Greenwood Hall, where Hubert and I and company stayed at Southern Tech, the rooming situation was (for the most part) two roommates per room and two rooms per bathroom (connected both by each having a door into the bathroom and by a door between the two that could be locked from either end). When I first started, Hubert had the idea of getting all four beds into one room and and then the other room could be a commons area for everybody.

The problem was that we needed to find four people. We found them in our sophomore year with a couple guys that lived across the hall: Dennis and Saresh. All we had to do was convince the two people adjoined with Dennis and Saresh to switch with us. One, Marco, was easy. We got along great with him and assured him that he could hang out in our little arrangement as much as he wanted. The problem was Ahmad, Marco’s randomly assigned roommate.

Our dislike for Ahmad was instant. We tried to get to know him and befriend him, but he made it difficult. Hubert gave him a tour of the dorms, including our own. He had a derogatory attitude towards our television, towards our room decoration, and just about everything. We wanted to like him and offer him the same deal as Marco, but he had no use for us and it didn’t take long for us to have no use for him.

Except that we did have a use for him. We needed to get him to change rooms with us.

We tried to befriend him, but that didn’t work. We even tried to intimidate him (“You need friends here,” or something to that effect), which wasn’t our nature. He wouldn’t budge. It wasn’t a matter of him not wanting to repack and unpack his stuff because he barely had any stuff and we volunteered to move it for him. The only reason he gave for the move was that our room was smaller than his, except that the two were absolutely identical. We would bring him measurements, offer to let him watch us measure, and anything else we could think of to convince him, but he would not be convinced. He didn’t want to be convinced, he was just being obstinate.

We got a lucky break when, after a couple of days, Dennis came over exasperated. “Ahmad was in my room! {breathe, breathe} on my computer. {breathe, breathe} Looking at gay porn!”

We asked him to repeat it a couple times just to make sure that we understood him correctly. We did. “Did he see you see him?” we asked.

“Yeah, but I bolted out of there before I had time to react.” Dennis was apparently visiting Marco in Marco and Ahmad’s room, so Ahmad thought he had the room to himself. Dennis discovered him walking through the adjoining door (which faced directly at Dennis’s computer) before bolting out, across the hall, and straight to us.

About five minutes late, Ahmad dropped by for a visit. He asked if we had any medicine for a sick stomach because he had just seem something that made him feel sick. He specified that he had seen something on Dennis’s computer. He was sent a link in email that he followed. He saw it for an instant and it made him sick. We might have even believed him had he not gone on so long about it. We recommended some Sprite and the next opportunity we had we checked the history on Dennis’s computer. It was more than a single site that he had visited. He had downright surfed.

The ironic thing is that between us, Hugh, Dennis, Saresh, Marco, and myself, none of us were hostile to homosexuality. Though our politics all differed, we did agree on that. We never outright threatened to out Ahmad, though we did not tell him that we wouldn’t. We already were not in the habit of making conversation with him or talking things out. We didn’t have to blackmail him, though. The next day he paid us a visit and volunteered to switch rooms. And that was the end of that.

Were he not such a disagreeable person, I might have felt some sympathy for him. It can’t be easy to be bi-curious (which he was at the very least) coming from such a conservative background. I hated the idea of taking advantage of that insecurity. But at the end of the day I just didn’t like him and my sympathy was outweighed by my dislike for him. Ahmad acclimated himself to college and dorm life well. He loosened up up a bit, started dressing a little pre-metrosexualish. It was eventually established that he was a gay-leaning bisexual and that persona ended up landing him a coterie of girl friends.

After the room-switch we never really spoke to him again.

A couple other interesting tidbits:

The only friend Ahmad had during all of this was Saresh. This was inconvenient to us because it made Ahmad that much less inclined to switch rooms (because he would be switching away from Saresh) and it meant that Ahmad could be hanging around after all. Ahmad was of Pakistani descent and judging by his accent was not far removed from his ancestral homeland (though his parents were in the US, so he wasn’t an exchange student). Saresh, the fourth person in our arrangement, was of Indian heritage. Dennis pointed out that Indians and Pakistanis hate each other the world over and yet those two had to get along. Their friendship didn’t persevere, however, as Saresh converted to Catholicism and last I knew was on his way to becoming a Catholic priest.

The two guys who were our suitemates before the move were both gay or bisexual. One was an effeminate guy named Gary and the other big guy named Ellis. After the switch, that meant that of the four people in that suite arrangement, three were bisexual or gay. But they all hated one another’s guts. We’d hear them all arguing across the hall.

Category: Ghostland, School

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One Response to The Southern Tech Blackmail & Gold

  1. Hit Coffee » The Roommate Situation says:

    […] were also cool with Dennis’s randomly assigned roommate, Saresh. So after a round of blackmail and intimidation, we managed to work it out so that we could have the four-person set-up that H […]

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