A College House By Any Other Name: Stevens Point, Circa 2001: Part One
I moved in that summer, not prepared for a hot, festering several months in a strange, small house that had seen its share of drunken, college parties. I moved in with three other guys who I had known awhile: Dave, Joe, and Jeremiah. We were a motley crew: a punk rock English major, a brusque music major, a science major, and an opinionated psychology major. I was the progressive English major that flirted with anarchism, like a less obnoxious version of Rik from The Young Ones. In some ways, we resembled that troupe, except with far less humor. Joe was a more conservative psychology major who liked to argue. We were both from the same hometown and had honed our friendship as outsiders. Dave majored in teaching music; he was the authoritarian taskmaster that wanted to keep us in line. Jeremiah, the science major, added a new flavor to our little group of outsiders. We met Jeremiah when he took a room in the house the previous January. He and I would move into another house, The Lost House, the next fall.
There was a beer bong in the crawl space and little else. There were two refrigerators to share, stocked with different food items. I was glad I shared mine with Dave because he never stole my food. The house was built on a concrete slab that had seen better days, and it was so warm that the box fans could not keep out the July heat. I took a smallish room that was somehow the largest in that contemptibly small house, that included a box spring and mattress that I moved to the next house where I lived. My previous bed was a high-end inflatable mattress that leaked and gave me a sore back. I resorted to sleeping on the floor at my previous apartment to the shock and chagrin of female visitors.
We drank a lot, but we never threw parties. If we were too loud, Dave would come charging down the stairs bellowing in his loud, yet innocuous voice, explaining that he had to get up in the morning to either go to work or practice his many instruments. He was a music major with oddly conservative views on art. He believed that only the music program should be funded because it supported his field. Joe and Dave would get into loud arguments over how loud we were being. Jeremiah and I would probably sit there listening. I think we argued with Dave, but it was never as epic as how those two went at it. They were dorm roommates who lived together in several apartments. Although they didn't really like each other, they could put up with each other, so they formed an alliance. Jeremiah and I undoubtedly messed up that equation.
That summer was hot, sticky, and mostly believable as far as undergraduate experiences go. We drank a lot. We walked a lot. We listened to a lot of music. We were loud and obnoxious. I soon discovered that I had friends from high school, who lived in a house that bordered on our backyard. They were typical college stoners with a penchant for Led Zeppelin, marijuana, and video games. We were similar, yet different, as we had a penchant for beer and a more musical eclecticism/romanticism. Jeremiah would play Main or Einsturzende Neubauten. I would play Rocket From The Crypt or Black Flag. Joe would play Metallica. Dave would probably play some jazz or classical music, but he usually kept to his room, unless he wanted to yell at us to keep it down.