L & I — Day 3: Side Quests

Chaos in Print

On Saturday morning, I was once again up before L. This time, though, there were no dishes to do. I started snooping through the bookshelves, and I soon began leafing through a copy of The Vagina Monologues. I treat the vagina the same way I treat the Loch Ness Monster: I’ve read a lot about it, I’m pretty sure it exists, and I’d love to see one for myself someday. But my education in the female body was cut short when L awoke, and came up with the idea of going to Augustana’s cafeteria for weekend brunch.

For all the jokes about the food in Augustana’s cafeteria, weekend brunch was one thing they hardly screwed up on. I mean, when you stop to think about it, there are only so many ways you can screw up on scrambled eggs, bacon, and Tater Tots. As is always the case on Saturday, the cafeteria was close to deserted. L paid our way in, and soon we were feasting upon bacon, eggs, and potatoes.

I don’t know how this exactly came about, but soon I turned our breakfast conversation towards Batman. I must have rambled on for at least half-an-hour on Bruce Wayne’s inner demons, and what drove him to become a crime-fighter. I only remember pausing the conversation once:

Me>> But of course, I must be boring you.
L>> No, no. This is interesting.
Me>> Really? Well, then, when we compare these early episodes of Batman Beyond to what we read in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns….

It was at this point that I realized L is truly a special person. Even though she was getting that sleepy, dreamy look in her eye that I often get when someone lectures on a boring subject, she was struggling to stay interested. True friends never say, “You interests are boring. This is boring. Let’s talk about something else.” No matter how boring you get, they fake interest. (And if you’re lucky, they’re genuinely interested.)

After brunch, L had to charge off to work, so I thought I’d go see my friend Darmok. I love Darmok in so many ways. He is, quite simply, the polar opposite of Chuck. Chuck is quiet and reserved, while Darmok is loud and boisterous. Chuck is an artist, wanting to spend his days on the beach drawing. Darmok is a scientist, wanting to spend his days in his basement super-charging his computer. Their interests can best be compared through one actress: Angelina Jolie. Chuck hates her, thinking her to be a person devoid of personality and any acting skill. Darmok loves her because she’s hot. The happiest I’ve ever seen Darmok was when I told him that she’d be playing Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider movie. Had I made different choices in my young life, I could’ve easily wound up as either Chuck or Darmok. But instead, I made my choices and wound up as me.

Sadly, though, Darmok isn’t one for talking. Most of our visits usually wind up in him showing off his latest computer games while I stare on in wide-eyed wonderment. The latest acquisition of Darmok’s was Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, the first-ever Star Trek 3-D shooter. After this, Darmok put his over-clocked PIII and ADSL Internet connection to good use as he demonstrated this online game called Counterstrike. Man, I need a new computer. Darmok did say that I could get a good gaming machine for around $1000 now, so I’ll have to look into that. Yup, Darmok is a good guy to just hang with, and he kills an afternoon quickly.

I volunteered to go get L from work, and the season’s first snowfall was upon us. She immediately blamed me for bringing about the snow, as I was mentioning earlier how it seemed weird for November to arrive without snow. But I didn’t care. Snow is something I don’t mind being blamed for.

This was the first night where there were absolutely no worries over what to do for supper. All the roommates were home that night, and L finds their domestic practices to be downright sickening. With them home, at least one of them would be making something in the kitchen. Sadly, though, when we got home, they had already eaten. But Lady Jaye, the most domesticated of the group, kindly offered to make us something. With this world of opportunity now open to us, L and I were at a complete loss over what do. Lady Jaye’s constant questioning over what to make us soon caused my normally slow wit to have a flash of brilliance.

Lady Jaye>> What can I do to please you?
Me>> [Turning to L] You know, this is probably the only time in my life I’ll have a woman asking me that.

That got a well-received laugh. And it broke the stalemate. It was decided that she would cook this vegan meal comprised of rice, peanut butter, and onions. I know that when I phrase it like that, it sounds kind of disgusting, but trust me, it was actually quite good.

