The Reverend

I'm going to tell you about my friend from college, Tom. He was a drinker. By drinker I mean he had a fake driver's license at age 16 (had an older brother he looked exactly like) and by age 19 was in the ER for liver problems he drank so much. I met him in a photography class, he had on a shirt with iron-on letters OI! So I asked him if he liked ska. He made a wise crack about how those freaks just go to shows and look like fools running in place to silly music. I took that as a 'no' while I muffled my giggle. Only then to discuss at length in the dark room while we developed our photos how incredible The VooDoo Glowskulls are and my adoration for The Pietasters and on and on trying to convince him of the joys there are to ska music. Even if the people did, indeed, look like fools dancing to it.

You could say we were not fast friends, but sometimes those are the ones that make life a little more interesting. I like an edge at times. The rough shell to break through. Tom was a less than social rockabilly boy in my photography class that I talked into being my friend. And he even convinced me into listening to some Reverend Horton Heat on occasion.

My favorite story of Tom was when he told me about a bar he went to with his friends. How he struggled talking to girls. He told me of the cute girl that approached him at the bar and asked if he had a girlfriend. He told her "Yes. Well, I did have a girlfriend. Until I killed her". The girl walked away. He was so confused and totally bummed, I guess she was hot and everything. I had no advice for Tom. I actually thought what he said was rather clever.

Today I read on CNN it's legal to kill wolves. This article prompted my rememberance of Tom.

One afternoon during a photography class we were talking about our week. I told him how I was trying to find a room to rent so I could move out. I listed the locations and odd details about each option. One seemed worse than the next. Of the few ads I planned to respond to, the one that said 'must like dogs (and wolves)' caught my eye. I actually thought it was a joke. Who has wolves for pets, anyway? Tom and I were equally curious and he insisted on going with me to check out this room for rent. And to make sure I wouldn't get eaten by these wolves. What a good friend.

Tom and I approached the door, making jokes about these "wolves" the ad referred to. Would Wolverine be answering the door? Perhaps there are stuffed wolves hanging above the mantle? Maybe they are in a business where they breed baby wolves? Little cute, fuzzy ones and I could help on the weekends tending to them? Perhaps there was a breed of dog that looked like a wolf? Whatever. I had dogs before. I wasn't scared. Bring it ON.

We rang the doorbell. Sure as Sherlock. We heard the wolves. REAL. FREAKING. WOLVES. On the other side of the door. Viciously howling. Biting at the broken blinds covering the window. I could SEE the gnarly teeth through the door, dripping with hungry foam. Now what do we do? The guy knows we are here, we can't be total wusses and leave. I think Tom and I were equally scared, but neither of us wanted to back down. I knew before the door opened I would not be taking the room for rent.

You won't believe me when I tell you this, but the guy actually peeked his head out and told us to wait a minute, he needed to get the taser for the wolves before he opened the door. And then we heard nothing. Chaos to silence and a slam of the back door.

The guy was probably in his mid to late 20s, pretty sloppy in appearance and health. The home was a disaster and very dark. We walked down a smelly hallway as he showed us each filthy room of the common living space areas. Tom immediately leaned over and whispered 'you are not living here'. I knew that before we went in, but I felt bad this guy lived in such odd cirsumstances and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. So we carried on with the tour. Thankfully, we happened to not get murdered or eaten by wolves in the process.

The best part was the available room for rent. We never actually saw the inside of the room. Because it had a deadbolt on it with a key hole on both sides of its deadbolt. He couldn't find the key to open the room that was for rent. The one he wanted to lock me inside of. With no way to escape. And no window. And if I tried the wolves would stop me. The room in the house with wolves that reminded me of Silence of the Lambs every single step we took. I kept expecting him to ask me to put lotion in a basket.

When we left it was like we broke free from an underground bunker. I couldn't wait to escape and drive far, far away. It's hilarious to me that it could be a possible fit for someone. Anyone at all. Wolves, I actually belong to the American Wolf Lovers Association! And I like to be locked inside of rooms in dark houses, this is the perfect place that meets my needs. Seriously, how many people besides me even went to look at that place?! I'm betting zero. I'm betting no one else thought the wolf part was funny. ha. haha. ha. hahahaaa. not funny.

Too bad I don't remember Tom's last name. I wish I could find him on FB. I wonder if he gave up alcohol like he wanted to and also if he remembers this experience. I'm glad he came with me. It's a good thing to still be alive.

Sometimes I think my mom would have died if she knew the dumb situations I put myself into. This was one of those times.