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“Y’all Know Me. If You Fuck With With Me, I Will Fuck You!” Part 2

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“Fuck, this is hot” I yelp as I scald my tongue on Turkish coffee.

I put it back on the ornate, Greek stylized saucer and let it sit for a bit. Charles is still munching on his baklava and we don’t have to be anywhere for a while, so there’s no rush. I look beyond the register and see a handmade sign advertising a baklava sundae and think of how awesome that would be. There’s also peanut butter chocolate baklava, chocolate covered baklava, and all sorts of treats I’m sure aren’t traditional Turkish fair. This place is still legit though; there’s plenty of other deserts and drinks with strange names and foreign ingredients. “Don’t be a bitch,” Charles says. I pick up this little shot glass sized stick of dynamite and take a sip. It’s good now- as good as a bitter, syrupy cup of liquid cocaine can be. I didn’t drink much coffee before coming to college, but now it’s a staple in my diet. I usually gravitate towards mochas, iced drinks, and coffee since I’m not too hip on the coffee culture. One of my favorite things to say about coffee is that I love coffee, but I hate people that love coffee. I use that same adage for music- I love music, but I hate people that like music. I begin to make some progress as I recount the events of the past week.

#

Friday I march upstairs to to my office in Harrelson Hall. This is my first day at a job that doesn’t involve heavy lifting, mopping floors, or dodging people wielding knives in a restaurant kitchen. I’m excited about seeing what I’m supposed to do and I’m very motivated to never end up back in that kitchen. My “supervisor” Chantell sends me some info about what the OIA (Office of International Affairs) does. Basically, the OIA handles Study Abroad, the services utilized by international students (passports, English conversation skills, etc.), and anything that involves another country at the school. I got acquainted with a lot of acronyms and all sorts of “initiatives.” I don’t work Fridays, but because of the ice day, Chantell asked if I could come in to get a head start. The only problem is that I have to leave an hour in to go to an interview for the Society of Collegiate Journalists, so I book it after thumbing through plenty of dry documents and skimming lots of PowerPoints about “being a player on the world stage.”

I get to the SCJ interview right at eleven, worried that the panel of people interviewing me (among them my friends Mayday and Lovely Lucia) were already there, but they weren’t. I sit around another fifteen minutes until the lady in charge comes and invites me in. Being raised a Southerner, I figured this gentlemanly act (waiting patiently) would be good karma, but I was dead wrong. I sit down across from this one DJ I vaguely know and the first question is whether I know the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. I rattle off the first four in a flash, “freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to peacefully assemble, freedom of the press, and…” They raise their eyebrows. Damn it. I think back to high school civics class, but all I can remember is people screaming “penis” and throwing pencils at the teacher as the girls texted each other. I smile and snap my finger, “That last one escapes me.” They assure me that’s a hard one and say “freedom to petition.” Great start. The door opens and I look back to see Lovely Lucia. Her name is befitting and she’s smiling broadly at me. This will be the only saving grace I have during the grilling. She sits down and continues smiling big at me from behind her glasses. While this puts me at ease, I still have one guy trying to pin me into a corner on whether yelling “fire” in a crowded room is free speech. He’s clearly taking his anger out on me from some past transgression he was dealt- maybe getting picked last for dodge ball. I was picked last too, but he didn’t sense the solidarity. As we start arguing about how we agree, the door opens again- Mayday. This was the person I was worried about most. She’s some kind of superwoman. President of everything I’m in except the skate club, perfect GPA, and super cute- she’s like a bubbly little nemesis. I look over at Lovely Lucia and she seems to know what I’m thinking. May takes her place and mentally thumbs through what question she’s going to ask me- I have no doubt she worked them out on paper a week ago and catered them specifically to me. She asks me about the preacher who wanted to burn the Korans- is that protected by free speech or does it infringe on others’ free speech? Fuck. Both Lucia and Mayday are smiling at me- this must be fun from their point of view. I give a long speech about how all freedoms carry equal weight and what constitutes a violation of a freedom. Everyone is clicking their tongues as they await my answer. I bite the bullet and say he can burn them- his freedom isn’t actually preventing them from practicing their religion, so it’s lawful. They pause for a bit and then implore me to partake of the bagels at the back, “thank you.” I cram the bagel in my mouth, next to the words I just had to eat.

