The Sixth (Floor) Sense

The sixth floor is bittersweet. Not every sixth floor, just this one in particular. I am currently down the hall from a room I spent about nine months in my junior year of college. My junior year of college was not fun.

The beginning of a new major, and that was the least of my worries. A long-time relationship ended. My grandfather was in the hospital. Two planes hit two tall buildings in a terrorist attack. My struggle with mild depression and anxiety began.

And then there was my roommate. The guys on my floor. The stories that I heard from them and the random friendships I made, even though they lasted just nine months, especially the one who claimed he received oral sex while he was sitting on the toilet taking a number two.

I died my hair a bright magenta that year. I also went running two mornings later and went to a salon and had them shave it all off. I, then, worked at Abercrombie and Fitch with blotchy brown and red hair. I really didn't fit in, especially after I bleached it. That's when I looked like a grapefruit. I definitely had to wear a hat to work at the store.

There was an oriental rug in my oversize dorm room. There was one window and it made the room dark. Then there was my closet-case roommate who loved "Real World" on MTV, and had he made the Chicago cast he tried out for -- he would have claimed the gay card on cable television, instead of making it this strange mystery throughout the entire year. Each night I would add up the latest evidence and call Steph.

"He's gone out this past week every night and this guy, who claims musicals are the only real music worth listening to, picks him up. The roommate takes a bag with him and he's gone for the night," I said.

That was the ticket. No matter how many times he claimed how "hot" Sarah Michelle Gellar was while I watched "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." I knew. At that point, he was just Gay Jay. A nice guy, but a theater major.

And who else is an awful cliche in college? That's right! Elementary Education Majors!

Yes, I grew to hate them and all their bulletin-board-glory my junior year.

All these memories swarm back to me, along with others of my life here at Studebaker West.