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If you missed Part I, read it HERE.
Memories of simpler times rushed into his mind as what was both natural and light surged through his bloodstream. The reduced-calorie pilsner had awakened something deep within Senior that had laid dormant for far too long. His fingers gripped the frosted silver as a warrior would hold his blade, grateful for the gift young Jack had given him to navigate this, his former battleground.
His son remained tangled amidst the sheets, the night before still splashed and spread across the rug beside his bed. His conquest had departed in haste to the communal facilities across the hall, her embarrassment briefly reflected on the faces of those who had come before. By now, the hall was packed, the devious smiles of the present matching those of the past that were adorned on the walls. Still, something had to be done about the stench.
The roar that emerged from Jack’s throat was primal, a rage born of semesters of disappointment from those who remained subservient. Slowly but surely, the throats of those who had gathered rang out the same call until all at once the noise ended and the crowd parted in dramatic fashion. Roger Sr. took another excited drink while Roger Jr. pulled the comforter over his head to shield his ears from the noise.
“Sir?” the pledge asked. His hesitance was palpable except for his eyes, which darted across the bedroom in rapid movements.
“Clean this shit up, Nibbler,” Jack commanded as an outstretched finger aimed at the floor vomit. A few in attendance chuckled at the mention of the name.
“Why do you call him that?” Senior asked as the freshman rushed from the room to fetch the necessary supplies.
“During closed rush we brought strippers,” Jack explained. “Nibbler was on his back on the floor getting after it. The girl was grinding on his face when all of a sudden she stood up and slapped the shit out of him.” Senior’s eyes widened, horrified at the insolence. “Don’t bite our pussies!” Jack squealed, mockingly and in a high-pitched voice. He turned to the congregation for recognition and they gave it in force.
“Hah, she told us to treat them like we would our girlfriends,” Jack continued. Senior shook his head in disbelief. By now, Nibbler had returned. “Nibbler here had already earned his nickname, but what he said next got him a bid.”
The older Roger turned to the young man scrubbing up puke at his feet with an inquisitive look. The pledge paused for a moment to look up at the alumni, uncertain if he should speak or not. It was Senior’s gaze, full of anticipation and paternal understanding, which goaded the words from his mouth.
“I told her that’s what I was doing,” Nibbler said, a sheepish grin spreading across his young face. Quickly, he added “sir” at the end.
“His father’s a senator,” Jack added, half bragging and half in disbelief. “Between the two, he was an instant bid.”
The reminder that his father stood before him stirred something half-dead underneath the sheets. Not much more than a corpse, Roger Jr. emerged once again, but this time something was different. It was not embarrassment that spread across his face like a disease had once spread throughout the house in Senior’s day, but fear. He tried to speak, but the room had begun spinning once more, so again he turned and vomited. Nibbler caught the expulsion full force and reeled in disgust as the riotous laugher returned.
“Dad,” a weak utterance emitted from the body on the bed. Nibbler ran from the room and most of the crowd sprinted away as well, uninterested in being covered in alcoholic vomit. “Dad, you gotta help me.”
“Water?” Sterling Senior laughed, shaking his head at the pitiful mess his son now was. It was truly embarrassing, but hell, Senior rationalized. They all had been there at one time or another.
“No, no,” his feeble offspring muttered. “She…I…I didn’t wear a condom.”
“Oh,” Senior muttered, his face unconcerned. He shrugged. “I’m sure you didn’t get anything that can’t be cured anyhow.”
“No, Dad,” Roger Jr. protested. “She’s not on the pill. I’m not worried about STDs. I’m worried about…”
At once, the brilliant memories that Natty Light brought him only moments ago turned dark and twisted in his mind. There he was, about the age his son was now, staring down at a plastic stick. There was pee on the end and a plus sign in the middle — the cross he still had to bear. The fear, uncertainty, the sleepless nights felt fresh as he stared down at the product of his condom-less glory. He did not regret it now, but at the same time he did not wish it on his son.
Again, the can was his sword in hand. He finished it, grabbed another, and turned to Jack. His son was wounded, unable to perform the duties required, so now it fell on his two mentors to complete the task. Big and father, bound together by age-old rituals and their love of the young man, both knew what they had to do. Wielding fresh cans in hand, they both turned toward the bathroom where the harlot hid.
“It’s time we go to Plan B.”