Kyle was a short, round fellow with an enormous personality and a voice fit to broadcast it. We went to high school together and knew of each other but rarely interacted. He transferred from the local Catholic (private) school and we had a few classes together. The few times I ever spoke to him he seemed like a nice enough guy.
In college, he was one of those acquaintances that I desperately tried to connect with. He was a piece of home, someone familiar to help me transition into my new surroundings. We didn’t have anything in common, other than Pensacola, but he humored me on this and I’m sure that my sudden interest in friendship seemed bizarre and phony.
Kyle was one of the few people that I ever smoked with in college. I won’t say what we smoked, just that we put it in a glass pipe that was shaped like a mouse. Unfortunately many people in my life found this novelty hard to pass up, so I was very familiar with this type of apparatus. The bowl was on top, just level with my crappy long hair when it hung down as I hunched over the damn thing pretending to know what I was doing. For some reason, every time someone with a mouse pipe invited me over to smoke, it always ended up smelling like burnt hair.
On one of the rare nights when I went to Kyle’s side of campus to hang out, he invited me into his apartment where he pointed to an upside down red solo cup on his nightstand. It was his ingenious hiding spot for his stash of totally-legal-stuff-that-people-smoke. Underneath a cup. On the nightstand. Immediately when you walk through the door to his apartment. I thought it was so obvious that it was unobvious or something paradoxical like that, but now I know that I was just trying too hard to think that it was a great idea.
Since we were smoking inside, he MacGuyvered a gizmo using a rubber band, paper towel roll, and some dryer sheets. I’m sure some readers know just how effective this device is for eliminating the smell of smoke (but not burning hair).
For those keeping track, it was Kyle who invited me to the party where I met Andrea. That was probably the only other time that I hung out with him.
I honestly don’t remember whether it was in high school or college, but one day Kyle’s origin story made its way around to me.
This short, round fellow with an enormous personality and a voice fit to broadcast it pulled a knife on another student at the Catholic school. He didn’t transfer from a private school – he was expelled. I have no idea the specifics of the circumstance in which the incident occurred, only that this revelation was the precursor for a feeling of Deja Vu that was waiting for me the following semester.