“There can’t be any question: Things are weird,” Keenan says, nursing a battered roach. He lets a white cloud out of his mouth.
“And you know, it’s not like things will be better next Tuesday at 3:45 a.m. Next Tuesday is the day before Wednesday, which is when I have to contribute to society, and I can’t decide that Wednesday is my day and just ditch everything, drink beer,” I say.
Keenan sort of salutes me. I open my mouth to say something else, but then greet it instead with a pathetic nibble of cancer mixed with cannabis. I cough the word Yeah and it’s all I can muster; I talk too much.
It’s been a hard night out. I and the rest of the hooligans have come back home during the Dead Zone, the time between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. when everyone knows that he or she is fucked for slakin’ that hankerin’ for a bite.
I start cracking eggs. Keenan lets a white cloud out of his mouth; he’s rolled another one. “I don’t know, man, it doesn’t sound, you know, likely. Well, for you, anyway.”
“What are we talking about?” asks Stanny, who walked out of his door absently gnawing on some KFC before tossing a naked bone in the big red bucket.
Hack. “It’s definitely a thing,” I wheeze. I pulverize some yolks with a wooden spoon. “You know, it sounds messy — ‘scramble’ really is the perfect word. The whole thing is a messy rush.”
The infamous social spurt called “senior scramble” can be stripped down bare to an amplified Fuck the Pain Away theme. The smack of flesh doesn’t get louder, necessarily, but everything else gets quieter. There’s no structure, no classes, plenty of nothing, zilch. It’s just us, poised to exit the coziest college, and we watch as the hours between ourselves and the humble desperation of the “employee” melt, melt away. It’s just days before we sloppily plod on as Private Number One in the awkward workforce rank and file, with dim notions of staying true to our own colors.
It’s hushed on the Hill when it’s consumed by the Nothing. And, as Woody Allen, the man most singularly responsible for making clumsy, restive charm workable, once said, “Sex is the biggest nothing of all time.”
So, here we are, in the time of The Great Nothing, Senior Week, and we haven’t a damn thing to do, except for each other.
“You’re right, dude, things are definitely weird,” I say to Keenan. “Hurry up and eat, the eggs are getting cold.”