I’m going to die of heat exhaustion. I can’t breathe. Is SADS a thing (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome)?
Those were the most prevalent thoughts I can remember from my freshman year in college. Waking up in my pitch-dark dorm room to the sound of any one of my three female roommates performing fellatio… oral sex… giving head, to a strange (and some-what stinted) male cohort.
With the spine of an ostrich, I would quickly, quietly, pull my comforter up over my head and shallowed (is that a even a verb?) my breathing so as not to draw any attention to the fact that I was awake. I would stay there, sweating through my pajamas in my saturated bedding like a frightened child without bladder control.
My hair (now matted to my forehead and neck) started producing droplets of sweat on it’s own, one drop after another slowly started down my brow and splash, splash, splash they fell into my eyeball one after the other. Why wasn’t I blinking? Were all my reflexes shutting down? Panic consumed me and I would think, I’m going to die.
I thought it so loudly, projected it with all my might that surely one of them would hear me and stop what they were doing. If not from embarrassment, then from knowing they were about to kill me. How did they never hear me thinking!? How did they not hear the loud pounding of my heart, the echoing drips of my brow sweat or the sloshing of the pool created in my bed from said sweat!? Were they deaf? I can still hear my heart pounding like an echo from the past. Loudly.
So, suffocating, wet, and unable to sleep I schemed how I would get back at them for attempted murder.
And just as I’d figure out how I would build my time machine, go back to the beginning of the night to give a strongly worded speech on basic roommate etiquette, I’d pass out.
I thought I would love my first college roommates. I thought we would form bonds that would last a lifetime. On move-in day, I walked into our itty-bitty, teeny-weeny dorm room and thought, “this place is huge!” There were four beds, four desks, four dressers, and a bathroom. It was twice the size of my room back home (that I shared with my sisters) and had one bathroom to share between the four of us which were way better odds of ample bathroom time, than the single bathroom I shared for eighteen years with six people.
As my father and I dragged in the second hand, faded black, military duffel bag with it’s duct-taped handle (which until very recently I thought was actually ‘duck tape’ and could never figure out the connection between ducks and adhesive so I finally gave up), we heard three voices heading into my new dorm room.
With self-assured and measured pacing, three women (not girls) appeared. “Your bunk is there. That’s your dresser, your closet, and your desk. We put stickers on our items in the fridge,” said the tall blonde one.
“We have a fridge?” fridge was all I heard. It was mini, brown and the top worked as an extra shelf for what appeared to be a very thin, artsy, glass-vase (which I later found out was a bong).
“Well, we, rented it from the university along with the microwave. If you want to use them, you’ll need to chip in for the rental. Didn’t you read the welcome pack?”
Truth be told, I skimmed it. The welcome pack arrived late – only a day before move in, along with my decision to go to this university, so I was behind on everything. I had, however, memorized the names of my roommates, their interests, their parent’s professions, and of course each of their majors:
Kelly: Played on her high-school field hockey team, fought for the right to try out for the wrestling team, and won, but never played due to no guy ever matching her weight class. She out weighed them all and she wasn’t fat. Kelly’s father was a Waste Management Engineer… I’m still not sure what that means, but I watched Soprano’s and decided it was better not to ask. Kelly’s chosen major, Early Childhood Education.
Amy: Played on her high-school field hockey team (and was Kelly’s teammate). She and Kelly grew-up three houses away from each other and have been friends since birth. Amy’s long-term goals were to teach art at the pre-K level, open an art gallery in her industry-deserted hometown, and travel to the Louvre. Amy’s father was a Human Organ Transporter. Soprano’s, Soprano’s, Soprano’s. Amy’s chosen major, Art History.
And lastly there was Rebecca.
Rebecca: Played on her high-school soccer, volleyball, and girl’s basketball teams. Rebecca turned her life around after being caught using marijuana on her high-school campus 180 times (that’s everyday for an entire school year, people). Realizing the ill affects of her choices, she became a teen mentor to other kids heading down the path of marijuana addiction and was awarded a full scholarship to university for her humanitarian work. Rebecca’s mother was a CPA, a single mom, and grew marijuana for medicinal purposes. Rebecca’s chosen major was accounting.
I picked up the end of my duffle with the duck duct-taped handle and commenced dragging it sluggishly toward the empty bed when Kelly, tall blonde, grabbed the center handle, picked up the bag with minimal effort and tossed it onto my mattress. My father and I stared in awe.
If these were your average college freshman, then I needed a couple rounds of steroids and a few more years of hard living to catch up in stature and confidence. I stood alone next to my bed and as I turned around I saw the three of them, Kelly – tall and blonde, Amy – equally as tall and brunette, and Rebecca – oddly short with the thickest, longest, curly locks I’d ever seen – standing shoulder to shoulder assessing me. They stared me down like an opponent, they were the defensive linemen and I was the quarterback in the end zone missing her team. I immediately labeled them: Ladies-I-Would-Not-Want-To-Meet-In-A-Dark-Alley.
As I lay, once again, trapped there in my bed pretending to be asleep for the twenty second time that month, I pulled out a mini Three Musketeer bar from the stash I’d begun keeping in my pillowcase. I quietly, expertly unwrapped what may have very well been the last thing I ever ate, as surely this may have been the night I succumbed to the lack of oxygen in the coffin that was my bed. Then I heard it, for the first time, someone spoke during this nightly ritual, “Open your mouth I need to cum,” strained, impatient, urgent and then silence.
NO MORE. My moment was now. The point of no return, I sat straight up, dripping sweat from my soaked head and I turned on my reading light, opened a book and began to reading. No mouths would open again that night, but a deep cleaning of someone’s bed sheets was in order.
The next day, after my classes, I returned to my dorm room to find my duffle bag packed, less my reading lamp – which lay, purposefully destroyed atop my bag, and a note that read:
“You should find a new place to live.”