Later that night, my roommate brought out his bottle of vodka. I’d decided not to drink—we were attending a writer’s retreat at Lindenwood, a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, and it felt unseemly to get trashed with nuns nearby. My roommate was violently eager to get drunk. He poured half of the robot vodka into a thermos, called me a “faggot party-pooper” and went outside to sit beside the lake. He knocked on my window hours later; his acne was such, and his eyes so bloodshot, that he looked like a flesh-eating zombie. “I want to read you my poems!” he shouted through the glass. I shook my head—No, no. I was out of bed and pointed to it; I pointed to my boxer-shorts; I mouthed, In the morning?
Brian, my psychotically drunk roommate, began to scream his poems at me through the unopened window. I went outside, softly shushing, shushing, shhh shhh. He wept as he read to me poems about his college girlfriends.