The drunk chanting of "chug" has faded away. The liter of jäger is at war with my liver as I take another long drag of a Seneca Red.
Embers in the grill still smolder away, the taste of pork chops linger on my tongue. My stomach feels empty, although we've only just eaten. The hot dogs are gone. So are the hamburgers and chops. I can't just throw some food in the grill anymore. I must journey to the main campus and sate my hunger for heated meat, perhaps some wings.
I check my phone and see the time is eleven. Now is as good a time as any. I flick the **** into the cool spring night and cross the parking lot towards my Toyota. I grab the wallet from the glove compartment and place my headphones around my ears. Roger asks me if I've heard the news. I tell him I haven't. He says the Dogs are dead. I say that must be good news for the Sheep. My walk, or should I say incoherent stumble, from the town houses is accompanied by the sounds of Animals, a truly relaxing atmosphere.
As I progress down the road from town houses to the main campus, flanked on either by side by wooded areas, memories start coming to me through the darkness. I've walked this path almost daily for close to three years now. Sophomore year I'd walk to Francis from Doyle to get dinner, or hang out with friends who lived there. Junior year, it was from the Phase Twos to my classes and back. This year, it's from the coveted Phase Ones, which I don't truly understand. Phase Two and Three are so much better. Why does everyone want to live in Phase One?
These semi-joyful, or at least not totally depressing, memories flood my consciousness, and bring me back to easier, simpler times. I lack liquor, so I drink these memories down, savoring the sweet scents and full flavors my mind is so adept at bringing back to life. I smash the bottles which held them as I finish them, watching the drunken starlight shimmer and dance over the bits of shattered glass.
As I pass by Doyle and enter the main campus, the memories begin to change and shift. Instead of days which were laden with friendly laughter, I now begin to remember my freshman year, living in Shay Hall and having a whole new campus to discover. When I was forced from my shell and began to meet new people. One of those people would become my first real relationship, and would last all of nine months in my life. Her name was Gabby, and despite her undeniable insanity, was one of the most beautiful women I'd ever seen.
We did everything together, from eating and sleeping to going to our pals parties. She loved me, I loved her, and life was wonderful. Until it all, just, wasn't anymore. She grew demanding and distant, while at the same time requiring more and more attention from me, until one day the dam failed under pressure and let the reservoir flood the lands we'd been cultivating for nine months.
She cheated on me. While this was no new fact for me to deal with, looking back on my history with women, it was nonetheless still quite hard to face. She had the good grace to break it off face to face, but there was still a great deal I couldn't forgive her for. The constant demand she placed on every thing I did, no matter how minor or minuscule. The night she struck me for not putting my cell phone on vibrate. The words she would say, layered with condescension whenever I should fall short.
So I cursed her. Not in the typical sense one associates with curses, but more of a silent prayer that she would one day feel the pain that she subjected me to. I didn't have to wait long, though. The following year, she made her way to New Orleans to celebrate for Mardi Gras. Her new beau, the one she had left me for, stayed behind in New York, and put her rightly on the receiving end of the pain she brought me. While she enjoyed the festivities of Fat Tuesday, he enjoyed the carnal company of three seperate women. When she returned, she was heartbroken.
I never received a phone call. No apologies for what she did. No offer of kind words to soothe a soul which still had yet to recover from the blows it had been dealt. No lesson had been learned. No insight into her own actions taken away. No moment of clarity in which she realized the mistake she had made, or the pain she had caused with her selfish actions. The curse remains, hanging over her head like an everlasting storm cloud, dissipating only when she realizes what she has done to one man who enjoys nothing more than holding a well founded grudge.