Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Exodus of Brian

Some friendships are born from elementary school playgrounds . Others, from pen pals, E-Harmony, or Facebook.

Some friendships are born out of a covert operation to liberate someone from an oppressive roommate. This is one such tale.

My friend Brian and I met in college. He had a roommate who, affectionately, asked to be called by a self imposed nickname - “KILLER”. While Brian was fairly quiet and kept to himself that freshman year at Monmouth College, Killer was somewhat more abrasive. He rarely went to class. When he did, he was comatose at best. Killer didn't bring much to college with him...a few changes of underwear, loose leaf paper, and a case of beer. What he didn't bring to old MC was his work ethic, pants, or a computer. So instead, he borrowed Brian's. His computer, not his pants.

This would not have been a problem, except that Killer also had an affinity for pornography, which he exercised liberally on Brian's PC. Brian did not share that love of ogling women on the interwebs. So in order to rid his hard drive of the hard core, he devised a scheme that would stop the boob browsing once and for all. One afternoon, killer came back to the dorm, with the intent of surfing the smut. Much to his chagrin, he found no computer on Brian's desk. Instead, he found a post-it-note, with the following words scrawled in a hurried inscription:

Dear Killer,

I sold my computer so that I could move to Mexico and sell tacos.


At the time, Brian was a Spanish Education Major, and had devised a plan to visit our neighbors south of the border over the following summer, so this note was not completely out of the realm of reality. Unfortunately, Brian's disdain for statistics drove him from the education department. This was all for the best, as he landed in the music department, where he excelled beyond any other student at Monmouth.

The computer actually landed in the room of our friends Adam and Sergio. For the rest of the semester, Brian joined his PC, taking up residence on their couch. The accommodations of this refugee camp were not ideal, so when my roommate moved out a few weeks before winter break, we sprang to action. The move to my room had to be quick and clean.

Brian still had all of his belongings in Killers room. But he hadn't had any communication with the old roommate for weeks. Any time he needed something, he'd sneak up, remove his razor, text book, or guitar, then return to his cramped quarters without addressing why he hadn't been eating, sleeping, or studying in his room. In order to reclaim his possessions, we snuck up to his room, threw all of his belongings onto his twin bed, tied up the corners of the sheets, and ran like hobos from a train conductor. By the time Killer got back, all he found was an empty bed and a change of room form from the office of Student Affairs.

By the time we'd left for winter break, we'd created our man cave, resplendent with burnt orange deep shag carpet, a record player, and the most amazing loft system ever to be instituted in a college dorm. From that roommate arrangement sprung many amazing collaborations, including a stellar late night radio show on WMCR, a college band known as ALEX that put together some great original music, several pranks and hijinks that I'm not at liberty to discuss here, and an entire house full of musicians and creative inspiration.

Since our freshman year, Brian and I have moved to different parts of the country, started careers, and found the women of our respective dreams. Even though we are time zones apart, our friendship has remained stalwart.

What is it that makes a friendship last? What makes a relationship worth working? I believe that any good friendship requires investment from both parties. You could say that the two members of must 'need' each other in order for the relationship to perpetuate. If one party stops investing in the friendship, there is nothing left. Just one person leaving unanswered voice mails for the other.

I need Brian to act as a sounding board for my creative endeavors. I need Brian to accompany me on road trips to Kentucky bourbon country. Brian needs me to drink his amazing home brewed beer. It's really a symbiotic relationship.

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