The red and blue crest of the fraternity banner cast a luminescent glow about the room. Divided equally, the early morning sun cast two perfect corridors of color: that of a deep seated maroon, and that of a deep ocean blue. Cast directly in the middle of the room, fixed upon the middle of the executive desk, was the silhouette of the emblem by which our values were meant to be upheld: truth, honor, and mutual respect. Alas, it was not the picturesque embodiment of our fraternal meaning that captured my attention on this particular morning, but the brother who had managed to lodge his foot in the adjacent, partially-closed window while stumbling home from God knows where.
His screams of drunken agony had pulled me away from my own scotch-infused slumber session, against my better judgment and the thickest, noise-canceling pillow I could find. It was 7 a.m. on a Tuesday, and this was a typical morning in the life of a middle-tier fraternity president.
“Boom, I swear to Christ, if you don’t untangle me from this Chinese foot-fetish fuck-fest I’m going to string you up by your balls and impeach your ass,” the 5th year senior drunkenly rambled as he lay bent over the nearby couch, still strung up by his ankles. This was Randal Schmidt, or as he was solely referred to as, Schmitty, the fifth year from Arkansas making his typical Tuesday morning return to the fraternity house.
“Schmitty, you dumb fuck, you’re five feet from the door. Why use the window?”
“Because you eh — er — YOU CHANGED THE CODE ON ME,” he stammered while attempting to right himself on the couch, instead knocking his half-full, lukewarm, mostly backwash Budweiser onto the table.
Schmitty is one of those particular individuals where, while sober, is perfectly functioning (as functioning as a fifth senior can be in society’s eyes) and a productive member of the brotherhood, yet, when he blacks out, turns into a slobbering disaster barely able to function. Schmitty stood about 5’8”, weighing in at a generous 180 pounds, with eighty of it coming from his pronounced beer gut. A true Arkansas man, Schmitty’s southern draw hung thick in the air, like a humid southern night, or more appropriate in Schmitty’s case, two day-old asparagus vomit. Thin, wispy dark hair clung steadily to his head, dampened by the sweat exhausted when attempting his fruitless escape. His “impeccable” southern charm was topped only by his pronounced romanticism for the opposite sex, although his efforts were rarely reciprocated.
“I don’t even know how to change the fucking code Schmitty, and you’re going to clean and wax this desk as soon as you get sober.”
While rambunctious and physically reckless only moments before, a steady calm grew over the still slumped individual, as his mouth tightened and eyebrow began to quiver. In the still calm of the early morning, the maroon fabric cast an ominous aura upon the inebriated individual, and while the whites of his eyes continued to grow in size, the seemingly harmless, trapped brother turned into what can only be described as the resulting love-child spawned from Satan and Ari from Entourage.
“WAX MY FUCKING ASSHOLE, BOOMER. I AIN’T CLEANIN’ SHIT. AND SO HELP ME GOD, IF YOU MAKE FUN OF MY DYSLEXIA ONE MORE FUCKING TIME, I’M GONNA SHOVE YOUR HEAD SO FAR UP YOUR SKINNY GIRLFRIEND’S ASS THAT YOU’RE GONNA HAVE TO TELL CHRISTOPHER ROBBIN TO SET THE MANTLE, CAUSE HIS FRONT DOOR IS FUCKED.”
“Was that a Pooh reference? I think you mean Rabbit. It was in Rabbit’s home.”
“I DON’T GIVE A SHIT YA FREAKIN’ LIBERAL TRASH, POOH BEAR BUTT-FUCKING MOTHERFUCKER.”
“Truth, honor, and mutual respect.”
“AVOCADO FUCKER, SHOULD HAVE NEVER VOTED FOR SOME WEST COAST HIPPIE.”
“Truth, honor, and mutual respect.” For some reason, these words were running circles in my head despite the drunken banter of the poor caged animal lying half on the couch beside me. For as long as I could remember, my father had been telling me about his fraternity days, and how proud he had been to be a Kappa Psi.
“You’ve always been a leader Johnny, always will be,” he used to say. “The fraternity experience is the perfect test, to see if you got what it takes. And if you should decide upon my fraternity, then prepare yourself, because Kappa Omicron take only the finest. To be a leader amongst them, is to be the leader of the most promising individuals on campus. A real honor, and one I would kill to see stay in the family.”
Dad has yet to meet Schmitty.
While reminiscing, I had failed to notice that an exhausted Schmitty had finally collapsed on to the back of the couch, snoring loudly, amidst a puddle of what appeared to be mostly spittle, leg still caught in the gap created by the barely open window. To this day, I still can’t fathom how he managed to close his own ankle in a window to the point of immobilization. Now that I no longer had to listen to the drunken slurs of a southern sailor, I could return to the fleeting hours of the morning in order to hopefully claim another hour of sleep, but not before lifting the window, and nudging the lower half of his body onto the now somewhat moist couch. After all, I couldn’t exactly leave him stuck in there, right?
Even though I knew he would remember none of what had transpired, and would be boisterously exaggerating what fleeting memories he did have, it made me happy to know that I could have stayed in bed, amidst his calls for distress, but I didn’t. I did the right thing.
A loud crash echoed behind me, and even though I had yet to turn, I knew what had caused the crashing. Schmitty had just woken up, and for some reason, kicked out the window that had previously held him hostage.
Here’s hoping Schmitty won’t need a sixth year..