I have the suspicion that you did not fill out your roommate-preferences form, instead leaving that task to your mother. I mean, everyone walking into our room that year had to notice the difference in the roommates. Two of them were smart, studious, somewhat antisocial freshmen. And then, there was you.

Not only did you quickly pledge Kappa Alpha, along with your friend Ben, the one who was expelled for that bizarre BB-gun incident two months later, but you also were elected vice president of your pledge class. So it was nice that you were out of the room so often, but when you were there, wow.

How many times did you play Age of Mythology until 4 a.m. while we tried to sleep? We honestly thought you were evolving into the first completely nocturnal human being. Then you finagled the campus doctor into giving you a prescription for sleeping pills to get you back on track. Not that you ever took them for their intended purpose, but you had them. And why did you have to talk to yourself while playing: “Oh no, whoa, wow!”

And do you remember the time you drank the punch at your own frat party and your Texan AA buddies brought you back drunk as piss at 7 p.m.?! Probably not. Man, my evening hadn’t even started yet and yours was already over. Oh, and then you wandered away, completely trashed and absolutely oblivious? I know you vaguely remember that, because you later regaled us with your tale of how two Good Samaritan women took pity on you and kept you company until you decided to wander home.

The very next weekend you walked out of the room, drunk as piss, and flashed our RA’s gal pal. Then, miraculously, you somehow summoned the sobriety to have a perfectly normal conversation with him for the next 20 minutes. After this, not surprisingly, since you’d spent your strategic sobriety reserve, you could barely get back into the room. Stupid doorknobs. Oh, and that other night when the RA popped in and found your beer while you hid down the hallway under the theory that if he can’t see you he can’t give you an alcohol violation, while I stammered out, “It’s not mine, I swear.”

Yeah, that was great.

And how about the time your mother dropped in unexpectedly? Remember that, Funk? That was the time she went through your clothes and confronted you with the fact that you came to school with 10 pairs of pants and yet here we were three months in and you had only five pairs left. How did you lose your pants, kiddo? Now, and I’m being serious here, did you ever come back to our room without your pants on? Because I never noticed.

Dane and I had a motto, and it was “We are not your mother.” For us, two blooming nerds, this meant that we wanted little interference academically; if we felt like missing a class, we skipped class. It was laissez-faire roommate-onomics. In your case, however, it meant that we eagerly absolved ourselves of all responsibility. If your alarm went off and you slept through it, I ignored it. If a new copy of Maxim magazine suddenly appeared on the floor under your bed and you schizophrenically accused me or Dane of hiding it there (for what sinister purpose I cannot even begin to fathom), I laughed in your chubby, balding face.

And then there were the random things: leaving things in our fridge until they rotted, accumulating a pile of sloth under your bed, and, of course, trying to take sleeping pills while ridiculously intoxicated. Yes, Dane and I were actually forced to betray our uncaring motto in order to stop you from ignorant suicide, by hiding your pills in my desk. Luckily, we managed to distract you simply by asking if you had to go to the bathroom, at which point you abandoned your plan and merrily tromped off much like a puppy after a rawhide bone. Good times.

But perhaps nothing can compare with my return from Christmas break that year. I walked into our room and all of your things were just gone, well, except for that bag of Reese’s Pieces festering under a pile of green mold. You never sent any message to us, never told us where you’d gone, no forwarding address, nothing. Would you believe it, some of my current friends don’t even believe you existed.

Well, I just wanted you to know, we miss you.

Andrew Willey