A FRIEND LIKE GORDON

My freshman roommate in college was a guy named Gordon. For four years, we were inseparable, and I love him to this day. This is one of the reasons why.
  1. Junior year. I had moved off-campus into an apartment with a guy I knew from the theater department, and the living situation had quickly turned into a nightmare.
    Mold growing on dishes in the sink, piles of "recycling" in the kitchen that was never taken out, dirty clothes and fast food bags scattered about the shared space - I was living in filth. And if I tried to clean it up, he would go ballistic. It was an impossible living situation.
  2. I was miserable. I didn't want to go home, ever. One Thursday night, I sat alone in a movie theater for a 9:30 screening of "The Secret Life of Bees." Just so I didn't have to be home.
    It's not a bad movie, from what I remember.
  3. One Saturday night, my best friend Gordon hosted a party at his apartment. I was so happy to be away from my terrible roommate and my disgusting apartment, as is evident in this photo.
    I have both the blessing and curse of being an age where all of my college experiences exist in the form of digital photography. Finding these photos took about two minutes, maybe.
  4. I got drunk. Stupid drunk. The kind of drunk you get in college because you're too young to go out to drink, so you must pack in as much drunk as you can when given the opportunity to be drunk.
    See photo, in which you can see I stole someone's tie.
  5. While lying on the ground in a drunken stupor, my roommate walked into the party.
    This is the photo I took the moment I saw him. It says more about our relationship than words could ever express.
  6. I was furious. In a drunken haze, I stumped to Gordon. What is HE doing here? This is OUR night, and he is RUINING it.
    My roommate did nothing wrong by coming to this party. But what I needed was an escape, and he took that from me. He took my home away from me, and now he was taking away my time with Gordon.
  7. I started crying. Gordon took me outside into his backyard. We walked past the people who were smoking, and we sat together in the grass. I laid my head in his lap, and I wept.
    I don't know if this lasted a minute or an hour, but Gordon never complained.
  8. All of the emotions that had been building up since I moved into that place came bursting out of me, and Gordon sat there, brushing my hair with his fingers and telling me it was all going to be okay.
    This was HIS PARTY. But he took care of me.
  9. I composed myself and I continued drinking. I didn't know what to do. If I left the party and went home, he would still be there. Gordon kept an eye on me for the rest of the night.
  10. As the party was dying down, I looked out at the apartment complex's swimming pool. I walked toward it, saying nothing.
  11. I took off my shoes, my pants, my shirt. And I jumped in. I didn't know what else to do. I had nowhere else to go.
  12. Questioning nothing, Gordon ran to the pool, took off his clothes, and jumped in with me. Several of my friends did the same. We splashed and swam and acted like idiots - which, as a bunch of drunk college kids in our underwear, we were. And for the first time in weeks, I felt at home.
  13. Gordon and me, February 2015.