Work at the OIA seems nice. I’m basically just making PowerPoints to use for orientations and stuff, so I get to be creative and learn about stuff as I do it- basically that’s what I like to do anyways, so I’m content. Besides, having your own office and being able to blast death metal while you thumb through study abroad pictures (i.e. girls in bikinis) is a pretty nice setup. Chantell is a cool boss too. She basically lets me work at my own pace and treats me as a peer. I make some progress on a PowerPoint and call it a day. I walk to the Atrium food court and get some Chick-Fil-A, after checking out all the new places they put in after the renovation. There’s an Asian place, a pizza/pasta bar, a salad bar, and a sub shop. I get up to the register and pull out my wallet. No credit card. Damn it. I remember handing it over to the bartender at some point, but somewhere between kids throwing shoes at Sturgill and me wrestling with Rachel on Hillsborough Street, I forgot to pick it up. I look like an idiot putting back my waffle fries, but hustle over to Amore’s. My tab is one dollar, I remember getting at least three drinks- that’s a sweet deal. I pay it then head over to Melvin’s, afraid of trying my luck at the Atrium again.

#

 

As close to the "London Dungeon" as I may ever get!

“You all here for Curtis’s party?” I ask out loud to no one in particular as Rachel and I stomp around in the darkness, trying to avoid tree roots and potholes. “Yeah, man!” a random guy yells. I can’t even see in the pitch black of this Raleigh neighborhood- it’s like we’re trick or treating in the middle of July. As my eyes adjust, I see a figure in a denim vest in front of me double fisting beers- there’s no mistaking this one. “Thomas?” I call out in the figures direction. He chuckles and I hear his thick Southern drawl, “Yeah, man. Party’s back here.” Thomas is a member of the skate club, and even though he doesn’t skate too much anymore, he’s still one of the gang. No one else can wear a denim vest (and sometimes no shirt) like him and the sling his hand is in (a souvenir form a fist fight at another party) was a sure sign it was him. We’re all here for our friend Curtis’ going away party. He’s the financial officer of NC SKATE and all around nice guy- he also has a talent for throwing parties and flip tricks. His house reminds me a lot of the one I grew up in- massive backyard, screen doors, and an unfinished basement. The upstairs was dark, so as to avoid suspicion of what was going on below- a clever ploy, I thought. We walk in through the basement door and I immediately hit my head on a light bulb swinging from the ceiling. I scope out my surroundings as I massage my head.  There’s a band playing in the corner, an old Nintendo set up in another, and a T.V. sitting on top of a quarter pipe playing skate videos. It’s basically an unfinished skatepark dungeon filled with misfit boys and girls with weird haircuts and strange eyeliner. The people playing beer bong on a dusty fold out table give me a nod as I make my way towards the other side of the massive room. This is easily one of the best things I’ve ever been to in my entire life. When I fantasize about what a party would be like, this is about it, and I’m stoked. I walked in double fisting, with two additional beers in my pockets, and a final brew in my shirt pocket. I get to work on those as we nudge in by a quarterpipe to see the band and talk to our closest friends. I can’t move five feet without getting thug hugged or doling one out to a friend- Binkley, Kegstand, Jack, Bennett, Chris, and Trish were just a few of the people in attendance. Curtis is at the keg in a green tuxedo jacket, giving beer to people as they watch the band play or try to get in on a game of Duck Hunt on the old Nintendo. The band wasn’t your average party fair either- no covers of Dave Matthews or some local ska band. This was a Misfits cover band, with a few original songs as well. I love the Misfits- they’re a punk band based around Halloween and skulls and zombies, basically everything I think is cool rolled into one- and the fact these guys are pounding away on songs like “Astro Zombies” and “Teenagers from Mars” is something surreal to me. To honor Curtis, the band asks him up to do a cover of the song “Skulls”- a fan favorite. As soon as the song (two minutes at most in length) starts, me and everyone around us lean in and yell out the words with Curtis- mostly a gory fantasy of killing people and putting their skulls on your wall. As the band steps off and turns the music over to our resident DJ Tyler (who began blasting out crazy techno and mixing songs in real time), I head out. I avoid the light bulb on the way out this time.

#

“Oh, God.” I groan as I put my Turkish coffee back down on the saucer as quick as I can. I stare at the pile of grounds in the little cup as I tongue them in my mouth. I feel lightheaded and I’m sweating all of the sudden. “She was not messing around when she said to stop,” I say, massaging my temples. Despite the odd sensation in my mouth, I make a mental note to come back here- especially to try that baklava sundae. I check in to “Turkish Delights” on my FourSquare app, disappointed I still hadn’t gotten a mayorship or a badge, and head out. I start to feel the surge of caffeine course through me as I close the door to the little pastry shop and step out into the night.

Listen to This: the Misfits (in general)

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Written by dstclaire

January 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm

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