A Shitty Goodbye

By Autumn Stabeno

No one emphasizes the significance of college friends. I have a handful of friends from my Alma Mater that have left a profound impact on my life. College friends are bonds that are not made in high school merely out of convenience and desperation. Having good friends in high school was just picking the best of a bad crop. Those friendships were more kin to alliances in Survivor. Those friends acted as a sedative so that we could get through the monotony and devastation of high school. No, college friendships are the choice between two adults to actively seek one another out and open up. In these college years where our personalities are still malleable, we are incomplete forms. We have not reached our final evolution, although we likely never will. Still, in college we haven’t even peeled back our first layer let alone gotten to our core. We undergo a second puberty; we are awkward, unsure, and figuring things out through trial and error. Those relationships that last through the growth are just evidence of two people growing in complementary ways. Not all college friends will remain a presence in your life, but that makes the ones that do that much more significant.
I have a college friend named Robin. Robin is an amazing friend. I would daresay a life-long friend. I like to fantasize that I become a really put-together, cosmopolitan, worldly lady. When that happens, inevitably- through manifestation of course, I will undoubtedly reminisce of simpler days spent with my old college pal Robin. College friends! Friends from college! What a concept! It’s a cliche that I just can’t help but eat up.

Robin and I met in a spirit group. A Spirit group is an alternative to Greek Life at my Alma mater, the University of Texas as Austin. Spirit groups have a loose regiment of Spirit, Service, Scholarship, and social. So it was basically a watered down sorority. I am not the type to be in a sorority- watered down or otherwise. I have never been a joiner, nor particularly school spirited. But I was desperate. I was leaving a relationship where friendships aside from him were discouraged. I wanted a support system that wasn’t so selfish and unhealthy. One day while strolling through campus, I passed an area where groups would advertise their organizations. Enthusiastically, they would push their schtick at the beginning of each semester. Usually I just ignored these solicitors. Without remorse I would wear my headphones and sunglasses, and avoid eye contact. I would usually just get in and get out. But this particular day I was feeling bold and adventurous. I looked up. I was not bold enough to initiate a conversation with anyone, but that didn’t matter. The glance I caught told me everything I needed to know. I saw a table with a cute font. The girls that sat at the table were diverse and cool, each in a unique way. They were charming and nerdy, and overall wholesome. I liked the vibes I felt from that table. What can I say, I am an empath. Rather than say anything to them, I went home. I went home and googled this org with my roommate.
My roommate understood how desperate I was to meet people and fully encouraged my curiosity of the org. The website featured more friendly faces and an un-intimidating description.

“They are right when they say time flies when you’re having fun, but no one tells you how healing it is.”

I joined the Spirit group. That’s where I met my friend Robin. Robin and I just clicked. We were both fresh from heartbreak and super interested in developing more as individuals. We both wanted to heal, and we both wanted to experience all college had to offer. In no time at all we became Thelma and Louise.We went out, drank, indulged in illegal substances. We grew as people right before one another’s eyes. When Robin confessed to me that she would not be returning to UT the following year, I felt my heart sink. Finally, I’d formed a strong platonic bond with someone whom I could wild out with and also just watch TV with while we ate Spaghett. Self-pity was my initial reaction. Yeah, I cried. After I cried, I laughed it off. I pushed away such selfish feelings, and made it my mission to pack in as many adventures as we could in the short time remained.
We discovered thrift shops, explored drinking hubs, and binged television together.

They are right when they say time flies when you’re having fun, but no one tells you how healing it is. I highly recommend getting out of your shell and trying something new if you are lost or lonely. It’s scary to make friends and the older you get. The older you get, the more friends you lose. It might feel discouraging to put yourself out there again, but I did it. I made a friend whom I cherished. I would make her final days as special as possible. Like an old dog you play and cuddle with just before you have to put ‘em down.
By the end of her last semester we began to contemplate what would be the ideal way to finish her Austin chapter. After some deliberation we agreed to hit up a gay club. Neither of us had ever been to a gay club, but it seemed pleasant. Hopefully gross men wouldn’t hit on us and we could just dance. The plan was set. We would meet with our friend Melina at Highland and just dance the night away.

We began the night with a humble pregame at my first college apartment. Half of my roommate’s sorority was in our living room. It was a small organization at the time so don’t get the wrong idea. Their pack would be going to sixth street that night. We congregated for our shared purpose; being completely sloshed. The sorority was generous with compliments. As we collectively guzzled down the firewater, all the beautiful, sweet, drunken girls hyped Robin and I up. One called Robin a thrifting queen after complimenting her thrifted skirt. These ladies made us feel powerful and indestructible in the face of alcohol and men. That is a great way to start an evening out.

Eventually we parted from the pack. Robin, Melina, and I danced our hearts away at the gay club. We shockingly were bothered by old men at the gay club- Like, read a room bud. This was a gay club, go away. After breaking free from drank some more and then hit the road. We got an Uber and back to my apartment we went. It was 2 AM when we stumbled through the threshold of my apartment and saw my roommate’s sorority sister getting sick into my trash can. The sight alone just made me sigh. After I saw the rest of the girls mother her, I decided they had it under control. They eventually corralled her into My roommate’s bedroom. Robin took her place at the couch and I was tucked away in my bed.

The next day, Robin comes into my room, in a tired and broken state.
“Your roommate’s friend made a mess,” She tells me.

