"How do you think I got it?" I asked her. "You did not sleep with a Kappa! Who?" That I'd fuck almost anything with a pulse and perform CPR on anything without one was common knowledge at the school of 40,000. And because one hot girl would bed me, her friends and acquaintances would immediately put me on their "to do" lists. I was too busy being a hedonist to ever get into a relationship which may explain my current state of affairs.
Ally started grilling me, rattling off names of her friends in the top campus sorority full of beautiful and smart girls. KKG had had the highest GPA among sororities for decades and their physical requirements began at "Paris catwalk".
"Martha only goes for conservative suits. Was it Becky?"
"You know me. I'm not saying anything."
"Did you sleep with Jo-Ellen? It couldn't have been Carol, she's way too expensive for you. Was it Deedee?"
It was, in fact, Carol. My right leg was in a cast but that didn't stop me riding my motorcycle down to some crappy dance club where I knew the bouncers and bartenders. Entry was immediate and drinks were free, always good on a student budget. Carol recognised me from Human Sexuality class, by far the most popular class on campus with more than 400 students in an auditorium led by a professor who went by "Doctor Joe." It was a great class, but occasionally Dr. Joe would get stumped. Due to the size of the class questions and comments would be collected by half a dozen TAs and answered during the following class.
Dr. Joe got one question from a weight-conscious person asking how many calories were in the average "load". Despite all his knowledge, I was stunned when he hazarded a guess of, "Probably around two to three thousand". Two days' calories in a teaspoon? The answer to hunger in Africa and Asia? I scribbled off a better explanation, making it as amusing as I could to keep people's attention which it did when he read it verbatim for the class the next session. It's no more than 15 calories.
So Carol was talking to me about something or other, knew I lived above the most popular frat bar, and I'd mentioned that the entrance door is always open and my apartment door is always unlocked. I didn't have much worth stealing and it made for a much more interesting life with people showing up and walking in out of nowhere. I don't remember much more of our conversation. I left and stopped by my favourite local but my buddy wasn't there; he'd pulled a night shift at the 24-hour pharmacy.
After a drink I went home and there, sitting on the steps in front of my door, was Carol. If I'd known then what I know now... but she just looked at me and said, "Well, you said the door's always open. Can I come in?" And in we went, and off came her clothes, and she turned out to be insatiably enthusiastic. I had to go to a history class at 6:50a.m. and when I returned from classes around noon she was gone. The T-shirt was on my bed, laid out as a presentation. It had cost me a T-shirt from some concert tour I'd worked because she wasn't going to walk home topless.
I only took the slot job (chief copy editor) at the newspaper because a friend of mine had just become the editor-in-chief and the paper was a mess. He knew what he needed: a pedantic bastard who wouldn't shy away from confrontation. I answered only to him and could veto any editor's decision as well as headline, though if our deadline was inside two hours I'd have to write the replacement headline myself, ever wary of the board of supervisors who worked at "real" newspapers and insisted on using stupid puns wherever possible.
Ally gave up the interrogation and we went back to our desks, and that's when Gilly walked in. She looked at me and froze. Gilly was a Kappa Kappa Gamma and knew exactly what my wearing the shirt meant. There are some people who just can't get along, people who for no reason just don't hit it off, and such was the case with Gilly and me. From Day One she took an instant disliking to me, a feeling exacerbated by our constant and even legendary battles over the sports pages content which she edited. If looks could've killed...
But because of Carol's gossipy ways and my reputation for failing to brag about "conquests", over the next couple years I was bedded by almost every girl in the KKG house. Me, a GDI -- a "god-damned independent" non-participant in the Greek system. Often it was rebound sex after a break-up but could just as easily have been boredom. Or that I was, through word from "sisters" and friends, a known variable at some party full of unknown assholes. I was hardly the best-looking and it was then that I twigged that for women, looks have relatively little to do with their choices of bed- and life-mates.
And it was at such a party full of assholes that the recently-single Gilly, not drunk enough that she was wobbling, confronted me. "You're smart and you know your shit, but why are you such an asshole?" Fair question.
"That's what Todd brought me in to do. The paper is much better for it."
"No, I mean, why are you such an asshole, like you can do no wrong? You act like King Shit all the time."
"I'm just this guy, you know? I'm more honest than anyone else you know."
"So you're saying you're not an asshole?"
"No, I'd never say that. I am an asshole. I try to keep it in check but I won't deny it. I say what I think."
I don't know. <popeye>I yam what I yam</popeye>. I'm generally helpful but if you piss me off I'm going to let you know. Diplomacy was never my strong suit. I'm rather direct. If you ask me whether those jeans make your ass look fat, I'll give you an answer you might not want to hear. This again is an insight into my current state of affairs.
As the party was winding down Gilly decided she wanted to talk to me more. "We don't have to hate each other, you know."
"I don't hate you. I don't particularly like you but that's mainly because you loathe me and make it painfully clear to everyone around."
"It's not that I hate you. You just bring out this... RRNHGHH!... in me."
"What do I say to that?"
"Do you have anything to drink at your place?"
A couple cases of beer, a case of gin, some vodka, Jägermeister, rum, tequila, mezcal, mixers... yeah, I have consumables.
"Don't even think that you're sleeping with me! I just want to talk some more without fighting and maybe understand how you think and maybe we can get along better."
And off we went. And we talked. And drank. And she tried to analyse me in the way that only a student who's taken Introduction to Psychology 101 and 102 can. And she just got more annoyed as one drunken hypothesis after the next proved to be wrong, but we never got combative. And then after questioning me about the veracity of the stories she was getting from her sorority sisters and my failure to confirm or deny, it happened. She grabbed me, kissed me, and the clothes came off. It was a grudge fuck and it was good.
And it was never referred to again. She continued to loathe me in the office, I continued to veto her headlines and both correct and chop her stories. We continued to fight -- matches so loud and vicious that the entire staff would leave the office. But every once in a while she'd talk to me like a human. She once even asked to borrow my rugby jacket for some costume party, even though her closest friends were my rugby teammates. She was killed in a car accident five days after graduation. I never hated her.
There's a lot more to this story, all of which came flooding back as I noticed which shirt I'd put on. And now -- midday Saturday -- it's time to do some cleaning, replace an electrical switch, go to the grocery store, and get ready to stand behind the bar again tonight. We should've been able to get along better, me and Gilly. At least we made some progress.
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