Getting A Drink With Friends

Design by Etai Smotrich-Barr

She sticks her tongue out to the side, squints her eyes to reveal thick, silver eyeliner, and tilts her head,  giving everyone a clear view of the black hair dye which has stained her left temple. This is my suitemate getting drunk on a Friday night. 

She has downed nearly half a handle of vanilla vodka. Still, it is somehow this same suitemate who carries me back home after our night out. We’ve decided that her Colombian genes give her these extraordinary abilities. When we leave our suite—she’s already four shots deep—we are joined by the ROTC boy and the power-lifting guy from down the hall. They are our floor drinking buddies. My suitemate swears she doesn’t get cold wearing a tank top in December, but my teeth can’t stop chattering, and the boys take their sweet time navigating us to Sig Chi (at this point in the night, my suitemate and I are without fail severely directionally challenged). We push through the crowd of sweaty partygoers, and I immediately beg whoever’s on aux to play Taylor Swift while my suitemate’s eyes drift. She sings along to every Spanish song they play and the boys are attempting to rizz up nearby hotties. 

I’d like to argue that the night truly begins when we’ve made our way back from G-Heav, each of us claiming a spot on my common room couch. My suitemate perches on the armrest of one of the loveseats while I am sprawled across the other. The two boys take their place side-by-side on the couch while the space between us gradually fills up with boxes of snacks and packets of Pedialyte. 

“It’s the capitalists! It all leads back to them…” This is what I hear from my suitemate as she grimaces at the window and launches into a monologue about misogyny and artificial metrics of success and her on-campus Marxist study group. I don’t go a day without hearing about it. “You have to join a Marxist study group,” I hear her whisper even in my dreams. Anticapitalism soon turns to hating the general population which turns into my suitemate convincing me to disclose some of my not-so-ideal moments. She has a real way of doing this; she is a talented instigator. While I am in the middle of my story, she launches up from her seat and grabs the whiteboard balanced against the window: The Red Flags List. This suitemate of mine is the one who convinced me to get a tattoo and dye a streak of my hair and climb onto a random roof and pierce my ears with a safety pin at 2 a.m.—all while she’s sober. However, when she’s had a few of her favorite drinks, she’s also the Yale mom who lectures me on leftist guerrilla groups and plans lift challenges for the next morning. As the night comes to a close, she teaches me how to dance the way she learned in underground salsa clubs.

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