Over dinner, it was time to watch our next rented movie of the weekend: Prince of Egypt. Of course, L and I felt like a pair of morons when we discovered that Harley owned it and we could have saved ourselves the $3. Actually, as we watched that movie, I was soon asked a question where I always wondered how I would answer. During the burning-bush scene, I was telling L that I had read that one of the most difficult parts of making this movie was deciding who should do the voice of God. During this conversation, Harley asked a question from the kitchen:

Harley>> Hey Mark! Do you believe in God?
Me>> Yeah.
L>> I think that’s the best answer I’ve ever heard to that question. ‘Yeah.’

From the divine to the ridiculous…. L had Orgazmo, which was a movie I had been wanting to watch for some time. It made perfect sense to be our next feature. And, much to L’s surprise, her roommates stuck around to watch it. She was convinced that it wasn’t the kind of movie that they would like. But, they all watched it, and it all got rave reviews from our audience.

At this point, I glanced out the window at the blinding snowstorm, and knew it was time for a good old Augustana sev-run. Something about below zero weather makes me want a Slurpee. L was the only who was on board with this idea, as the others had to get themselves pretty for going out to the bar. So, L bundled up in all her arctic-assault gear and, since I had failed to plan for such a circumstance, I went out in the blinding snow with nothing but my thin, thin jacket.

As is always the case, the walk to 7-11 provides ample time for those conversations on life, love, and the meaning of it all. After watching Orgazmo, I couldn’t help but mention my secret desire to someday watch a porn movie to see what they are actually like. It was here that L mentioned that she has in fact watched some porn movies in the past, leading me to think, “L, you dirty, dirty, girl.” She said that they have terrible acting and the women of the genre just can’t help but look bored with what they are doing. But, she told me that if she ever finds one with good acting and a descent plot, she’d pass it along. Nice to know I have a friend who follows the industry, but somehow I always thought that my friend who follows the industry would be male.

The adventures at 7-11 were routine, and we soon found ourselves on the walk home. On the way back, we solved some of the world’s problems, but nothing ready for publication just yet.

When we got home, the roomies were already out the local watering holes, looking for that something that requires alcohol to find. L and I decided to start watching that collection of Oh My Goddess, truly one of the better animes out there. Too bad L passed out part way through episode II. It was halfway through episode III that I got an unexpected phone call from the east coast, from the one who’s the most indirectly responsible for this all:

Chuck>> So, how are you enjoying your stay?
Me>> I’m loving it! I’m surrounded by four women! All I have to do is put on my pyjamas, and it’s like the Playboy Mansion!

We chatted, the usual pleasantries, and I was advised to tell L that Chuck called while she slept. (Oh, that reminds me. L, if you’re reading this, Chuck called while you were asleep.)

As the fifth and final episode of Oh My Goddess drew to a close, I was presented with a dilemma. L was curled up on the couch next to me, fast asleep. Was I to rudely awaken her, so I could reclaim my bed, or should I just head on up to her room and steel her bed? I decided to wake her up, because, after some snooping, I discovered that the big, comfy quilt she was curled up in was from her bed, and as such had left her bed quite cold and barren. So, then, the question was, how do I wake her up? I remembered from my freshmen year that my roommate said the scariest way you can wake someone up is by plugging their nose. I plugged L’s nose. I quite didn’t get the reaction I had hoped for, but it did the trick. Again, with that dreamy look in her eye, she wandered on up to her room to go to bed, and I curled up on the couch, which L had now gotten quite warm for me.

At about 3 am, the roommates came home from the bar. I really appreciate the fact that they were whispering and trying not to wake me up, but the kitchen light smacking me in the face kind of did that. As I laid in my nice, warm sleeping bag, and they discussed their conquests at the bar, I couldn’t help but hear the voice of a man. Could it be? Yes, it was! It was the voice of my old friend Stewart Prest! I had half-a-mind to walk into that kitchen, wearing nothing but my Darth Maul boxer shorts, and say hello. But, I decided against it, as I was so snug and warm in my sleeping bag. Besides, if I were to walk into the kitchen in nothing but my Darth Maul boxer shorts, those women would’ve seen who the best man really was, and I didn’t want to give Stewart that kind of humiliation.


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