In 2003, I was living in Carman Hall, the freshman dorm at Eastern Illinois University. Rumor had it that it was built on swampland and that the girls tower could sink at any moment. It had a disgusting pond that some kid everyone called Skittles jumped into one night. It’s the same pond that one of the dorm’s night assistants had to fish his moped out of of.

I lived on the second floor, but knew the elevator well. It’s the building in which I first got drunk, first got a blowjob, and first heard Deja Entendu, so I’m sort of attached.


In the hundreds of kids in that dorm, there was only one 21 year old. His name was Derek and he lived right down the hall from me.

Derek was a maniacally-intense blonde haired, blue eyed marine who just got out of the corps and was taking advantage of the G.I. Bill. He was interestingly handsome, like a young Woody Harrelson with a better head of hair. He was as likeable as he was aggro. He called me “Farley” the whole semester and told his mom and dad that I was “the funniest motherfucker every put on God’s green earth”. Like they gave a shit. Like they’re asking their 21 year old son who the street’s hottest class clowns are. I think I stood there in my graphic t-shirt that my stepmom bought me while working at a Goodwill and just waved and walked away. Derek was the best.

This whole thing happened during rush season, when Derek was rushing Lambda Chi. The story was that he wasn’t really into it. The dude just spent the last four years as a fucking marine. Why the hell would he take some 19 year old stoner’s bullshit? “I’m sorry, I can kill a man bare-handed 84 ways, we’re listening to O.A.R. until YOU change the CD.” Apparently, he thought it was lame and wanted out, but they were being shitty about it. He got tired of their antics one night when he went over there to pregame. After drinking for a bit, most of the frat went out to a bar. Derek stuck around the house. He straight up stole a keg from the basement and took it in his jeep over to our dorm.

Apparently, he had to park a ways away so he could sneak up the fire escape so the night assistants wouldn’t catch him with a keg of stolen beer. Derek dropped the keg off in the back room of the triple at the end of the hall.

People lost their shit.

Derek was running around the floor, banging on every door and telling people that there was a full keg in the triple and we were all going to finish it.

Everyone bought in. 20, maybe 25 guys pile in this two room dorm and start drinking the only way you can when you’re 18 and intimidated – incredibly recklessly. I have a hops allergy (boo) so I never really drank beer because it would get me sick, but I loaded up on eight-dollars-a-fifth vodka and kool-aid. I’d be okay.

Somehow, we were blaring I’m a Loner Dottie, a Rebel so loud I couldn’t even hear it. It was magical. We were drinking for an hour or so when Derek left the room to take a phone call. Apparently, some of the frat guys went back to the house early and found that their keg was gone. Someone there knew that Derek was the last one in the house and they were calling to see if he knew what happened. They must’ve heard us drunkenly screaming Red Letter Day through the door and put two and two together. They were coming for the keg.

Derek came back in and told us what was happening, and not to freak out or anything – that he’d handle it. We were all sort of anxious. Was an entire frat going to come and kick the collective ass of the second floor freshman dorm? Were we allowed to go back to our rooms or would Derek snap our necks? With no better options, we did the only thing we could: we stayed put and kept drinking.

A couple of minutes later I went to take a piss. We had a communal bathroom and showers that took up the middle of the floor.

One time, I was going #2 in the stall closest to the urinal. Looking underneath the stall wall, I saw shoes come in. I head the classic unzip. The shoes moved. They went from running parallel with the stall wall to perpendicular.

Then I heard it.

The dull thud of a stream of piss against metal and the inebriated chuckle of someone who was raised in a goddamn barn. Someone pissed on me. Boys are gross. I digress.

In walking to the urinal, I passed by the door that led down to the lobby. I heard a commotion – people yelling and a door banging, but hey, it was past midnight on a weekend, so strange scuffles in the stairwell were commonplace. It could’ve been anything. I didn’t really think twice about it.

I went back to the triple and kept drinking. Derek came in a minute later and told us that the frat guys came over, asking where the keg was. Derek swore up and down that he didn’t have it. They wanted to come up to check his room for evidence. It wasn’t in his room, but they surely would’ve discovered it by following the cloud of weed smoke and newfound hubris that lead to the corner triple full of 20 dudes. Derek told them they couldn’t come up and to get the fuck out of there and leave him alone. They rushed him in the stairwell and he kicked the shit out of all three of them.

First off, how hard would it be to fight someone while going upstairs? Stairs are hard enough. No need to add fighting to it. Second, a marine? Get out of town.

As he recounted this, we all felt like we were staring at the coolest human being we’d encountered to that point in our lives. Meanwhile, Derek seethed with rage. Something inside of him had been turned on. He was amplified. He pounded a full beer, walked over to the wall connecting the two rooms, and punched harder than I would’ve guessed possible.

He put his fist right through a fucking wall. On purpose. Out of joy.

He laughed like he’d lost his mind. He laughed with his entire body and punched another hole in the wall. The room was invigorated. Somebody else punched a hole in the wall. Then somebody else. Mind you, this wasn’t even his room. The guy who actually lived there sort of shrugged and told us that his dad was a carpenter and they’d just hang a new sheet of drywall. Good enough for us. Keep ‘em coming, boys.

I didn’t participate. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I electrocuted myself by punching through a live wire? Lots of scenarios ran through my head that kept me from joining in, most of them fear-based.

The assault on the wall continued with about half of the room punching holes in the wall while the rest of us uncomfortably drank as we casually watched pornography on someone’s computer. There was random pornography playing on a computer in pretty much every room at all times. I’d bet that this fact still holds true today.

I knew a guy who would turn his computer speakers towards his open window and blast pornography out onto a stoop full of kids. It was such a common occurrence that it sort of became the natural background, like traffic noise.

The drinking kept going and the party eventually spilled out into the hallway. Word had spread that there was a Keg on 2 and nobody was stopping it. Kids came from every floor and the party went to probably close to 50. All of our doors were open. People would pop in and out like a fucking open house. It was like something of a movie. Amazing.

By four o’clock or so it was mostly us 2nd floor guys hanging out, as the keg had long been dried out and we’d all moved on to something else. We were peak drunk. Invincible drunk. Crawl into the bed of a stranger’s pickup drunk. Debaser drunk, just slicing up eyeballs. It was just the point in the night where you contemplate pulling an all-nighter before passing out at six. The kid whose dad was a carpenter stood up and surprisingly coherently asked us to follow him into the hall.

The dozen of us or so went out into the hall and followed him to the elevator. He called it and the left one opened up. He asked Derek to hold the door for him. Derek went inside and kept his finger on the open door button, totally unsure what to make of what was happening. The guy (I don’t recall his name) dropped his pants and took a shit right in the middle of the elevator. He looked us in the eyes as he did it. I’ve locked eyes with a man while shit left his body. It’s not something I’m proud of. One long turd laid out, right in the center, totally unavoidable. When he was done, he pulled up his pants, took the final pull off of his Mickey’s, and smashed the bottle over the turd. He turned toward the door and walked out.

He said nothing.

We all looked at each other in utter disbelief. We were baking in the smell of a fresh piece of human shit. We couldn’t take our eyes off of it. Just human feces and a broken Mickey’s bottle, a turd and a thousand glistening emeralds shining in the fluorescent light.

I laughed harder than I may have ever laughed. Blind drunk in the prime of my youth. I’d just dyed my hair black (I only did it because a pretty girl named Noelle said I should. I was weak). There were chicken nuggets in the shape of smiley faces for lunch the next day.

In that moment, I was the king of my own history. That’s the best I’d ever be.

Written by Aaron