At first I thought it was a facade. These smiling faces greeting me wherever I went. “Need directions anywhere?” “Oh where are you from?” “I really like your shirt.” “You’ll love it here.” But as orientation passed and classes began, this friendly demeanor seen in many students stayed persistent. After another week of random compliments and helpful advice, it hit me. The people at Kenyon are just genuinely nice. Shit… I don’t know if I can do this for 4 years.
As a person who thrives off of negativity, this constant kindness, this overwhelming support, is a really toxic environment for me to pursue my academic career in. However, there’s a glimmer of hope, my knight in shining leather jacket, bright red hair, facial acne, braces, and a switchblade he stole from his dad: Billy the 90’s bully. Some say he’s a transfer student from small town Nebraska, others say he went to juvie for shooting his neighbors cat with a BB gun, no one truly knows where he came from, but either way, he’s the perfect person to give me a swirly in the VI’s bathroom on trivia night. Though I’ve yet to cross paths with Billy, it’s been rumored that if you’re studying (like the nerd you are) late into the night, he’ll show up outside your dorm in an aqua T-Bird and yell profanities about your mother through your window. I often catch my self daydreaming of ways in which Billy could help make me feel a little shittier. Perhaps I’ll be walking into Peirce to grab a coffee and whilst putting the lid on he’ll come up behind me, lifting me into the air by my boxer briefs, enacting a super wedgie upon me. As a result of the shock I’ll spill my coffee all over myself and drop the the ground embarrassed as all the other students laugh and call me a dorky crybaby loser. Or maybe I’ll be presenting in class my “Top 5 Cartoon Crushes” (Courage the cowardly dog, Mrs. Puff from SpongeBob, Lumpy space princess from Adventure Time, Cosmo from Fairly Odd Parents, and finally Ed from Ed Edd and Eddie) and from nowhere a spitball flies straight into my eye. I run out of the classroom with my face in my palms and as I step through the door he grabs me, Billy in the flesh, puts me in a headlock and nougies me. After an excruciating 30 seconds he then grabs me by my legs and holds me upside down, shaking me, all while yelling “Give me your lunch money dweeb, I know your mommy packed an extra 25 cents for chocolate milk and I come from a dysfunctional, middle-class family so I take it out on you!” I’m getting giddy even thinking about it, but alas, these stories of Billy could just be wives’ tales passed down through generations, but I still like to believe that he is out there somewhere ready to make my cheery, upbeat day just a gloomy cloud of dismay. One can still hope, but I think realistically Billy is simply a faculty members 8 year old son, roaming campus with pent up anger, looking to take it out on any poor sod smoking a cigarette on Middle Path.