By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
August 2, 2006
Jim: Sometimes, I wish I could be you, just for a weekend.
Jim: Because I’m married and I have two kids.
Nathan: Yeah, how was your weekend?
Jim: Took the kid to watch a little league game, got the yard done. You?
Nathan: Two girls and thirty beers.
Jim: I hate you, dude. You really suck.
As I mentioned a while back, some moments in life are what I call “clingers.” These are the moments that are just so special that thinking about them can be a big help, especially when life starts to suck (vacuum cleaner style, not oral sex style). The following stupid moment is one of my clingers.
My freshman year in college, I was living with two guys from New Jersey: Doug and Tim. I have been fortunate in my life to have many great roommates (in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad one) and Doug and Tim were no different.
Anyway, one day back in college, Tim put in a CD of oldies from the ‘50s (his eclectic taste ran the gamut from NWA to Elvis) while I was downstairs rolling up something important to us at the time. The song “Dream Lover” came on and, because the damn thing is so catchy, Tim caught himself singing from the upstairs bathroom.
“Before we thought of ourselves as men against the world, we were boys playing in it.”
“Every night, I hope and pray…”
As I was walking up the stairs with my important something or other, I joined in to the song.
“Someone to have, someone to hold…”
Tim and I traded the next few lines as I continued up the stairs.
Then, as I handed the something important to Tim, Doug took that moment to walk out of his bedroom and catch the high notes.
“Because I want—yeah, yeah—a girl—yeah, yeah—to call… MY OWN…”
And as Tim handed off the something important to Doug, all three of us joined in for the last line of the verse.
“I want a DREAM LOVER, so I don’t have to dream alone.”
At this point, we were all standing in a circle (for obvious important reasons) while Tim belted the final lines into his hairbrush. And yes, I realize I’m writing about three guys.
Keep in mind, we were 18 years old at the time. I think such behavior could even be construed as queer by 9-year-old school boy standards, but we didn’t care. Much.
After we belted out the last line, Doug handed the something important to me, looked over to Tim and said, “You know this never happened.”
Just for the record, we all turned out to be completely heterosexual.
Anyway, we’ve all grown up. Doug and I work in offices and wear collars. Tim busts heads professionally. And we all like to think that we are now grown men. And we’re right. But that’s what kind of sucks, here. We are grown men.
You see, before we thought of ourselves as men against the world, we were boys playing in it. And before we all bought our own residences and succumbed to the worlds of the working stiffs, we were carefree kids who thought there was nothing wrong with passing around something important and singing old songs for no other reason than because doing so felt good.
Today, well, we’d have to be very drunk to sing an old ‘50s tune together.
And I tell you, if you could bottle up what it feels like to be 18 years old and free, and sell it to people, the smell emanating from that bottle would definitely be something important. And people would definitely buy it. And there sure as shit would be a lot more grown men singing songs in the Home Depot or wherever the fuck they go when their wives let them out of the house.
And that’s why, as stupid and as minute as that moment seemed at the time, it still sticks with me and makes me smile.
And it’s probably why I still fuck college chicks.