The last week of school was the usual grind of finals and packing and for those of us who actually attended class and studied, partying. By this time in my storied college career i had turned myself into an excellent student. It was the first time in my life that i had actually applied myself to studying and i enjoyed the fact that i wasn't cramming or sweating my grades. My grades were stellar, i knew the material for the finals and so i waltzed through the last week and by Wednesday i was done, with five days off before reporting to work on Monday. Once my room was free above the gas station i packed up my stuff, loaded up the good Doctor's car, (a good friend of mine who acquired the nickname due to some joke about a mad scientist) and tossed me shit in my room before getting down to the serious business of drinking, tripping and being as stoned as possible for the next five days.
My other main concern for the summer was my aforementioned lack of options when it came to fucking. This was a troublesome thing for a guy who was used to female companionship, not necessarily girlfriends but girls who were friends that i'd sometimes hook up with. The town was empty... and so i devised a plan which i named, Calling in the Notes. My brilliant (in my mind) plan was to call as many ex-girlfriends as possible to see if i could get them to come up for a weekend or maybe two without actually reigniting some sort of relationship. As i stated i was all fucking class. I began dialing... and of course the first person i called was Cherry who rather swiftly agreed to come up the next weekend. My first weekend off after my first week of work. Excellent! i thought, and with the wheels turning i began to wonder if maybe i could get her to drive up every other weekend or something like that. Thinking with one's dick is never really rooted in logic and rationality, it's more based on the caveman like grunting of a rutting bi-ped with opposable thumbs. At the time i may have been the poster boy. And so i took a sigh of relief knowing that at least i'd have a good first weekend exiled in Podunk.
One can be surprised how swiftly five days of partying can go by... and before i knew it the alarm was going off and i was rolling out of bed at 6:30am to make my six block walk to work. A walk that would consist of my routine of stopping at the mini-mart for a coffee and a donut or some other fine bit of cuisine from under the mini-mart heat lamps. The first day i wandered into the break room, pulled up a seat next to the good Doctor and waited to see what we would be tasked with. The good thing was the Doctor and i were placed on the same crew along with a few other students, one of which was a local girl with straight blonde hair and some rather large breasts. The Doctor took and immediate shine to her and would soon have his own "special friend" for the summer. Unfortunately our crew chief was one of those guys i'd learned to abhor. The fucking workaholic. Granted i was some shithead college kid and these guys were townies working one of the best jobs you could get in Podunk, i understood why he took it seriously but it didn't take long for me to realize he took a certain amount of glee in working his crew as hard as he could all the while pretending to be the "cool guy" when in fact his crew thought he was a raging tool.
Of the twenty-some or so students who were hired for the summer most of us were placed on the Grounds Crew, destined for a summer of cutting grass, weeding, shoveling mulch, clearing brush and in general the kind of manual labor that a wastoid like me was looking to avoid. I was hungover on day two and i was already having fantasies of beating the shit out of Gary the crew leader. I could tell right off that he knew my type and wasn't all that fond of me and my lack of enthusiasm or work ethic when it came to my current employment... i was a slacker. I was hungover on day three. There was a pattern developing. Then came day four and what might be termed some divine intervention if one is inclined to such things. I was not. I call it dumb luck or the being the guy who looked the most hungover sitting at the break room table. The admin had walked in and stated that they needed one person for the Carpentry Crew, in my hungover brain i was thinking that the carpentry gig sounded even worse than the grounds crew, i watched as the admin scanned the room before her benevolent grin settled on moi as she said, Kono looks like a good candidate. I looked up like that deer staring at the semi bearing down and she motioned for me to come with her. Once out of the break room she leaned and whispered, "i think you'll like the Carpentry Crew" and led me towards the wood shop.
The Carpentry Crew was basically one guy, he was short, maybe 5'7, with grey hair and thick black glasses, his nickname was Peanuts and he'd been working at the University for over 30 years and was easing his way towards retirement. The other member was a kid i'd seen around campus. He was a metalhead who was fond of wearing his jean jacket covered in patches with his favorite metal bands, he even had a sleeveless version for when it was really hot. It turned out that his mom was some hotshot at the university and he'd been doing this job for a couple of years now since he had an in, didn't even need to apply. I looked at my new crew and pondered which directions my fortunes had turned. Peanuts wasn't exactly the loquacious type and rarely spoke and when he did it was usually a sentence, maybe two. Lars, my metalhead partner, i believe had delusions that he was now second in command, he's the one who told me who his mother was and immediately started asking me about music but it still being early i was still shaking off the remnants of the night before. We all hopped onto a golf cart and then drove towards one of he large dorms on the one end of campus.
We pulled up outside of the eight story dorm and went in. There were a couple plastic work carts there loaded with extra towel bars. It seemed our main responsibility was go from room to room checking the towel bars and replacing or fixing them if need be and then checking off each room we did on the sheet. We also had to check the drawers of the bureaus in each room, check the windows as well and if anything was amiss write down the room number and let Peanuts know what needed to be done. It was then that i gleaned that Peanuts would go off and work on his own while Lars and i would be left to do our bit. I had to stifle the urge to scream, "FUCK YEAH!" as i was beginning to realize that i had just lucked into the most primo gig in the place. All i really had to see was how much of a square my partner Lars here was and it turned out he was a big fucking square.
As soon as Peanuts had wandered off i began to query Lars on how often Peanuts popped in, as well as other workers, the boss, etc.. Lars stated that you rarely saw anyone and that sometimes Peanuts even forgot to pick him up to drive back to the shop. This was brilliant! The campus wasn't so huge that walking back to the physical plant was that big of a deal but the fact Peanuts was a bit, forgetful shall we say, meant the wheels of my slacker brain were turning at a blistering pace. I then looked at Lars and said before we get started give me about 20 minutes, and then i proceeded to a room and crashed out on a bed. I awoke about 45 minutes later when i could hear Lars pushing the cart down the hall. I sat up on the edge of the bed and wiped the sleep from my eyes, a nap was just what i needed. Lars looked in and i could see the look of trepidation on his face, he didn't know what to do, i could see the fear, he was a square, he thought we should be putting in an honest days work. I was a slacker, fuck it was how i looked at it, i'll get away with as much as i possibly can without getting canned.
The last day of my first week had arrived and since we were part time summer help who weren't allowed to work forty hours the students were done at noon every Friday. This first weekend Cherry would be arriving and so after my morning nap at work i actually spent a couple hours doing my job, a job that was ridiculously easy, i think i fixed one of out every ten or so towel bars and since all other issues were turned over to Peanuts the summer was looking grand! I was learning that by putting in a good hours work one could give the appearance of actually doing shit which meant if i put in two hours of work the rest of the day could be spent sleeping off the hangover or watching television, occasionally i'd smuggle a small book in cuz i didn't want the powers that be to ask why i had a book with me. "Well mainly sir because i spend most of the day fucking off while collecting my $8 an hour." At noon i sauntered home and cleaned up my room for Cherry's impending arrival. With the first summer session starting the next Monday there were a few students around and my place above the gas station would soon be one of the more prominent spots to party. This first weekend would kick things off with a BBQ on the roof.
I walked up the steps of my temporary abode and rolled a joint. I sat at the table looking out into the bright sun, cracked open a bottle of Blatz (a fine and cheap shitty beer) and smoked one to the head. I then cleaned a bit, took a shower, and waited eagerly for Cherry to arrive. A quality fuck would just about cap this day off as a fine one and since my Cro-Mag tendencies were in high gear at the time i was eager for Cherry to arrive... now all i could do was sit back and wait... like that line in the song from the movie Meatballs... are you ready for the summer? (to be cont.)