Category: Rodes 2 Group Home

The Story of King David

Once upon a time there was a king, and his name was David the Flora.

And King David WAS a good king, and his minions, they DIDST love upon him; and David the Flora was well pleased with them.

And his minions did ENJOY his presence; such that at certain times they WERE unable to keep from WRESTING him to the floor; and that at others they DIDST pile themselves upon him.

And there was among these minions ONE whose name was Alison.

And it CAME to pass that on a night in Virginia, David Flora DID bring himself unto Alison; and she held in her hand a long, flexible plastic lily, which she HAD stolen from a restaurant.

And Alison said unto David Flora, in a calm voice: “I’m gonna hit you with this.”

And David Flora DID smile, so that his eyes SEEMED almost to disappear.

And Alison said unto David Flora: “It’s probably gonna hurt.”

And David Flora SMILED again; for he WAS drunk on whiskey.

And Alison DID hit him with the flower, which was like unto a whip; and David Flora FELT greatly hurt.

And Alison DID hit him a second time; and both of these were in the top part of his breast.

And David Flora WAS in incredible pain, and he wept, and he was like unto a woman. And yea, Brendan Adkins did laugh so hard he almost WET himself.

Lord. That WAS so goddamn funny.

The End.

A 24-exposure roll of film lasts me about a year, not because I take about two pictures a month, but because I take about eleven pictures in two spurts ten months apart. The roll I just got developed ends with pictures of the Chicago trip, and begins with pictures from the end of GSP last summer. In between are a couple of great shots from SETC, which I’ll have to post soon.

The one I want to put up right now, though, is a special treat for a few proud conspirators. Remember, those who understand this, that we are sentinels, templars, proud emperors of an age gone by. Remember what we did. Remember what we were. Remember, and treasure this in your secret minds, the single hallmark I left behind me in Rodes 2.

The DBC was here

Hey, remember back at SETC when I talked about how amazing my director Michelle was? And remember when I talked about Strother, expert in Matrix dollies and frightening photography? Well guess what! Through a distinct lack of coincidence, Strother from Kentucky and Michelle from Alabama are working together as tech interns at the Shenandoah University Summer Music Theatre. This is not a coincidence because they were at SETC for the same reason, after all, and apparently Shenandoah has excellent taste in interns.

Anyway, I’ve spent the past week bugging Mr. G____ for visual proof that the two of them coexist, and last night he gave in. For your further mental-image referencing, please find pics below! (Strother is the large hairy one, and Michelle is the smaller one with the headset. And Strother is wearing a purple shirt. With the scary eyes. No, on the left.)

Also last night, I finally met Kim’s dogs, and finally saw Chamber of Secrets, and Ian finally came over to hang out for a while. He brought along Yale, so DC was terrified of us, and that was good. I think there should be some gradual way to introduce people to the experience that is Yale, like the way you’re supposed to immunize yourself to electricity or rabid dogs.* Just meeting him straight away, or even going to his web page (which now appears to be gone), tends to cause sensory overload in humans.

So last night I went to bed all peppy, and then woke up this morning and there wasn’t any hot water so I took a cold shower and it stabbed my children in the face, and I hate you.

* Yeah, I think I made that up.

Today is the day I plug Mindy in the blog. Mindy Mindy Mindy! Mindy is a frosher, only she’s not because the year is over, only she still IS because that’s who she is in my head. And yes, Mindy reads this and wanted to be name-checked like Emily and Strother and whoever else. Congratulations, Mindy: approximately five more people have now read your name.

What I really (still) want is for all my friends to get blogs, or Livejournals, or their own sites, or something. The presence of my crew on the interweb is disappointingly low. I want to check in on them and read about their love lives and be fascinated by the way they think, especially when I’m exiled to Richmond, but they stubbornly persist in their absence. Get blogs, all of you! I promise to link you if you do!

Oh, that means I should talk about Sara. Sara is a (former) frosher with a blog! You could all take a page from her cyber-book, other friends.

I’m still going through the sum of all my belongings, sorting and repacking things for the great exodus to Louisville, and yesterday I found three items of interest. The first is a piece of paper from last summer, on which is scrawled the following:

If I die, and somebody goes to a vanity press or something and has a posthumous collection of my work published, and it’s not called Destroy the Evidence, I shall be very angry and want an explanation.

And you know, it’s still true.

