From the Loser
By Tim Drugan-Eppich
It is something I told myself I would never do. In fact I was the first to laugh at those who did. And yet here I am, living at home, sleeping in the same room I did for the first 16 years of my life.
Coming back anywhere is a strange experience. We all think we know where we’re headed, and returning to a place different than you thought you’d be can serve as a harsh reminder that life couldn’t care less about your plans.
See, I was going to be a professional baseball player. The fact that I was perfectly average my entire life did nothing to deter me. I was convinced that once I hit my growth spurt my hidden talent, which I was certain was there, would shine through. After that happened I would have my choice of schools, and I would go to Stanford on a full-ride before playing shortstop for the Red Sox. All this of course accompanied by a plethora of girlfriends, while sporting a lush and flowing beard.
Unfortunately my growth spurt came and went, leaving me with the same amount of talent and a disproportional body. As I tried to impress coaches in my junior year of high school, I was dealing with long legs and oddly short arms, not making any impression other than that of a goofy unathletic dummy with unrealistic dreams.
So instead of being well on my way to having my number retired and my jersey put in the hall of fame, I’m living at home after two other colleges and four other majors, no romantic prospects on the horizon and barely a hint of facial hair. Being at home, it seems that the things I hoped would be different have stayed the same, while the things I wanted to stay the same, didn’t.
When I was young, a constant disagreement was the cleanliness of my room. An allowance was something that I used to thoroughly enjoy. However, when I brought up the idea of perhaps restarting that weekly allotment of cash, I was met with the two people who raised me laughing in my face, followed by “in your dreams.”
Laundry is one of the most trying aspects of early adulthood. The number of times I have gone commando for need of clean boxers is socially unacceptable. When I used to return home for a short visit, my laundry was brought home dirty, and then magically it was clean. Little did I know that this was not a condition that would last if I overstayed my welcome, which I have. Now I am stuck trying to figure out what is a white and what is a colored and usually left with wearing outfits that look exceedingly stupid because my not-so-ugly clothes are almost always dirty.
Another routine that was put in motion every time I would visit home was a series of questions asked by my mom to find out if I had a love interest without actually coming out and asking. The difference now is that I deal with those types of questions on a much more regular basis, which can be quite bruising to the ego. No, Mom, I still don’t have a girlfriend. I don’t know how I wasn’t able to land one in the seven hours since you last asked me. Well I don’t know why. No, they aren’t busting down the door to go out with me.
Yes, I’m being myself, and that may be the issue. No, Mom, I’m not asking a lot of girls out. You know what? How about YOU go get a girlfriend if you want one so bad.
Not a great comeback, I know. I realized it after the fact.
I had no idea how strange my sleep schedule was until moving back home. Do you know that there are still people that get up at 6 a.m.? Neither did I. And yet there they are, clattering away when I am hoping to still get at least three more hours of sawing wood. Sometimes my dad even takes to singing in the morning. Can you imagine someone feeling like singing at six? Neither could I.
For all my complaining, living back at home actually has its perks. Every day I get to return to my house where people love me, and not to a dorm room where my roommate sheepishly tells me that the puke on the carpet isn’t coming out. I get to eat with people who look me in the eye and have no interest in taking pictures of their food. And, most importantly, I live with people who watched me grow up, so they know why I became the maniac I am.
And for all the money I’m saving, being around those who almost understand me is priceless.
Tim Drugan-Eppich is a junior majoring in English.