Like many colleges, Pace University, my Alma mater, places freshman students in a block schedule. Basically, the school places you in the same classes with the same people for a period of time. I assume this is done to force introductions at a time when you are new to a divinely diverse world without the boundaries and limitations of parents for the first time.Block schedules could backfire sometimes and for me.... it didn't. I met Andrew Sapienza (aka Sappy). Our most memorable class was English 101 with Professor Hussey – yes that was really his name - but those are stories for another time. This story is for all-time.
We became instant friends and because of our lock schedule we had many of the same interests, the same classes, the same time off, and above all, we made each other laugh... a lot. And he had a great laugh. Contagious. One day, I came to Sappy's room as he was bustling around frantically, searching for his school ID. Like all things Pace, there was a price for everything and losing your ID and obtaining a new one had a price. Like all things college, we were always flat broke.
"Where was the last place you left it?" I asked.
"I think it was on my food tray when I threw it out," he responded worriedly.
Here's the jam: The garbages in Maria's Tower weren't just garbage bins. There were also chutes. One basement level room of tons of garbage was connected by 16 floors and about 320 rooms of chutes; so if you threw out your tray, it went down the chute, to the first floor with ALL of the garage. So, I did what any friend might do..... I left. I wasn't going to search through a room full of garbage! Just kidding (Come on, people! Where could the story go from there???).
As often happens, before I knew what was coming out of my mouth, I offered Sappy a possible solution. With my assistance, if he wanted to search through the trash, I would search with him.
Off we went. We explained to security what happened and what we hoped to do. The hefty, Black security guard with his, “I definitely don’t get you white kids” face led us to the garbage room and left upon arrival. For a second, it reminded me of the time Bugs Bunny found lavish jewels and gold treasures draping the entire room as far as the eye could see and he went swimming in his findings, but now imagine the complete opposite… garbage. Not one of my most fancy moments, but looking back, I knew it’d be a great story; a "what did I get myself into" friend story.
We began our search through the dump together: rummaging, pillaging, gagging, laughing... even threatening, from my part, "Sap, you owe me so big time!" It was the kind of story that builds a long, college friendship. The kind of story that no matter how much time passes when you see that person again, you say, "Remember the time..."this is your “go to” story.
After a while of digging, rummaging, and searching, I moved more trash, and like a whiff of fresh air, "Voila!" A plastic, credit card sized, authentic, Pace University, photo ID. Sappy's ID. We had found gold. Correction: We found the red flag in the pool of goo on the double dare obstacle course: hard to find, but worth every moment! We shared a hug. Unbelievable!
(Note added 10/09/06: Sappy's favorite detail of the story was that I conducted my search in a pair of bright yellow Tweety Bobble head slippers). Now that’s fancy shit.
Moral of the story: When you're down in the dumps, a real friend is there... sifting through all the sh*t with you.