It was a long day.

Up at 6 am to hurry off to the airport and say goodbye to my mom. The security people dab my duffle bag and roller bag with their little cloth explosive detectors and cheerily tell me that I can’t touch my bags anymore. “That’s fine,” I say. Up to the ticket counter where the man tells me that my duffle bag is overweight at 76 pounds, and that the extra six pounds will cost me $80. “Can’t I move some of the weight from one bag to the other?” I ask plaintively, but the man points at the friendly chemical testers reminding me that, oh yeah, ‘I can’t touch my bags’.

The air crew announces that the flight will be serving no food due to this or that reason, so it looks like the Snickers bar I had bought at the last minute will be a lot more useful than I thought. It turns out the snickers bar would keep me from near starvation, as neither of the flights served food, and my stopover in Cincinnati was all of 5 minutes, with the lines from Taco Bell being at least 20.

Getting into Cleveland from somewhere exotic is always slightly depressing, but it’s even more so when you have your own weight in luggage. Through a fairly amazing balancing act, I managed to get all my stuff over to a cab, whose cabby looked about as stoned as Ozzy Osbourne. To his credit he only looked stoned, and knew exactly where to go even through minimal interventions.

Starving, I show up at my fraternity house looking for food. My key works! I dump my stuff on the foyer and zoom into the kitchen to find a mess and a couple of cans of Tomato Soup. One of my brothers was cleaning the kitchen, something he said hadn’t been done in ‘about a month’, and told me that I should feel lucky to get that tomato soup because everything else was stolen by the summer boarders who rent rooms in our house. Realizing there are people who aren’t my friend living and breathing among us, I go back to my stuff and hide my laptop case at the very bottom of the pile.

I was hoping my room was empty so I could move right in, but the summer boarders can’t leave until they have somewhere else to go, which meant 3 days. The room I had claimed was on the third floor near the stairwell and the game room, the perfect choice. I knocked on the door to hear an interestingly high pitched voice reply, “uh, uh, JUST A MINUTE!!” Several minutes later a slightly obese kid with a bath robe opens the door asking how he can help me. The room is a complete pig sty, with clothes and junk everywhere. I block out of my head any reasons why it would have taken him several minutes to open the door. I don’t even have any desire to claim that room as mine, but I put it down on some form a while back so I feel like I have to. I tell the kid he’s in my room and ask him when he’s moving on to a better place, to which he responds, “I don’t know, Sunday?” Okay, so maybe its 4 days.

All of the trash cans are overflowing, and as I start to empty them one by one I realize that there really aren’t any trash bags to fill them back up. I check on my stuff that I had stored in the basement during the summer. Everything looks good, though my desk has a half full beer can sitting on it, caked in flies. I reach out to pick the can up and mercifully dump it out and a cloud of the little insects explodes from my touch. The flies are everywhere. The kitchen. The third floor bathroom. One of my brothers tells me they are getting fly strips. I tell him maybe we should fucking take out the trash, clean up the junk sitting in the hallway, pour out the semester old beer cans, and generally turn the house into a livable place to breath. He said, “Well, yeah, I guess that works too.”

While I’m brushing my teeth to go to bed with water (because I left my toothpaste several miles thousand away), for some reason I’m reminded of Fight Club. “What a shithole. Nothing worked. Turning off one light meant another light went out.” It’s not quite that bad, but coming from my house in Utah it feels pretty close.

I’m lying in bed in the smoldering heat and humidity, in this random place with crap on the walls, my stuff in delicate piles at different strategic points in the room, and I’m realizing that I picked this choice out from many others because of the interesting opportunities it gave me. Today was today because way back in the day I saw a little flyer on the wall saying they needed somebody to run for student council treasurer. Today was today because I sat next to Erin at the meeting. Today was today because Erin went out with Mike. Today was today because Mike got me to join Zeta Psi.

Thus Bacon began his sophomore year.