea what to expect because there was so little time between the
semesters that I never had a chance to contact him.
When I met Cornelius (or "Corn" or "Corny" -- Cor-NAY -- as he insisted
everyone called him), I discovered one thing that would have made my
ISU roommates seethe... he was black!
I loved it. Corn was a great roommate. He was a quiet guy like I
tended to be, but had no racial predisposition whatsoever. I think he may
have been caught a little off guard at first, but that
melted away pretty quickly and race never became a concern at all after that. We shared stuff and talked and watched TV
and whatnot. Every so often, his girlfriend, Vanessa, would sleep over
and she and I got along great.
Such a switch from the first semester. I loved it. I got along well with his friends and he got along well with my friends.
However, when the end of the year came nigh, he told me that he wasn't
surprised that I was white at the beginning of the semester as I had
thought. He was surprised that I existed at all. He had been under
the impression that he was going to get a single room and was just
disappointed that he was assigned a roommate. He was really delicate
about it as he knew that it would be easy for me to misinterpret what
he was saying. Then he told me that he was signing up for the room as
a single for the next year, which I was fine with. However, this would
mean finding a new roomie.
One of my friends on the floor, Jeremy, asked if I wanted to move into
the corner room with him. The corner room is just that... in the
corner connecting the hallways. The floors of the towers at NIU were
triangular in shape with three corners. One corner was the floor
lounge, a second was the R.A.'s room, and the third was another room
the same size as the R.A.'s room but intended for two people. It's
pretty much a palace compared to the other rooms. I said yes, and we
got the room.
Sophomore year, semester one
On paper, Jeremy and I couldn't have been a better match as roommates. Same age, similar likes and dislikes, a love of movies and music, same taste in women (although he had a girlfriend and I did not), and we both worked out together.
It was very cool.
This was the best year of my undergrad in all honesty. I had friends on the floor now as I had been here for a semester and no longer was the "new guy." I was a sophomore and was looked up to by the freshmen. And we had fun with that status. Oh, yes we did. Basically, though, we just had fun.
Jeremy's girlfriend had a roommate that was an interesting girl, to say the least. She was an attention whore and did some odd things to get people to notice her. She was a really pretty girl and should not have had to do any of the things she did to get attention, but she did anyway. I'm not talking that she whored herself out or anything. Not nearly that self destructive. Just weird. For example, she let Jeremy, who was an art major, draw the Guns n' Roses logo on her thigh in marker. He did a spectacular job and the thing was about six inches round. I have a photo somewhere. I dunno, but if I was Jeremy's girlfriend and I saw him drawing on a very cute girl's thigh (and pretty high up to boot), I might be a little weirded out. Michelle was not.
Another time, this girl (I can't remember her name) walked around the floor all day with nothing but plastic grocery bags as clothes. Where the idea came from, I have no idea. But she did it. Yes, another photo. And, finally, she decided one day to wrap the entire length of her legs in duct tape. Not together, but individually. And she walked around for a while like that until she couldn't stand the lack of flexibility and cut the tape off. I'm just glad she shaved her legs. It could've been real ugly. Oh, and I have photos of this as well. She was very photogenic. She lived for it.
One of the funniest things Jeremy and I did involved Byron, the guy in the room next to us (well, one of the rooms next to us; Corn was in the other one). He was a towering black guy with a heart of gold and a great sense of humor. We always picked on each other. He was 6'4", I was 6'0", and Jeremy was something like 5'7", maybe. So you would think Byron would be a tough guy, but he only acted the part. Jeremy and I saw right through it and took full advantage of it.
One day, Byron and his girlfriend were having... er... some "fun" and we could hear them through the wall. We jumped onto my bed which was on the shared wall with Byron and started listening. When he was done, we started smacking the wall and yelling, "woo hoo! Go Byron! Two minutes is your new record!!!" He nearly killed us. His girlfriend was laughing, though. Byron was a bit more discrete from that point on.
As the semester wore on, however, the friendship between Jeremy and I wore a bit thin. He and his girlfriend got tired of the parties and the late nights that the rest of the floor liked to keep and were going home every weekend just to get out. This doesn't exactly make it easy to hang out. Just before the end of the semester, he announced he was moving out.
Yeah, okay, whatever.
And I spin the wheel again...