I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. Damn my hair — it just won’t behave, and damn that Beverly Brooke for being ill and subjecting me to this ordeal. I should be studying for my final exams, which are next week, yet here I am trying to brush my hair into submission. Ugh. FML. I’m suuuuch a Medilldo.
I must not sleep with it wet. I must not sleep with it wet. That’s what she said. Reciting this mantra several times, I attempt, once more, to bring it under control with the brush. I roll my eyes in exasperation and gaze at the pale, brown-haired girl with blue eyes too big for her face staring back at me, and give up. My only option is to restrain my wayward hair in a ponytail and hope that I look semi presentable.
Beave is my roommate, and she has chosen today of all days to succumb to the flu. Therefore, she cannot attend the interview she’d arranged to do, with some mega-brill-brill engineer I’ve never heard of, for The Daily. So I have volunteered. I have finals to complain about, one 500-word article to fabricate, but no — today I have to walk all the way from Pi Phi all the way up to fucking Slivka in order to meet this enigmatic nerd. As an exceptional engineer and son of major Northwestern benefactors, his time is extraordinarily precious — much more precious than mine — but he has granted Beave an interview. A real coup, she tells me. Damn her extra-curricular activities. What is ASG anyways?
“Does, like, vodka and gatorade get rid of the flu?” Beverly asks.
“Sure it does. It’s a disinfectant,” I answer.
Gathering my Steve Madden bag, I smile at her and head out the door. She’ll make an exceptional journalist for Chillicothe Times-Bulletin one day. She’s got talent.
I knock on the door in Slivka. It slowly opens as a tremendous cloud of weed-smoke funnels out.
“Mr. Packingham is out at the moment,” says my interviewee’s roommate, a man who presumably served two years in the Singapore army and is double-majoring in chemistry and K-Pop Studies. “But feel free to come in.”
I check out Packingham’s room. It looks like a cross between an adolescent’s wet dream and Charlie Sheen’s Tuesday morning. Kate Upton and Pippa Middleton adorn walls streaked with what I can only assume is Dmitri vodka and CVS Gold Brand grape soda. An exotic aroma hits my nose, an exquisite fusion of BK, Busch Light, and man musk. Must be a Comm major. I think I need to sit down.
And then, a man enters.
“Excuse me. I’m looking for a Beave. Have you seen one?”
Oh God. Packingham’s a tool. He’s smiling like a Freshman who just got into The Keg.
“Um. Actually–” I mutter. But such a handsome tool.
“Miss Brooke is indisposed, so she sent me. I hope you don’t mind, Mr. Packingham.” Eyes like Bill Murray. Complexion like Drake. Body like John Shurna. And, most importantly, a beard like Morty’s.
“And you are?” His voice is warm, possibly amused, definitely slurred a bit. I can’t help but notice the portable beer pong table near his bed.
“Carla Rossi. I’m studying magazine journalism with Beave, um… Miss Brooke in Medill.”
“I see,” he says simply. I can’t help but notice he’s wearing a Sig Nu hoodie. That’s… unexpected.
“Would you like to sit?” He waves me toward a green bean bag chair prominently featuring several suspicious stains.
“I have some questions for you,” I say, catching him looking down my shirt.
“I though you might Carla,” he deadpans.
“Well, let’s get started. I’d like to know what you make of allegations that your father’s donations are the reason Northwestern starts so ungodly late in the calendar year.”
“Bullshit,” Packingham replies.
“Okay, how about suggestions that you once banged Mayor Tisdahl on the roof of Swift?” I try.
“I wish,” the swashbuckling sultan of swag replies.
“Do you have any hobbies?” Butter them up with some puff questions. Medill’s taught me well.
“You know, the usual. Chill with my bros. Drunken Sporcle. Skinny dipping in Lake Michigan with my biddies. Hey Carla, did you know that I’m the reason Selena Gomez decided against becoming a Wildcat? Let’s just say she’s no big fan of the hot cookie bar, if you know what I mean. How about you?”
“Me!?” I ask, surprised. “I mostly complain about how sketch the el is on my way to my internship. I just love the city.”
He smiles, seeming to sense something flutter inside me. Shit! Could he possibly have realized that I can name all 151 original Pokémon in alphabetical order? I thought I had kept that hidden since the Kappa rush debacle of 2011.
“Fine. Last question. Can you comment on the prevailing rumors that you are the man responsible for the invention of the fucksaw—”
“I can’t comment on pending litigation,” he cuts me off, quicker than I awkwardly end conversations on Sheridan.
“Dude, want to play the National Treasure 2 drinking game?” His roommate interrupts.
“Yes, yes I do,” he answers. “Carla,” he says as a farewell.
“Ross,” I reply. And the door, Adele poster and all, comes to a close.