One of these instances was a Friday night when Kyle, an acquaintance from high school, informed me of some guys playing beer pong in their apartment on the other side of campus. I did my best to play it cool, but I was through the roof with excitement that I was semi-sorta-a little bit invited by proxy.
I met Kyle in the courtyard by the party. He led me up to the hosts’ apartment. When I walked through the door, the first thing I noticed was the posters of beer pong rules and half-naked women that covered most of the walls (at the time I thought it was the ultimate taste in decor). As the door swung shut behind me, I noticed that the residents of this apartment had filled in the gap between the bar style counter top in their kitchen and the ceiling with a giant wall of empty Coors Light cans. It was at least 20 cans across, 8 cans high, and 2 cans thick! For those doing the math, these gentlemen consumed over 300 beers in their architectural pursuits. I was filled with admiration and anxious to get to know these social titans.
Most of the people in this room were forgettable college stereotypes: loud, gassy guys with more beer than good taste. They were exactly who I wanted to be. We bonded over continuous games of beer pong. There were only about a dozen people in the room and it was one penis short of a pure sausage fest, but the population grew and the demographics shifted as the night progressed.
The night came to a screeching halt with the emergence of the hibernating roommate of the apartments inhabitants. A doughy fellow that looked like a young John Cusack staggered out of his dorm and into the bathroom. When he poked his head around the corner to see the party in his apartment, I was almost immediately filled in on the fact that all of his hair wasn’t shaved off when he left for happy hour several hours ago. To make his scalp a better canvas for numerous marker-drawn penises and creative profanities, his roommates had relieved him of his hair after he passed out. It was a sad reminder of the dangers of passing out with your shoes still on. He must have been more drunk than hungover, because he laughed at his new appearance and had a couple beers with us before vanishing again into his cave.
An overconfident guy wearing a backwards hat and one diamond earring was huddled in the corner on his phone. For the sake of the story, I will refer to him as “Randy the Ladies Man”. He hung up and announced that some girls were coming over. It wasn’t until later that night that I would learn that Randy lived just three doors down from me in the dorms.
By now, Randy and I had bonded enough that we amicably staked our claim on the two girls when they walked through the door. He got the brunette. I think her name was Amanda. I got the dirty blonde, Andrea. We chatted them up and chugged beer with them until the party dwindled. They were dressed up to go out, but I guess their plans were cancelled, so they needlessly looked hot.
We eventually retired to my dorm room, where we drank more beer and ate chips and salsa. For a span of several months, I always kept a supply of chips and salsa in my room for some reason. It may have been one of the first warning signs of my addiction to Mexican food.
After munching enough to sober up a bit, Randy and I walked the girls up to their dorm, where we chatted with them even more, refusing to take the hint that we should leave. I semi-passed out on Andrea’s bed, which had at least one hundred mattress pads and a down comforter that must have been stuffed with cumulus clouds. Seriously, it was the most comfortable bed I’ve ever been in. Andrea fell asleep next to me in her bed and despite the numerous times that I woke up in the middle of the night panicking because I had no idea what I was supposed to do in this situation, I stayed right there until I woke up the next morning and was genially asked to leave. (With a scoff and a smile, Andrea said, “I can’t believe you’re still here.”)
Randy genuinely got close to hooking up with Amanda. If my cloud top snooze ruined his chances, he never let on. For as long as I knew the guy, he continued trying to get with her despite the fact that she had a long distance boyfriend back home. I have no idea whether or not she ever came around, but knowing Randy’s track record, she probably did. Either way, he wasn’t in the room when I woke up the next morning.
I figured I was a chicken shit for not making a move on this girl when we were drunk. She was pretty and flirtatious even after mentioning her boyfriend back home. (I didn’t think anything of this. Every single girl on campus the first semester of Freshman year is in one of the many stages of breaking up with their high school boyfriend). I blamed my lack of confidence for a long time after that night, but deep down, I knew she wasn’t genuinely flirting. She was being a playful college girl who enjoyed the attention. The reason I never made a move was because she never gave any indication at all whatsoever that she wanted me to. Nevertheless, until I grew up a little bit more, I felt like I missed a real opportunity with this girl.
As I hopped down from her bed the next morning still completely clothed (other than my shoes which I had been extremely certain to remove before falling asleep) and wearing a stupid grin, I made my way toward the door. “I’ll call you,” I said, because I saw it on TV and figured that was the right thing to say when you wake up in a bed you shouldn’t be in. I never did call her though. I saw her in the cafeteria a couple of weeks later and I panicked, recalling all of the sitcoms where a guy didn’t call a girl and it came back to bite him. We met my eyes briefly before she turned back to her conversation with Amanda. Nothing was said, literally nothing communicated in that glance. That’s when I realized that the whole thing had been a silly and pretty meaningless encounter.