Thursday, October 27, 2005

Secret Origin of Cap'n Neurotic pt.7 - New Blood and Tarnished Gold

In preparation for the next few Secret Origin entries, I’ve been reading through my old journal entries and letters; while reading one journal entry I came across a reference to a conversation that I had apparently had at some point about how weird things were that first semester of my Sophomore year and how much people had changed over the summer; for the life of me, I have no idea who or what this referred to. Darn my eyes for not being more precise!

But oh, if only that were my only regret from those years . . .

When I moved back into Parker the beginning of my Sophomore year, there were already a few changes in motion before the new blood moved in. Several of my old crowd, including Dr. G'ovich, Rocket, and my fellow Brain Trustees, had moved out; St. Flunky, who had been elected 3rd Floor President, moved into the room directly across from mine; Wrath teh Berzerkr, who was now Hall President, moved into the room right next door to me, which became a de facto hangout for the guys in our group, since he owned both a Super-Nintendo and a computer (many's the night Wrath would go to bed while the game-obsessed St. Flunky sat glued to the computer screen); Pooh, Coronela, Wrath, and I were all also now sans roommates.

I haven't really mentioned my Freshman roommate, have I? Not a whole lot to say about Bubbles, the Barney-loving Pantene Wussie Boy (I had little to do with most of those nicknames, other than helping popularize them). We got along fine for the most part, not the best of friends but didn't exactly want to kill each other, either. He was one of several 1st generation Parker residents who joined a newly revived chapter of Alpha Tau Omega; other members included Captain Ego and the OKC Daytripper Brain Trustee (really need to come up with a shorter moniker for him). Wrath would also eventually join the ATOs, but not until the end of Sophomore year.

I had volunteered to help out during Alpha, which was the Freshman orientation event at OSU, so I got to be there when most of the newbies moved in. The atmosphere in Parker was quite a bit different this time around; before, the dorm had been filled with people who were unsure of themselves and searching for their place at a new school; but now, there was a pretty large number of returning faces who were old hats at this stuff by now; while there was a little bit of shifting among the newbies as they tried to decide if they wanted to graft onto an existing group of form their own, the massive all-nighters of my Freshman year were a thing of the past, a fact that wouldn't dawn on me until the next semester.

The fallout from the dissolution of The Clique was felt pretty early on; for at least a couple of weeks Coronela wouldn't go to meals if St. Flunky was going to be along. That would eventually die down, but the dynamic of the group was permanently skewed. It wasn't long before newcomer Zinger insinuated his deceptively quiet self into the quartet, keeping the male/female ratio even; the biggest difference was that this time the relationship that developed was between him and Pooh, and this time it stuck. It wasn’t long before Coronela became a fixture at the ATO house, cutting down on the amount of time we saw her for a while. Out of all the newbies that semester, Zinger made the biggest impact on my circle; I wouldn't get to really know GMC or Little Man Stud until later, and The Old Man was another mid-year move in like St. Flunky had been. Even though G'ovich was no longer a Parker resident, he still spent the majority of his free time hanging out there. At the time the semester began, G’ovich and St. Flunky didn’t really hang out with each other much; G’ovich made some passing comment once about how he didn’t think they had that much in common. This kind of bummed me out, since they were my two best friends. But I knew better than to try to talk G’ovich into changing his mind on this sort of topic, so I just let it go.

This was the semester that the push to get me to stop being such a out-of-shape couch potato began in earnest; while never completely successful for numerous reasons, for the first time in my life I was taking part in athletic activities that weren’t required for a grade; pretty big step for me.

I was still involved with the BSU Drama Team, and still unable to make any connections there beyond that. I was also starting to become more and more reluctant to partake in any BSU activities, since I was starting to feel like every time I did so I was missing out on something at Parker. This feeling would intensify after I returned from an overnight trip to find that, in my absence, G’ovich and St. Flunky had, in a night filled with pranks involving face-paint, finally discovered that they had something in common after all; things would never be quite the same again.

Now, you might think that having my two best friends hanging out with other was a good thing; I know I had. Be careful what you wish for . . . Here's what you need to understand: Flunky and G'ovich: athletic, fearless, adventurous. Me: not so much. So, when G'ovich would get one of his random "wouldn't it be cool?" ideas, Flunky would dive right in, while I'd hesitate and then get left in the dust; instant third wheel syndrome. The two of them clicked on a whole different level than I did, feeding off of each others’ ideas and energy in a way that I was completely unable to emulate. It seemed like every time I turned around there was a new inside joke, a new story I had missed out on, a new reason for my supposedly vanquished paranoia to rear its newly resurrected head.

Of course, it wasn’t all bad; that semester the fun times definitely outweighed the paranoid ones. G’ovich even invited me to go with him to San Diego over Christmas break; of course, he then invited St. Flunky as well, which was cool, but he got so caught up in the idea that his first impulse was to completely rework the plans to accommodate St. Flunky in a way that made it obvious that I had slipped his mind. *sigh* Cellophane, Cap’n Cellophane . . .He quickly realized his mistake and apologized, but the seeds of a depressing idea had been planted: when push came to shove, Cap’n Cellophane was going to be second choice, at best. This relentlessly depressing idea would haunt me for a long time.

In the end, there were four of us on the trip; G’ovich came down to Wyandotte for a few days after Christmas; we then went to Tulsa and picked up Wrath, before heading on to Texas to pick up St. Flunky. I’ll talk about the actual trip some other time; it was a good time overall, but there were two or three things that happened that woke up the dark passenger in my mind; the paranoid monster had clawed its way back to the surface and no matter how much I tried, it would be far too long before I managed to shove it back down again.

The Golden Year was now tarnished; the Neurotic Roller Coaster Ride had just begun.


Flunky lover said...

It's interesting reading these posts about Flunky for 2 reasons. I didn't know him at the time and it's interesting to see him through your eyes.