Wednesday, September 12, 2007


The recent acquisition of an eternal roommate has caused me to reflect on past roommates which I've had. An event which occurred last spring have brought this topic more powerfully to mind.

During my freshman year at the University of Utah, I lived in the dorms; more specifically, I lived in the now defunct Austin Hall. Because I didn't know anyone else who planned on living there, I was randomly matched with a roommate. This came with a certain amount of risk, but also some potential for reward. I hoped to make some good friends who also lived in the dorms, and who better to be your friend than your roommate? The potential did prove to be there. In fact I'm still in touch with many of the people that lived on my floor with me even 8 years later. Several of them are among my best friends now, and I am eternally bonded with a select few by participation in a fresh spittle-covered handshake ceremony. (No offense, but I nearly hurled when, despite seperating our hands, there was still a strand of spit connecting them.) While I expected to have long-term friendships with many of these guys, I never expected to see my roommate again after moving out of the dorms.

My roommate was a beauty. His name was Jason and he was of the Hawaiian persuasion. Things started off pretty smoothly. He was there when I moved in and had already neatly organized all of his possessions, which was very necessary because of the small size of the room. He was very polite and friendly. Things pretty much went downhill after this.

I think a few stories will illustrate our relationship. Let me clarify one thing right now. One of my friends from high school nicknamed my roommate "Creenay". This name stuck mostly because nobody else on my floor was willing to approach the young man and therefore received all of their information about him (like what his name was) from me. He was a local celebrity though, and deserved to be known by only one name like Bono.

The most widely circulated story about Creenay occurred several months into our relationship. By this time, all of the clothes that he owned in addition to his text books, two weeks worth of newspapers, and a miscellany of other items were piled on his bed. I was laying in my bed reading when he walked in. He came in and undressed a little. Then he went into the dorm kitchen and microwaved a burrito. Upon his return, he shimmied underneath the pile of junk on his bed, unwrapped the burrito, ate it, closed his eyes, and fell asleep. It was strangely hobo-esque. I wondered if he was coming home so late because he had been out roasting a can of pork and beans over a fifty gallon drum.

Creenay had capitalized on special college student pricing of Playboy magazine. During football season, he accompanied my friend Ryan and I to a football game. We got there early to get good seats. At this point, Creenay whipped out the most recent volume and started perusing-in full public view! Only our threats to move over to the next section got him to put it away. Another illustrative incident occurred a few months later. This time I was returning late on a Sunday night. I came home to discover that Creenay had collaged many un-Christian images of young women from his magazines all over the wall. He justified it to me by saying that it was only in the space between the bunked beds and since he had the bottom bunk he owned it. I got him to take it down by threatening to destroy it when he was gone.

With a couple of months left in the school year, I made arrangements to move into an empty room across the floor, thereby ending the constant stream of events like those documented above. I rarely saw Creenay after that; and when I moved out, I thought I would never see him again. That was where I was wrong.

After returning from my mission, I ran into Creenay on campus of the U of U. I thought that he would be near graduation because of the two years that he would have spent matriculating. I asked him if he shouldn't probably be graduating soon. He replied, "supposedly." This word very soon became a huge part of the Creenay legend because of his sloppy lisp like unto that of Sylvester J. Pussycat Sr. I got his address and tried to visit him with my homie Clark, but he wasn't home after two or three attempts so we gave up and decided that was it. We would never see him again.

Many years passed, and I graduated and relocated to the Mile High City. I occasionally ran into people from my past, but this was either intentional or through the "small world of Mormonism" effect. I had been living here for nearly two years and had grown comfortable with my new friends and sorroundings. One spring day, as I was walking home for a break between classes, I saw a young man standing on the corner of my block. As I got nearer, he began to look amazingly more and more like Creenay. When I got within 30 feet or so, I knew that I was not mistaken. I approached him and we talked. He ended up moving into the building next to mine. To me, the chances of this happening were microscopically small. It was amazing.

Let me say here that Creenay has really made a life for himself. I'm impressed. He became a surgical technician and has had a steady girlfriend for more than a year. Anyway, I took the opportunity to get a photo, Behold the joy on our faces:

I don't apologize for the wife beater tank top, because how could I? I would wear one every day if I could. I do question my judgment in wearing it on such an epic occasion. My mind was obviously clouded by the intense excitement I was feeling at the time. Maybe Creenay is the Sith Lord and his dark side force interfered with my Jedi force.

Brandon/Creenay 2007 was a tremendous event. We hung out a few times, but I haven't seen him for awhile. My greatest hope is that he'll call me or drop by someday. I think that he will, because we obviously have a connection that transcends space and time.


Jed said...



Ryan said...

You know, the more I think about it, the more I realize that Creenay is your Golum on your quest to destroy the ring. If he starts mentioning his "precious" you may want to watch out. Good memories - remember when we tried to get him to go by Creenay - saying he needed a nickname and that Creenay would fit?