PART TWO: Where do you sit when you don’t know anyone? Well, I knew my roommates Religious and Slob, but I didn’t want to sit with them. One day I took one of the the only seats left at a table with a girl I recognized, because she was impossible to miss. Six-three and well over three hundred pounds, the girl parted the lunch crowds like the prow of a ship through a tempestuous sea. Her voice was a slap of a decibel level, and she wore a pentagram necklace. Over the bray of several hundred students, she was talking at the top of her lungs about fairies.
I sat and ate while she went on and on about the fairies who lived under the leaves outside her English seminar and waved to her, and from there her conversation (which needed no other person to engage it) turned to the other night when she’d danced around the school fountain singing and sacrificing rose petals to the dark water. I had no idea what the hell she was talking about, but she didn’t need me to say anything and that is a marvelous thing for an introvert.
In case you are worried, the girl was not Lady Friend.
Fruity Fairy was as keen on having me as her audience as I was keen to let her star on the stage of her own personal show, and we became friends. She had a posse of equally strange fellows, boys and girls who talked about the forces of light and darkness and candle energy. Some were Goth and some were punk, some were who-knows-what and there was preppy Young Gay Panda in their midst fussing with hair parts and trying to shuffle Tarot cards with the swift precision of Data in poker games on Star Trek: The Next Generation***. Fruity Fairy drew us all together under the welcoming umbrella of her insanity, and in its shade I met Lady Friend one afternoon. We made little impression on one another. None of our classes were together, she being in her last year of college with me in my first. Neither did we run into each other again until the next January when school resumed after break.
I was not doing too well in college at that point. Chemistry has always been my academic Waterloo, but if I wanted to go to medical school as I did at the time, it was required. My mother was pressuring me to major in music, which I was resisting. I enrolled in music history to placate her, knowing that I was going to hate the class, and I decided to round out my schedule with something fun. Something fun would be creative writing, to give me a route to let loose around the stifle of declensions and equations and clips of Bach. My high school creative writing teacher had been an inch from retirement and was already in celebration. Too many months of her class were nothing more than assignments such as ‘Draw Your Gravestone With Magic Markers While I Visit The Lounge’ and ‘Write Some Poems**** For Peer Review So I Can Sit Up Here And Read The Newspaper’.