Okay, and? I understood that my roommate was very responsible and I could trust her to clean up after her friends. I didn’t care who cleaned up the girl’s mess, as long as it wasn’t me. After delivering her irrelevant news, Robin plopped down on my floor and we both began to research breakfast places to take a shot on. That was a tradition of ours; after a night of complete collegiate degeneracy a morning of fantastic breakfast would follow. During this entire process I was so unbelievably thirsty. Alas, I was too weak. My cottonmouth could not motivate me to overcome the body aches that come with debaucherous nights. Robin and I laid, she on my floor and I on my bed. We laid there for a whole hour, playing on our phones, finding breakfast, and occasionally sending each other tweets. Then I heard “Oh my god,” through my paper thin walls. And without missing a beat Robin said, “Looks like she found the poop.”

This is the part of the cartoon where a light bulb flashes a few times before illuminating metaphorically over my head. The mess Robin had referred to, had in fact been feces. I should clarify we had no pets at all, so the feces were confirmed to be human. If it was not human feces then we have a bigger problem. Animals are evolving enough to be able to open locked doors but are devolved enough to not have the common decency to make it to the bathroom.

My roommate proceeded to open the door to my room and ask, “Is that...what I think it is?” My eyes were wide as I sputtered out, “Um I just found out.” For some reason I feared that my roommate would actually be upset with me for the poop. After a moment I assessed that this was absolutely not my fault.There was poop in the living room, and I was not to blame.

At this point I also came to the realization that I, a dehydrated and hungover degenerate, would not be able to go into the common area to get water. For if I were to get my precious water, I’d have to pass the living room. If I passed the living room, I would vomit. I came to terms with the circumstances and made myself comfortable. I would not be leaving my room for a while.
Robin and my roommate began to describe to me what sight I would be greeted with if I were to venture into the living room. I learned that the poop is actually on a pillow. That information led me to believe that someone went to sleep in the living room, along with Robin, and had an accident in their sleep. I assume that the pillow was merely a casualty. My roommate was at a loss of words. She didn’t understand how or when this happened. Then Robin stepped forward and offered us more information.

These are Robin’s accounts of the events that took place at approximately at 5 AM, the morning of the “incident,”: Robin woke to hear someone beside the couch that Robin is sleeping on. The arms of the couch hide a majority of Robin’s view, so when she sees one of my roommate’’s sorority sisters, it is only from the shoulder up. Robin says she assumes the girl had her phone plugged in near the couch, hence her presence. Robin, bless her heart, is so kind. Despite being in the middle of the night, she says a quick hello. What a social butterfly, I tell you what. Anyways, the greeting alerted the sorority sister in a way that was kin to alarming a feral animal. The sorority sister runs away like a dog that has been caught taking a poop inside the house. Robin, half asleep and apparently nose-blind, shrugs off the exchange and falls back asleep for two hours. It isn’t until 7 AM when she fully awakens to a horrible stench. Then Robin came to my room with a tired, “Your roommate’’s friend made a mess.”

So the girl did not accidentally poop her pants while in a drunken sleep as I’d previously assumed. No. Instead what happened was a girl in a drunken stupor, who grabbed a pillow from My roommate’s room, placed it in the living room next to my good, sweet, unassuming friend Robin as she innocently slept. She squatted over that very pillow and released.

I love Robin, don’t get me wrong. But how did she not elaborate beyond “Your roommate’s friend made a mess”? How could she think that was enough information for me. We laid in my room for an hour before we even addressed the feces in the other room. Granted, Robin would fall in and out of sleep as we laid there, but still. I just can't wrap my head around that.

After all the information was on the table, all there was left to do was damage control. You don’t know true sisterhood until you watch two sorority sisters clean the feces of another sister, while she lay knocked out. This little poop monster also had a final at 3 pm. It’s like when Cinderella was dressed up by her fairy godmother and those helpful animals- Except if Cinderella took a shit in some person’s living room.

I had no part in cleaning up, obviously. That simply was not going to happen. This was not my mess to clean. I was a victim in all this. My friend was assaulted with the sight and scent of someone’s poop. That’s offensive if you ask me. So, we decided to separate ourselves from the situation as soon as the common area was sterile. A lot of bleach was used. I held my breath as we rushed out even so, just in case a stench remained.

We hadn’t decided where we would eat until we reached my car. We decided on an uneventful location with mediocre breakfast tacos. Robin said the scent hadn’t left her nose. She wondered if the smell was still on us but I assured her otherwise. It was merely because she slept next to the feces for two hours.

What a memorable but shocking and unwanted ending to the year. Robin and I experienced so much together. Robin was there for a formative period for me, a period that ended with someone shitting in the living room. Would I want to share that moment with anyone else? Not at all. Would I want anyone else to come into my room and tell me there is a mess, while withholding that the mess is a giant, watery shit on a pillow? No way. That is something only my sweet friend Robin can pull off. Little was said while we forced down our food. What was said, was absolutely about the poop disaster. I took Robin to her dorm after we finished up breakfast. That was it. That was the last night of bad decisions, and luckily the worst decisions were not made by us.

Parting didn’t feel sorrowful. Robin planned to come back to Austin to visit. We are both products of the tech-age. We could send a text if we wanted to talk. Facetime was always an option. Our friendship would go on. I knew that. I didn’t anticipate it would actually strengthen after she left though. It was as if she never left. We texted major events in our lives, shared who we were talking to on tinder, and would Facetime while we got ready for our respective classes. When I’d first learned she was leaving I almost thought this friendship would eventually dissolve. At best we would support one another from afar online. So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to have continued this long distance friendship to this day. Now, every once and a while Robin will take a Megabus to come stay with me, and we will spend a week or two enjoying one another’s company. As adults we both make an effort to remain in each other's lives, just because we enjoy each other. I think that, as a concept, is under-appreciated. My heart feels so full when people reach out just to talk to me. Probably because my Venus is in Gemini. Robin reaches out because she enjoys my company, or maybe because I am the only one that will believe the fact that someone shit like a feral human in her vicinity. I’d honestly believe either reason.

Venussubmission, writingComment