Pledge Bowling…


The room smelled like wet goat.  Surprising since if you moved the curtains you would have a complete view of the Charles River.  The feel of hay rubbing against my hands was odd as well.  But that was just the beginning of the strange moments about to pass in the room.  The blindfold remained as the questions began…

“Who was the first King of the United States?”

“When did we land on Mars?”

It’s a test called The Shepardson that was administered after not enough sleep and far too much scrubbing of hardwood floors.  January 27, 1991, the day I was formally inducted into my fraternity.  Also the day I learned that some questions just don’t have answers no matter how hard you stumble around hoping to find something.

That weekend they knew exactly how to tear me down in order to keep me off-balance.  My Pledge Father spent most of the time uttering words to the affect of “You’re here to help keep our grade point average high.  No other reason for you to be here!”  Over and over, no sleep and it really hurt after hearing it several times.

I couldn’t believe that someone had the nerve to tell me I didn’t belong.

There are too many times that searching for an answer only leads to more pain and suffering.  This morning the first thing that came to my mind was something regarding my daughter.  I have no reason why it triggered today.  By the times the eyes were open, panic had set in.

It’s still there hours later.  And if it continues, I’m going to need to ask for some help understanding why.

Hopefully there is an answer, maybe there won’t be.  Could just be one of those episodes where my brain needed to feel a little closeness to someone not around and other parts of me put the wall up before I could get the thoughts out.  Emotions are confusing on this topic, the nerves ending completely raw still.

Why do we ask silly questions of the Pledges?  Some answer quickly with “There is no response possible.”  Others take some time to understand the question and still come up silent.  This after we have used them for human bowling balls and purveyors of women for parties where they recruit our guests.  Frat living isn’t what most people think, at times it is, but mostly it’s calm.

As I keep delving deeper into the blackness of my mind, finding answers I can live with has become to important task.  Maybe not having 100% of the total will always be my answer.  It goes against everything I was taught.  Fighting my own brain when it requires more information, when at the end it isn’t ever going to be enough.

We just move on to the next question.  Maybe the original question comes back.  It has been for me.  Time doesn’t heal everything and some things are just to important to let alone.


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