"I think we've figured something out if only for a little while."
I know we've all been there. I know that we've all had those moments, maybe weeks or months or years for some of us, where we just don't quite grasp how we could have ever done something so reckless or so unruly, where the reality of the situation, even undramatized, seems like a chapter in one of those memoirs you read and say, "Oh well that's just ridiculous." Now that I'm in college, it happened. We're owning it. We're acknowledging it. We're understanding and processing the absolute preposterousness of it all. BUT -- at least it makes for an interesting story, and it was all so serendipitous.
Let me lay the scene for you; B.L., my roommate, R.B. and K.B., my two new girl friends, and I were in B.L.'s and my dorm. B.L., a true romantic and a beautiful boy, was, in what some would find flirtatiously, talking to an upper class man. Said boy was telling us he wanted to go out, that he'd find a way for us all to go to Jungle, that we were golden. I believed him -- until 9:30 p.m. when we were still in our dorm and he was saying, "I don't want to go, but I'm still going to find a way for you all to have fun." Me, being an independent and competent young gay man, I responded, "You know what, uh uh... Imma' find my own way to go to 'da club!" In jest, I suggested to B.L., "Why don't we post a craigslist ad asking for someone to take us out!" B.L. responded, "Absolutely not!" Which I then took as a challenge and, with the squeal of gay laughter, replied, "Ok! Fine, I'll do it!"
My add went like this:
Cute skinny twink type here (and possibly one more) looking to go out and have a fun night! Not looking for anything scandalous, just good company. My friend is a little scketched out by me doing this. I'm just trying to be as outrageous as possible. Be beautiful, fun, and fierce! No closet cases, please! Sugar daddies welcome, but as long as you got a car, we're cool. Come pick us up, take us to Jungle, let's dance and party the night away.
For those of you unfamiliar with craigslist and it's litany of personals, this is mild to nothing, venturing on joking. Very facetious. Very fierce. Very bold and mad -- and reckless. At the time I was thinking of it more as a whimsical play thing. The responses were priceless: "I'm 42. Is that too old?" to, "Discreet guy lookin' for a regular thang." Needless to say, those garnered no responses other than a scoff or a quick laugh, but the first response caught my eye. It was from a senior here at Emory saying he wanted to go out, too, that his friends had ditched him, that he certainly wasn't a sugar daddy, but he had a car. I then went out on a limb, wrote back, "This isn't classy, but let's skype!"
Here I interject with a piece of knowledge that I have mad luck on craigslist. No, not for this sort of thing, but read back into my earlier blogs and you'll find I found an apartment for free in New York City -- not an easy feat. I also have a good sense of things, a solid head on my shoulders, and a very perceptive gut. I don't do things that don't feel right.
B.R. called me on skype. We instantly clicked. He talked about Emory Pride, the local LGBT group on campus, and gay rights, and mutual friends, and about being a student here at Emory. Very personable. I found his facebook. We established very quickly that we would have met on Wednesday anyway.
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? YOU ARE UNDERMINING MY EFFORTS TO HANG OUT WITH THIS GUY?!"
I looked at B.R. and quietly said, "We might not be able to hang out tonight."
I looked at B.L. The first tension between roommates was between some craigslist bullshit and some guy flaking out on us. We decided to take a breath, find our space, and finally made the conclusion that there were three of us (K.B. had left because of the screaming) would stay together no matter what, and, because I was bent on my loyalty and trust in this stranger, that we would go out with B.R.
Needless to say we had a blast, danced the entire night away, found a new best friend, had a shared experience, and fell in love (if only for a minute). This is college -- go with it!
That "Roll with it!" sentiment didn't sit well with me the next day. I promptly apologized to my friends for instigating a potentially dangerous situation. I would never do anything to put my loved ones in harms way. Regardless of B.R. being a new staple in our daily routine, and the serendipitous luck on craigslist, there are so many things that could have gone differently. We could have been left at the club. We could have been taken advantage or abused in other ways. It's not the context of craigslist, but the total trust in a stranger to take care of us. Someone very close to me once told me that I should have a stronger dose of skepticism with people, that I should give people time before I invest too much in them. I know I need to learn this, but how do you go from being the most naive and innocent and trusting person to anything but that? It takes time; this is college -- go for it!
** DO ASK PEOPLE WHAT MAKES THEM INTERESTING AND START A COLLECTION OF INSIDE JOKES.
** DO GO SEE THE B52'S AND BLONDIE WITH THE ONE PERSON YOU WOULD MOST WANT TO SEE THEM WITH.
** DO HOST BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S PARTIES.
** DO TALK ABOUT INAPPROPRIATE SUBJECT MATTERS TO GAUGE PEOPLE'S RESPONSES YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN BEING FRIENDS WITH LATER.
** DO SAY, "SALUTATIONS" TO KITCHEN STAFF.
** DON'T FAWN OVER BEAUTIFUL GREEK GODS THAT YOU WILL NEVER HAVE BECAUSE THEY DON'T SHARE YOUR SAME AFFINITY FOR MEN.
** DON'T HAVE THE AUDACITY TO QUESTION MY GLITTER.
** DON'T USE NEW TOWELS WITHOUT WASHING THEM.
** DON'T ACCEPT FREE ICE CREAM FROM BAPTISTS.
** DON'T RENAME PEOPLE WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT.