Saturday, February 12, 2011

Awkward College Romance - NEW INSTALLMENT! - part 7

When I arrived back at my dorm I was out of breath from my frantic sprint, but I knew it was important to get up to my room on the 3rd floor as soon as possible because I wanted to be there if and when Jeff called. Thankfully, my roommates were not around when I got to the room. I didn’t want to subject them to my pending emotional crisis, especially since I would not be able to explain my anxiety.

I paced around the room for about half an hour, periodically picking up the phone receiver to ensure we had a dial tone. I did nothing more productive than walk in quick, small circles and wring my hands. At one point I went to borrow the neighbors’ phone so that I could call my room to make sure the ringer still worked. I was a complete mess.

After a few hours it became clear that Jeff was not going to call me, at least not that night. I don’t even remember what went through my head, but I’m sure I was full of different ideas and theories, each more neurotic than the last. “Maybe he really likes me but he just doesn’t know how to come out and say it. Or maybe he could have liked me but I weirded him out by not giving him enough time. Actually he probably doesn’t like me at all and he just wanted to hang out. Now he’ll probably never speak to me again. Oh, why did I bother?” And so forth.

I have no idea how I did it, but I finally resolved to lie down and go to sleep.

The next morning things were no better. Jeff still hadn’t called, I had no one to talk to and had a buttload of schoolwork to think about. Realizing there was no point in pretending to be able to eat something, I went to the library with my books. Where I sat in a study carrel for all of ten minutes before getting up to pace because I was freaking out.

Then I realized that maybe Jeff could have written me a note of his own and left it in my student PO box. So off I went to the student center to check it.

No note.

I considered the possibility that Jeff could have called my room and left a message with one of my roommates, who had returned the night before as I was trying to fall asleep.

No message on the phone message board.

So I went back to the library and pretended to try to study for another ten minutes. At which point I repeated the entire process.

In short, I spent the entire day shuffling nervously between my three posts: library study carrel, student PO box and dorm room.

Somewhere near the end of the afternoon I realized I was going to drive myself insane –literally- and therefore resolved so call Lulu. Which resulted in one of the most memorable phone conversations of our friendship.


“Lu? It’s me.”

“Hi CP. How’s it going?”

“Terrible. Awful. I am having the worst day of my life.”

“Ok, what is it this time?”

“Here’s the deal, Lu. I am totally freaking out. I mean F-R-E-A-K-I-N-G out. You remember that time you called me in a panic because your roommate tried to saw open her wrist veins with a butter knife, and you were so scared you were hyperventilating and I told you to stop because it sounded like you were beating off?”

“Yes CP, I vaguely recollect that night. Have you worked on your bedside manner as I suggested?

“Ok Lu, it’s really, really important that you forgive me for that now and not judge me because I am FREAKING OUT! I don’t know what to do. I may have to throw myself down the stairs or something because I am FREAKING OUT!”

“Honey, it’s OK, I already forgave you. Now tell me, what is wrong?”

“I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU WHAT IS WRONG – I AM FREAKING OUT!” At which point Lulu lowered her voice to barely a whisper and said “I need you to take a deep breath and repeat after me: It’s going to be OK. It’s going to be OK. It’s going to be OK. It’s going to be OK. It’s going to be….”

It must have worked after a few minutes, because by the end of the call I had told her the story of writing Jeff the letter, my awkward hand delivery to him, my mad race back to the dorm, and my incessant cross-campus shuttling in search of a response from Jeff which was, as yet, nowhere to be found.

“CP, what you need is to go have fun tonight. Just try and forget Jeff for at least twenty minutes. You must have friends you are neglecting because you spend all your time either with Jeff, obsessing about Jeff or worse yet, talking to me about Jeff. When is the last time you saw Chuck, for example?”

“Chuck? I don’t know, I think I had lunch with him last week.”

“Yeah, well it’s time for you to see Chuck. He’s an alcoholic, right? I want you to call him right now - and I mean the second we hang up – and make plans for him to get you drunk tonight. Can you do that for me?”


“Ok then. So are you going to be all right?”

“No. I’m still considering hurling my body over the edge of the stairwell. That’s starting to feel like the most reasonable solution.”

“Please don’t do that CP –although if you do, can you leave me something in your will? I’ve been wanting that Ole Store sweatshirt you used to wear. But please, just call Chuck. Right now. And it’s going to be ok. Really, it is. Just keep saying that.”


I hung up from Lu, immediately dialed Chuck who was, thankfully, in his room. We made plans to go down to the Reub, our local bar, later that evening.

*********** TO BE CONTINUED *******************


Flannery Alden said...

I said it once; I'll say it again: What a friend you have in Lulu.

That said, Isn't it still pretty early on the West Coast? Don't you need to wind this up?


lulu said...

She tried to open her wrist with a steak knife, but otherwise it sounds pretty much like I remember it.

Dale said...

I've started drinking to get ready for the next installment. I am not an alcoholic but I could be if I tried harder.