Monday, December 20, 2004

Back in college, I had gotten this new set of colored pencils and decided to try and use all of them while sketching my friend Bob. Today, Bob’s a big shot journalist for the Associated Press. But back then, he was a goofball, sometimes loud, sometimes shy, always insecure… And yeah, Bob was losing his hair at an early age. He was actually kinda fat, too -- he lost a lot of weight prior to this picture. Still, he did okay with the ladies; he had a nice girlfriend that year in school.

On the other end of the spectrum were some of the others in our dorm suite. There was Mario, a slick and handsome Italian-American. Dude coulda modeled for Gucci or something. He always got the hottest chicks. Bastard. We would’ve hated him if he weren’t so incredibly modest and easy-going. There was also Jonathan, who seemed like an average fellow in every way, but had the kind of quiet confidence you can only have when you’re closely related to the Rockefeller family and its fortune. (Some of these guys went to Andover, but were much smarter -- and in my opinion, more likable -- than another certain successful alumnus.) And there were a few more guys, somewhere in the middle in terms of looks and smoothness, including myself.

We sat around at our local watering hole one night, playing a drinking game. Each person had to tell a story. Tales of lusty adventure about women we’ve known. Not stories of conquest -- ones of utter humiliation and failure. Hitting on a girl and getting flat-out rejected didn’t count. It had to be an instance in which you really thought you were gonna get some, and something went wrong. Hilariously wrong, bizarrely wrong, frustratingly wrong. The more agonizing the coitius interruptus, the more everyone had to boozius imbibius. There were episodes involving mistaken identities, vomiting cats, state troopers, intrusive roommates, exploding radiators, vegetable oil floods, obnoxious little brothers, electrical fires, horny ferrets, you name it.

We went around and around the table, telling one story after another, the lot of us groaning and laughing at each anecdote. It was fun, and not just because we were getting so drunk, but because it was reassuring. No matter who the guy was -- rich or poor, good- or goofy-looking -- he wasn’t alone in striking out every now and again. And again. And again.


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