Monday, July 30, 2018


I was having one of those late-night conversations with my wife in the dark of our bedroom, reminiscing about Oreos. Specifically, I was remembering a time when one of my roommate's friends came up for a party at our house, and over the course of the evening he proceeded to decorate our apartment with Milk's Favorite Cookie. He did this very discretely, wandering from room to room with a fistful of Oreos, eating one side, and then sticking the other side via the creme filling to walls, furniture, small appliances. It wasn't until the next morning that we discovered, in our hungover state, what Lonnie hath wrought. That was how we learned that his name wasn't "Lonnie." Instead, he was known thereafter as "(expletive) Lonnie."
It was this memory that sent me out to the living room in the middle of the night to do a search for my old roommate. We only lived together for a year, but that year was filled with vivid memories. How we discovered that three of us were not going to be able to live with the Big Brown Bear, who had a habit of playing guitar in the nude and wanted us to join a vegetarian co-op. This wasn't going to happen. Not either one of them. So we held a house meeting and sent him packing. Terrible behavior in hindsight, but three guys who were getting along on beer and Hamburger Helper weren't going to survive any of that way-too-in-touch-with-himself behavior.
We could put up with Lonnie. Somehow he seemed to fit right in. And my friend Darren and I were very pleased to have this ruggedly handsome guy living just down the hall from us because he was like honey to the bees who came to our parties. Girls who would not speak to either of us were coming to our house to play beer drinking games and hang out. He was from Chicago, where his favorite line from his freshman year back there had been, "You can see the L tracks from my room. Wanna come see?" It was a different game he was playing. Darren and I were happy just to be in the audience.
The next year, that trio split up. Darren was back in the dorms and our friend from Chicago was looking to consolidate his lifestyle. He probably ended up living with Lonnie. And the Oreos. But there, in the wee hours of the morning some thirty years later, he was. Same great smile. A little gray on the top, but still hunky enough to shove past me in my prime. And that made me feel good, knowing that there was still someone out there who would remember that apartment, and how we wrecked it. It was a great adventure, and a heck of a ride. Oreos and all.

No comments: