The adventures of a New Jersey college professor with very strange friends, colleagues, and family members.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Three Men and a Frightened Lady

This is going to be another three-parter, folks. I want to be able to get the ambiance of all the stories right.

But first, some exposition:

I didn’t date in college. At all. For four years, I managed to convince myself that this was all right; that I was “too wrapped up in my work” and “developing my writing” to bother with the frivolities of having a boyfriend. I fooled myself (and others) pretty well for four years.

There were, in fact, only three men in college that asked me out; and there was something hideously wrong with every one of them.

Keep in mind that this all happened second semester senior year—I was coming dangerously close to graduating without ever having had a date. But then fate (or something) stepped in and brought me three completely bizarre men whose clutches I barely escaped. Let's begin:


First, there was Derek. Derek and I had a class together in Arthurian Romance. His roommate, Greg, was a good friend of mine. My dealings with Derek were always brief: “Hi, is Greg here?” and “Tell Greg to call me,” and “I’m borrowing Greg’s Anthropology book.”

Derek was heavily into Roll Playing Games and insisted that everyone call him “The Grand Vizier” (no, I don’t know what that means). He was kind of pale and sickly-looking, though he had always been polite to me. He was a tall, rambling guy whose clothes never seemed to fit him, and he wore thick glasses that he always polished on his shirt. He was a Criminology major, and I fight it frightening that he's somewhere out there fighting crime.

One day after Arthurian Romance, Derek approached me and nervously asked me to go to the Student Center for dinner. He said he wanted to “discuss the final.” Because I was completely academic-minded in college, it didn’t dawn on me that he was actually asking me for a date; I just wasn't "tuned in" to that vibe because I had stopped looking for it long ago. In any case, because I had a club meeting that night, I said no, and Derek walked away, dejected. I honestly thought that would be the end of it.

Later that night, Greg called me and in a disgusted tone blurted out; “Derek threw his synthesizer down the stairs.” He sounded more annoyed than anything else.

“Um…why?” I asked, confused as to why Greg was even telling me this.

“Oh, he was upset that his date didn’t go well,” said Greg. “He mentioned something about asking someone to dinner and being rejected. He went totally off the wall about it.”

I stared at the phone in horror. Could I have caused this? Or did Derek ask someone else out that day as well? I got very nervous. “Let me know what happens,” I said.

Two hours later, Greg called a second time. This time he said, matter-of-factly, “Derek jumped off a bridge.”

Mortified, I asked for details. Apparently, after a total meltdown in the dorm, he began running in the halls and screaming, “I’m never going to get a girlfriend! I can't take this anymore! I don't want to live!”. He then disappeared into the night and headed for the Route 18 overpass, which went over a major highway and a river. He chose to dive off the highway-end, and as a result landed on top of a car coming out from under the bridge. Derek’s legs were crushed, and both he and the driver of the car wound up in the hospital. Miraculously, no one was killed.

The scariest part about all of this was going to visit Derek in the hospital, with Greg and the rest of my friends from the dorm. I was convinced that he would take one look at me and start throwing cups at me, screaming for me to get out.

But miraculously, that didn’t happen. Weirdly, Derek never seemed to blame me for any part of it. He returned to school on crutches, claiming he had “found Jesus” in the hospital.

Coming soon (very soon, I promise): The story of me, the Lipton’s soup heir, and Montel Williams.


  • At 2:52 PM, Blogger Rhiannon said…

    You need squiggle vision animations of your stories.
    I am giggling at my desk :D.

  • At 12:14 AM, Blogger Cinnamon Marine said…

    Wow, what a strange guy! I wouldn't have thought that was a date request - but then I don't have much experience of being asked out either, and clearly he hadn't tried it much.


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