Last night, I promised you, dear galleons, that I would tell you some wonderful news today. So…
When I was a freshman at MSU, I earned a nickname from the much-esteemed Derek: Watchtower. And here’s how I acquired that nom de plume (not really the correct usage of this phrase, but I like it and it’s staying):
It was a Thursday night. Fall semester. Before I started drinking much at all. Note that this was during the time when Derek would actually buy for us young ROIALies. And he had done so on this fine Thursday, providing the room with Popov (sweet JESUS, why does anyone drink that swill?).
So, Thursday night. We’re all piled into Stauff and Nick’s room (the room of the UNIDENTIFIABLE STENCH that bled into the ROIAL office and caused poor Derek no end of suffering… seriously, what the fuck was in their room?!), most of the crowd trashed. Said crowd included myself, Sasha (who was crushing on Stauff), Stauff, Nick, Christine (who wanted in Nick’s pants), Grix (who had the option of getting in Nick’s pants but didn’t want to), Derek, and Ainsley (who was trying to get into Derek’s pants but had only succeeded in plundering his mouth).
People are drinking, and we’re all playing Halo (sometimes, I feel my freshman year can be summed up with Players, Van, Popov, and Halo). Ainsley is on Derek’s lap, trying to Hoover his face off. Then, Nick gets a phone call. And promptly leaves the room.
Eventually, Nick returns. He was drunk when he left, but now he’s obviously worse. To this day, I can only assume that more alcohol and copious amounts of pot were consumed while he was away. He collapses into a sitting position on the floor, leaning heavily against the bed. He’s so far gone that he won’t respond when I try to talk to him.
Christine, on the other hand, cuddles up to his side. She’s drunk and still trying to get laid. I am trying to make sure Nick isn’t going to die.
He’s unresponsive. I drag the trashcan over and tuck it under his head. I hold him over the trashcan. I make sure that he doesn’t vomit all over the floor and/or pass out and suffocate in his own vomit.
I do all this because, at the time, Nick was one of my closest friends.
I’m there for hours. I’m practically elbowing Christine in the face to keep her off the half-comatose Nick. I’m starting to worry that I’m going to have to call 911 and get him to the hospital because he is suffering from alcohol poisoning.
I’m scared, I’m tired, and all I want to do is go to bed, wake up, and realize that this was all a horrible dream. But, of course, it wasn’t. I’m in a room full of people, and I’m the only one doing anything.
It was awful.
At the end of it all, after holding Nick up for nearly two hours and force feeding him water, he starts to come to. I almost cry. That’s how relieved I am. I get him into bed, and he passes out.
Derek has watched this whole thing, with Ainsley in his lap (and often in his mouth). Eventually, he says something.
There’s a heavy silence. I look at him, worn out, my arms shaking from supporting Nick’s weight for so long. There’s a moment where we just look at each other, and I know that something has changed, but I don’t understand it. Then he speaks again.
“Sam, that was incredible. I always knew you watched out for people, but… Tonight, you were like a Watchtower. Nothing was getting through.”
I’m almost crying at this point. I asked Derek if what I did was right. If I should have just called the cops/hospital instead. He tells me he doesn’t know if what I did was right, but it was admirable and it worked and, in the end, Nick is going to be fine.
And then he told me that anyone would be insanely lucky to count me among their friends.
This was the man who, just over a year later, broke up with his girlfriend and cried onto my shoulder in the middle of the Phillips lobby. We stood there, surrounded by the bags of props for Clue that I, as the AD, was in charge of, with me holding him in my awkward-yet-sincere way and him soaking my blouse with his tears.
I don’t know if people are lucky if I count them as friends, but I do think that the nickname “Watchtower” makes a lot of sense.
I’ve spent so much of my life putting everyone else before myself. My family. My friends. All the people I even remotely care about.
So, I’ve decided to twist this weird need to help people/be there for them to my advantage. For once.
This week, I’ve interviewed for, been offered, and accepted a position as a Nutritional Support Assistant at a hospital in Powell. In this position, my job will mostly consist of feeding old people/long-term care residents. Which isn’t the greatest position in the world, but is a step in the right direction.
Because, in September, I’ll train to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. And, after a year, they’ll pay half my class expenses should I want to become a licensed nurse.
Which, I’ve realized, I do. Some people who know me know that, in the last two years or so, I have spoken on multiple occasions about my desire to work in the medical field. The thing is, unlike all those people I went to school with at MSU, I can’t afford medical school. My parents would neither pay for it nor sign the loans to let me attend.
This way, I can actually get into a field I’ve been eying for a while now. Of course, in order to do so, I’ve had to sign a contract saying I’ll stick around for at least a year.
Holy shit, I made a commitment. What does this mean for me? Am I finally over my fear? Can I be in a real relationship?
Anyway, this position is great. I have real, great benefits (health insurance and life insurance among them), an ID card (which is just cool)… I’m terribly excited.
I don’t start until July, though. And I have to wear scrubs (no woman looks good in scrubs). And, in order to chase this position this week, I actually had to forfeit my current minimum wage position.
So… I’m unemployed for a month. Woo?
Seriously, though, I did not expect to be photographed and jabbed with a needle at a “pre-employment screening.”
On the plus side, I don’t have TB.