SPX, Things and Peanut Gallery: Eric

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Tomorrow is SPX! Please pass by my table. I’ll be in Versailles Ballroom, table 80, with Josh. I’ll be selling Hoarse & Buggy books and talking up the Counter Culture Festival. Also, pass by the DC Conspiracy table at 75B and pick up a copy of our jam book along with brand new issues of Matt Dembicki’s Mr. Big and Bram and Monica’s Raised by Squirrels.

My comic book message board wisdom for today is actually the setup for the new Here’s the Thing… column. That’s right, I wrote a new one. Go check it out.


My freshman year roommate doesn’t just belong in the Peanut Gallery, he’s the President.

He was a sophomore which basically meant no-one wanted to room with him after freshman year, never a good sign. I called him a month before I moved in to ask him what I should bring, stuff like that, to which he basically “yeahed” a lot, showing no interest in much of anything. I considered requesting a roommate change since it’s easier to do before school starts but it wasn’t an option unless I wanted to move into Howard Johnson’s for a term – the local BU HoJo’s was temporary housing for freshman. I opted to tough it out.

Wrong call.

The kid was a smokestack for starters. I was a half-pack a day at that point and he was easily pushing two packs a day. He got to the dorm a couple of hours before I did and the whole place already reeked of smoke, much to my mom’s horror. He was a grumpy little Asian kid, sitting in front of his computer, playing Quake or some shit. Shades closed and the lights off. Hardly got up to say “hi”.

He pretty much stayed in that position for that the remainder of the year.

He’d play video games into the wee hours of the night. I’ve always been the type to go to bed late, even now with my job and all I still don’t get to bed until around 1 or 2AM, get up at 7AM. Back in college I went to bed around 3AM usually. Eric would get to bed by around 6AM and sleep until 2PM or so. Every night. I’d go to sleep to the soft glow of a computer screen; hints of CG splattered blood reflected off of the walls around his desk.

I hardly ever got any time alone with R, obviously. That was the worst part. I’d complain to him and he’d just give me the “it’s my room too”. I’d convince people on the floor to take him out with them, it would occasionally work. If he got home and I hung something on the doorknob to let him know not to disturb, he’d actually bang on the door until I answered, naked, and ask me how long I was going to be.

If I didn’t answer the door he’d start calling the phone.

I wanted to get him out of the room so bad that I would sign him up for information packets about groups he might be interested in. He’d start getting invitations from the Asian American Club, the Anime Club, the Video Game Club – I just wanted him to bite on one of them and maybe find a reason to get out every once and a while – none of them worked.

Eventually he got a job which might sound awesome but he actually got a job working in the dining hall, which is where I worked. And he worked a lot of the same shifts so it was almost as if he was purposely torturing me at this point.

But I made it through the year without killing him which says a lot about my resolve, I think; a lesser man would have destroyed him. He left Towers (our dorm) after his sophomore year and went to Miles Standish, a standard move for anyone in Towers it seemed. He got a single which was probably a great call on his part.

We actually became better friends (or at least more cordial towards each other) after he moved out. Of course, I’d only see him in the dining hall because he never left his room still but we were both promoted to student manager and since he had no social life he was great when it came to switching shifts – astonishingly, he never had a conflict.

Despite the fact that I want to continue to expand the Peanut Gallery I’m going to take a break from it next week and instead do a week of stories about my mom. I think some of you might come to the conclusion that she’s the biggest peanut of them all (but a lovable one).


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