The second was the package of pictures I took in Brazil, all twelve of them. It’s very strange to me that it’s been four years since I was there. I slept on a mattress one inch thick in the same room as Tiago, the world’s biggest Goons and Hoses fan, and ate a lot of beans and rice and lost probably thirty pounds. I started watching Dawson’s Creek for the first time, and was surprised to find that I liked it, and pined for home and Erika too much.

I had an incredibly sweet host sister named Joana, who tried to reach out to me any way she could: we played Quake II together, and she introduced me to cocoa in condensed milk. I saw a giant Jesus and many, many streetside orange vendors. I went to Mass with my host grandmother, who spoke no English at all but who smiled and patted my hand the way my own grandmother would have. I took showers that froze me, burned me and gave me some nasty electric shocks.

Along with the blue acrylic painting I bought at an art fair (still one of my favorite possessions), those pictures are the only souvenirs I still have from Brazil. The Rio pin I used to have was lost with my first bucket hat, fall term of my first year at Centre; I think the futbol calendar Tiago gave me is packed away somewhere in the attic, probably for a long time. It was a very self-centered time for me, and I wish now that it had been otherwise. I should have learned some Portuguese, I should have thrown myself into life there instead of trying to live here in my head, and I should definitely have played less Pokemon.

No regrets, though. I Went There, and I Came Back.

The third thing will have to wait, probably for quite a while, as I want to make it a part of this site and I’m going to have to write some code to do it. Right now I have to lug bags of potato chips over to Emily R’s house for a pre-Chicago Trip meeting. My life is filled with travel.

I want the last two shots to be the last Idiotcams© from in Rodes 2, but there’s a problem: apparently I spent all of senior week adding to the Plastic Mullet Series.

Yes, I am aware that thanks to the Fox network, mullets themselves have jumped the shark, but I still find the plastic mullet itself (which turns out to have belonged to Lisa all along, and which she ended up donating to me) a singularly baroque object. It possesses a level of absurdity above and beyond that of the standard mullet picture. It is, in short, a higher calling.

That I might better answer its siren song, I present to you Plastic Mullet Extravalooza 2K3! This unprecedented collection not only the mighty Darren at last, but new inanimate objects and the only girl who’s ever seemed happy to be wrangled into the headdress. If you order now, you’ll also get Jon’s whole entire dang family, not to mention a couple of Lallys (elder and younger). To top it all off, this one-time-only special captures the elusive Evan and–yes!–my own sister!

Back to bittersweet angst soon, I promise, but right now I’m going to have to glory in the possession of this much dirt on so many people. I hope none of you ever want to run for office, guys. I own you.

This is how I graduate: the only Centre commencement in living memory on which it has rained, in alphabetical order yet in the middle of the pack, ending up shivering in the library halfway to the auditorium, which was in neither the sunny nor rainy day plans. Our baccalaureate speaker was a fervent liberal and our keynote speaker a stolid conservative; hackles were raised at each and both. I tried to dry the rain off my glasses and found that polyester robes don’t soak up much.

My apartment has been messily slaughtered, furniture shoved and stolen and hidden mold revealed. One more time I’m the last one to move out. The walls are bare, and most of what I own is in piles on the floor. I’ll never live with Jon or Amanda or David again.

I said goodbye and soon to many, many people, and went to my uncle’s house to see Ken, Jon and Emily one more time and to be astounded by the generosity of my family. I fell asleep sitting up before we came back here. I’m going to pack all night and leave in the morning, which I was explicitly told not to do.

Those of you who know me from my first Governor’s Scholars Program will be gratified to know, I hope, that I brought an umbrella onstage with me at the ceremony. As we were leaving, I ended up facing the wrong way and didn’t notice I was supposed to be moving for several long seconds after the rest of my row had gone. I jumped and cursed onstage (at my own commencement) and scrambled out. I was so flustered I forgot the umbrella.

On my way out to meet my family I stood for a few minutes on the stage in Weisiger. That was the first place I found myself on the first day of GSP, here at Centre; I stood in the dark, having come in out of the rain, and wrote about quiet stages on a chalkboard. Later that night, Milton Reigelman would point it out in his opening convo speech, and I would feel a strange mix of shame and pride at having something I’d written read.

This is how I graduate: I am bone-deep nothing-left weary, and I have miles to go before I sleep. I know my time here is done and I am satisfied with it, and I’m ready and willing and glad to go. I’m hurt and hollow, childish and scared. I want desperately to put off the deep wrench I’m feeling, because it means I’m really leaving home.

A friend of mine has been questioning me with regard to the inner struggle in which I am pretty consistently engaged. I said I think it’s the way I’m trying to train myself into maturity. She asked why. This is my answer.

