Posted on December 11, 2009


Before we leave our dorm room empty for an entire month, we’re doing a top-to-bottom cleaning of our room. This includes cleaning out the mini-fridge, so we can unplug it over break. This means that today, we finally had to bid adieu to the four-month-old slice of pesto artichoke pizza that has been the ever-present mascot of Redwood 1 North #1021. The pizza is a remnant from the very first night I spent alone in the dorm with Lauren, before Lanto had even arrived. Back when we had money to spend on luxuries like getting pizza delivered to our building. I didn’t have any cash, so this event also marks the beginnings of the debt I will forever owe to Lauren.

Lauren and I sat on the floor, making awkward conversation, each trying to decide if the other one was even vaguely sane, if we felt comfortable falling asleep in the same room, each making predictions as to the roller coaster of our relationship over the duration of the coming year.  As per usual with strangers, I didn’t talk much, but Lauren more than made up for my lapse in conversation.

We finished eating, and were both too polite to take the last slice. I laugh thinking about this now. Now, we engage in mortal combat over the last anything. We wrapped up the last slice in the plastic packaging from my new lamp, as we didn’t have any saran wrap, and put it on the bottom shelf of the mini-fridge, each figuring the other one was going to eat it the next day. We maintained our shyness  throughout the next day, too, each too polite to eat the last slice.  By the time our hunger and broke-ness overcome our manners, the pizza has the approximate texture and malleability of  a textbook with hardened gum stuck between each page.

Lauren and I hug and mock cry as, together, we put the pizza into the trash bag with the numerous mayonnaise packets, an old quesadilla, rotten carrots and questionable dip. As I carry the fetid trash bag outside and swing it over into the dumpster, I think back on everything I was feeling that night, my first night on my own. The fear, the anxiety, the excitement, the sadness, the loneliness, the togetherness, the sense of independence, the sense of responsibility, all wash over me as I struggle with my key card to get back into my building.

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