As Pledge Commander, I’ve had to make sacrifices. I’ve stopped going to many classes. I don’t do my homework. And many nights, I don’t sleep in my bed. I’ve given up any hope of a normal life or a face that girls might find attractive in order to watch all thirty episodes of the canceled television show Jerichowith my pledges.
Last night, the game Assassins ended with a battle royale at midnight on Old Main Lawn, between the fifteen remaining players. They survived 150 other assassins, to make it to the final round, only to spend the last ten minutes of the game searching all the trees in Arkansas’s arboretum for the last target, who was well hidden. However, this is an email I received from Matt Bakke, a pledge who was killed this past weekend.
The best way to describe it is an overwhelming sense of nothingness.
That last shot of adrenaline when danger is near, and then you feel those liberating drops of water.
Hit, wet, free. No more walking up 6 filghts of stairs. No more sidewalk chases and wall climbing. No more making body shields out of passerby’s. No more stakeouts outside your door. No more being chased out of residence halls for sneaking in by angry RA’s and secuirty. No more cryptic texts, “Hey man, What are you up to?” No more suspiciously attractive females asking what you’re doing later. No more people hiding in bathroom stalls. No more avoiding your room like the plague. No more piles of laundry from not going to the laundry room. No more broken water guns soaking your pocket. No more furtive glances over your shoulder, and twitchy 360’s, no more accidentally shooting someone for looking suspicious, no more hours in the library, no more creeping on your targets house.
Just Kevin Lawson in a dark coat with the joy of the kill in his eyes.
I went to Stillwater for the OSU Homecoming; the festivities were gorgeous and crowed, and the city was flat and debilitated personalities. Leaving Stillwater, I felt like a person again. However, neither the crippling depression that waits for you there or the $50,000 dollar Greek lawn decorations were what made a lasting influence. The memory I left Stillwater with was of the man Stony Fath.
Our fraternity is playing Assassins: with teams of big and little brothers, each team eliminates their target, another big little team, and takes that teams target. The one team left in the end wins. It has been a heated, controversial, and at times colorful competition. I recently received this email from one player who was contesting his death. You might call this a guest blogger:
I would just like to pass on this story to you, because, regardless of the outcome, it was a glorious battle for my life, with multiple parties taking hits on both sides.
A little over a year ago, my grandmother died. I know, that’s a terrible way to begin a story. I once read a short story where, in the first paragraph, the main characters accidentally kills an infant. I think that tops what I just did, so you should feel lucky.
She had Alzeheimer’s, so her passing was positive – it was her time, so to speak. And it was actually a blessing, because we had a week’s notice, and everyone who knew her was able to fly in and say goodbye. All the men my dad grew up with came to the house; it was where they all stayed when they were younger. They told many stories, and my favorite is this: there were five boys, all within a year of each other, that lived in her house. Every fall, each boy would invite four friends, and the 25 kids would be split into 5 teams of 5, and my grandfather would run an Olympics, with basketball games and sprinting events and a spades tournament. But the best event was hot wax tolerance. Each team would pick one kid, and the kid would hold out his arm, and hot wax would be poured on it. Whoever didn’t wimp out won the gold.
I read a poem I wrote at the funeral. I wrote it when she was unconscious, and people were filing in and our of her room, whispering about hot wax tolerance.
look at me
i have four foot wings
as thin as my skin
and the color of my boys
rising up from my bed
i am floating to a place
where the stars are halfway
between silence and noise
look at me
i am an angel
i am done with changes
i am completely released
i have held on forever
but forever is over
this is me going
away with the east
look at me
yet not while you’re crying
with your feet on the ground
and your minds set on mourning
i am a satellite drifting
but i am not drifting
i am not an old woman
look at me
i have four foot wings
the skies are all mine
but where are my loved ones
i am a spirit
but they are still bodies
this is me saying
goodbye to my sons
This week at the University, Camp War Eagle is recruiting. They have booths set up outside of dining halls and the Student Union, and it’s supposed to rain all week. But think of it as little tap tap taps of angels, saying, “Way to go!”
On Thursday, we had scheduled a coke date between our pledge class and the pledge class of Delta Delta Delta. We were supposed to learn how to line dance – a BYX alum named Cy Martin (who may be a fourth year senior – all I know is that he was the only Beta class member attending chapter for two years straight) was lined up to not only teach the dances, but to call them off, too. I’m still not sure what that looks like, but in my mind I see an auctioneer.
Austin City Limits was fantastic, but there was this one point that wasn’t as cool. That was when a drunk girl burned me with her lit cigarette.
Blanton and I camped out at one of the larger stages, the AMD stage, for a little over five hours. Stages alternate shows, and each stage features an artist who plays a one hour set, then there’s a one hour break, then another one hour set. At AMD we saw the Avett Brothers, Phoenix, and John Legend. All were great, but I really wasn’t expecting anything out of the Avett Brothers, and they made it rain. At least they brought the cloud cover, which was highly desirable in the Austin heat.
However, in the waiting hour between the Avett Brothers and Phoenix, standing with Blanton at the front of the crowd (that’s what you wait five hours for – to be at the front), I felt something that, at the time, I thought to be a mega wasp sting on my elbow.
I once saw a movie on the SyFy channel called Mansquito. I believe what I felt must have been comparable to what Lt. Randall felt fighting that monster.
After crying aloud in pain, I turned and saw a drunk, heavy girl holding a beer and a cigarette in one hand. She apologized – a lot – but really, when was the last time you burned a stranger with a cigarette? That sort of thing doesn’t happen. It’s like accidentally dropping a baby, or unintentionally selling state secrets to a Soviet Bloc country. Her kind of negligence was what put Nero in power.
As consolation, she showed me a mark on her arm where she had put a cigarette out by snuffing on her skin. How does that make me feel better? All I know now is that not only are you drunk, but you’ve also shown yourself to be a consistent idiot. To try and make her feel stupid, I took my elbow and put it on her forearm, so that the burn marks touched, and said, “High Five.” She didn’t get it.
I went to Austin City Limits yesterday with Blanton, and yes, it was great, but I can’t talk about that right now. My heart is so full for one specific issue that I have to pour it out before it starts to boil and I die. I think that’s what happens, from my rudimentary understanding of anatomy.