Katie’s passed out on our futon in the front room; I put out a trash can and a bottle of water even though I don’t think she’ll need them. Her friends say she’s been like this since around 6 pm. It’s pretty clear none of them made an effort to stop her.

I don’t mind that Kim and Danielle and Will left her here. I’d rather she be passed out in our apartment, which is at least a safe environment, than at fucking McNally’s house. I don’t mind taking on the responsibility of taking care of her tonight. It’s something for which I’ve made myself available, and something I’m willing to accept.

I will defend the letter of the law in that it allows adults to ingest drugs like alcohol if they want to abuse themselves. It’s a right. We have rights for a reason. I’ll defend that, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hate it.

People think alcohol makes them more interesting because it is essentially a self-centering device. All drugs are. And all drugs make you less interesting to everyone but yourself.

I will not deny that fucking yourself up is a valid choice to make with your life. I will not agree that it’s ever a good choice. There’s a difference. I want to scream this at people, but I’m incapable of that even if I thought it would do any good.

The things I actually hate in life are deliberate blindness and stupidity. They never accomplish anything worthwhile. They never make anyone happy in the long run. And living in Kentucky (or college, or America, or the world), I’ve seen so much of it that sometimes it makes me want to throw up.

I never want any part of that to be a part of me. My definition of maturity is not complete open- and empty-mindedness, but the unflinching refusal to be blind or stupid. It’s considering the needs of others before your own, and choosing to act in a way that takes into account the consequences of your actions.

I’m not there yet: thus the struggle. It’s me finding the parts of myself that won’t listen and trying to dig them out with whatever tools I have, and it’s my choice to never turn to chemicals to let me out of the job.

I feel like I lived two lives tonight: one where I went with excited people to see a really entertaining movie and stayed happy about it for an hour afterwards, and another where I sat in here being bitter and hating alcohol while a helpless, silly person sleeps on my roommate’s couch.

I keep believing that if I can find the anger and precision to hammer out every word of what I feel correctly, it’ll have to reach someone who’ll listen. That’s why I choose to articulate instead of screaming. Then again, of course, we all know that nothing ever changes.

I’m living in a small apartment with some of my best friends, apprenticed in a trade I find fascinating, dating an amazing girl, working with a dream cast on a play that really excites me and playing in one of my favorite bands. It occurs to me that these are probably the best days of my life.

Ben Folds was stunning, again, this time even more so because he was playing solo–just him and the piano (which I think is still the name of the tour)–and it didn’t feel like anything was missing. He got an almost unfair amount of music out of it: stomping the pedals like a kick drum, tapping on the mike in lieu of toms, and of course conducting the audience in place of strings or trumpets or whatever.

And that might be the best part. I went in planning to scream for Where’s Summer B.?, easily my favorite BF5 song and one I didn’t really expect to hear even upon request. And he DID play it! Without provocation, as like the fourth song! And we got to sing the best background vocals in any song ever!

So that was good. And then! Not only did I finally meet Jon’s friend Ana, who is unspeakably cool, but we met a bunch of UK friends at the Tolly Ho afterwards. These included my old friend Audrey, whom I hadn’t seen since spring (and before that not for probably two years), and her roommate Alden, whom I’d never met. It was a great time.

And then, the next day, Audrey and I were commenting (via email) about how much fun the whole thing was, and that we should hang out more often, and I asked her to the Centre fall dance and she totally said yeah!

The (large) part of me that is still a sophomore in high school is dancing for joy right now.

Anyway, the week has been work work rehearse rehearse other than that. This weekend’s Centre homecoming, and though it can’t possibly match my own for nostalgia, I’m sure it will surpass it in quantity of graduated friends. Or you could take Lisa’s hunch and predict that it’s going to be “mad drama.” Whatever. I’m just looking forward to sleeping in.

so she won’t sleep better alone
and they won’t feel better alone

The heat appears to operate entirely independent of my control, turning itself on sometime around 10 am and turning itself off around 10 pm. The knobs on some of the radiators don’t turn at all,and the ones that do turn have no effect. I wasn’t under the impression that this was how radiators worked! Evening is interesting, at least, as I have to open windows around 6 and turn the space heater on again by 11.

Things that have distracted me lately:

Del McCoury wins Bluegrass Award! McCoury Band Wins Entertainment Bluegrass! Bluegrass McCoury Wins Entertainment!

And that’s the news from Kentucky.

if I had a penny for my thoughts
I’d be a millionaire