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Saturday, Mar. 20, 2004 - 7:46 p.m.

Here are two stories:

1. Roommate

My brother’s first and only college dorm roommate was a local kid, thin and sickly. He had no friends, and spent most of the first few weeks of school in the room listening to the bad R&B station on Russell’s stereo. They had little in common, but tolerated each other, and the first few weeks of school passed uneventfully.

One day, Russell returned from class expecting his roommate to be in, and so was surprised when he found the door locked. He dug around in his backpack for his keys, found them, and fiddled noisily with the lock for several seconds, his hands full of books. Finally succeeding in unlocking the door, he shifted his backpack and his armful of books and opened the door. And there, on Russell’s bed, was his roommate, completely naked and absorbed in masturbating.

Russell paused in the doorway. The roommate looked up and shrieked. He curled up into the fetal position there on Russell’s bed, continuing to shriek.

Russell turned around, went down the hall to his RA for a room change form, and never again did a word pass between the two.

2. A for Eddie

One of my friends is teaching an upper-division creative writing class this semester, and his students’ latest assignment was to write a poem. A few were quite good and received ‘A’s; he read one in particular to another friend, so impressed was he with it. “That,” the other friend said, “is a Pearl Jam song.” And so it was.

That, dear readers, is how you fail creative writing.

All’s well, Measurers. Today I went to the outdoor St. Patrick’s Day Festival downtown and watched drunk frat boys in green plastic bowler hats dance in puddles of beer mixed with vomited-up funnel cakes. I encountered bands with names such as ‘Voices of Dissent’ (NOT a hardcore band – a half-cover, half-radio-nonsense band who wore ear monitors. But they had neat amps) and ‘Tantric’. Those are bad, bad band names. But I also saw some lovely friends and wandered around in the sun drinking beer. I like Saturdays, and I like spring.

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