College
by Justin Gawel on April 11, 2014

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The sobering reality sets in even though I’m still a little buzzed. “Today is the day,” I think, somberly comprehending my inescapable fate. Graduation’s passed. There won’t be any more classes and group-project meetings to skip in favor of sleeping or drinking. Really, there’s nothing left to do now except move out and prepare for an ongoing argument with my Armenian landlord over my security deposit while I try to justify vomit stains and perpetually-clogged toilets as “natural wear and tear.”

Sensing my uncertainty, the mini fridge and futon had been starring me down over the last week. Everything else was clear-cut—I’d keep the bed, keep the TV, for sure throw away the broken toaster oven that smells like festering death—but the futon and the mini fridge were tricky and now I couldn’t put it off any longer. A decision had to be reached today for two belongings that I’d lived with longer than any roommate.

Indecisiveness courses through me; it’s this bland, tepid impartiality that’s downright sickening and always frustrating for every bartender and waitress. Do I keep them both as souvenirs, truly fellow survivors, from the countless binges, booty calls, and beer fights over the past few years? Or is it time to move on, begrudgingly accept adulthood, and trade them in for high cholesterol, a subscription to Newsweek, and a copy of Quicken?

I never thought I’d have to make this call; I was always hoping it would be made for me. Frankly, I never thought the fridge would return from being nearly reclaimed by mold and nature after that one disgustingly-humid, unfortunately-unplugged, garage summer. And the futon, I assumed, would have been destroyed by now, either from burning in a basketball-inspired riot or from crumbling to pieces during a session of drunken power thrusting into a plus-sized questionable decision. Yet, resiliently, each had remained functional through all these years. They’d always found a way to bounce back, no matter what ghastly fluids had been caked onto their respective exteriors.

This is crazy; I’m wrestling with an inevitability. Why is it so difficult for me to leave these behind, drop some coin at IKEA, and accept an adulterous life filled with fancy things? Is this process easy for other people? Does everyone else just seamlessly slips right into a sobering regiment of two-hour conference calls and water-cooler gossip? Am I normal, or is this fictitious, tie-clip-totting, NCIS-watching corporate crony the one who’s normal.

Anxiety and groundless worry cloud my mind. College life was simple, but adult life seems petty and like a constant game of one-ups-manship. Will I be shunned in the apartment complex, labeled an “untouchable,” and be ridiculed out for not shelling out money for a sectional?  Is this the adult equivalent of that being the last kid with training wheels or training underpants?

Ahhh, fuck it; I’m being irrational. I’ll keep them both; there are too many good stories in those stains and I happen to like getting a little nostalgic from time to time.

Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan whose articles appear on BroBible and Guyism most weeks. Look for more of his updates at www.justingawel.com or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.

Justin Gawel

About Justin Gawel...

Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan whose articles appear on BroBible most weeks. Look for more of his writing in his BroBible archive.