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

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I Dream Of Men With Pink Hair

I know I promised to write about engineers this time, but I simply have to tell you about a friend of mine in college named David. He’s much more interesting than the engineers.

When I was a freshman in college, I joined the speech and debate team (because I’m good at things like that). I left a message in their mailbox at the Student Center introducing myself and asking that someone please call me. That night, someone did.

He introduced himself as David, and told me that he was the president of the club and that he was very much looking forward to having me on the team. He told me when the club had its weekly meetings and said he would see me there.

When I showed up at the meeting, David wasn’t there yet so I mingled with some of the other team members. They were all very nice and I felt comfortable and accepted.

“Sorry I’m late!” came a voice from the door. I glanced over and beheld David for the first time.

He was tall and exceptionally skinny. He was wearing, for reasons I never would know, black tights and a green leotard-type outfit. He kind of looked like Peter Pan. The most striking thing about him was that his hair was magenta, had five earrings in one ear, and carried a day-glo green purse. He kind of looked like a combination of Eddie Izzard and Boy George.

“I was going to be on time, I swear,” he said, perching himself on top of the front desk and crossing his legs in what looked like a very uncomfortable position, “but my roommate Clive thinks he’s slipping into another dimension and I had to talk him down.”

“Doesn’t this concern you?” asked one of the girls.

David just kind of blinked. “No. More room in the apartment.”

I was formally introduced and spent the next half an hour just staring at him. The rest of the team was apparently used to him. On the way out of the meeting, I couldn’t help asking one of the guys: “Is he always like that?”

“Who, David? Yeah. He’s really talented, though.”

I spent the next few weeks being kind of intimidated by David, which was stupid because he turned out to be the most gentle, non-threatening person on the team. Eventually, he came to me and asked me if I would like to be his partner at a speech competition in Shippensburg, PA, and wanted to know if I would do a scene with him. I was very surprised by this (after all, he was a senior and I was a mere freshman) but I was still kind of fascinated by him so I said yes.

We rehearsed in his apartment. I met Clive, who most assuredly was not slipping into another dimension, and I also found David’s cache of drugs.

He had every kind of drug imaginable, along with a huge selection of drug paraphernalia, including an enormous hookah pipe and several exotic-looking bongs. His room was filled with various bottles, bags, and packages. I was stunned…he was certainly “out there,” but I didn’t know he was into the drug scene.

“Please excuse all the drugs,” he said, kicking them aside so I could sit down. “Did you know that the right combination of drugs will send you shooting into outer space?” (I still don’t know if he meant that literally). He rummaged around in one of the bags and pulled out some pills. “Would you like one?” he asked. “It makes your spinal fluid shoot up into your brain and gives you wicked hallucinations.”

“Er…no, thanks, my spinal fluid is fine where it is,” I said.

“By the way,” he said, examining some old cocaine he had stuffed in a sock, “in order to save the university money, would you mind sharing a room with me in Shippensburg?”

I don’t know what I was thinking, but, trying to appear sophisticated, I said that I would. Later, when I recounted this conversation to my best friend, she gave me a good “what the hell were you thinking?” smackdown, and I meekly called David and asked if I could have my own room. As usual, he was fine with it.

On the day of the competition, David and I showed up at the train station at a ridiculous hour of the morning before an eight-hour train ride into Shippensburg. He had two suitcases; one for clothes, and the other for his various pharmacology.

We got to Shippensburg, found the hotel, found the college and performed our scene. Sadly, we lost. That night back at the hotel, David tried to cheer me up by telling me he would teach me astral projection. I looked at him skeptically. “No, seriously,” he said, “I can leave my body.”

I suspected he had been dipping into his stash, so I just said good night to him and went back to my own room. Since I was exhausted, I fell asleep instantly…

…and had the most erotic, sexually-charged dream about David. It was bizarre. I knew I didn’t think about him in “that way,” yet here I was, ferociously making out with him. The only other weird thing about the dream was that standing in room, looking over us, was President Bush (the first one, not the one who’s currently wrecking our country).

The following morning, I banged on David’s door because we were in danger of missing the train home. Bleary-eyed, we walked down the hall with our luggage toward the elevator.

“How did you sleep?” he asked me.

Still remembering my make-out dream, I just said, nervously. “Good, good. You?”


He pressed the button for the hotel lobby. He then said, casually; “I’m sorry about President Bush. I just couldn’t get him to go away.”

And the elevator doors closed.