Yo…you got any spare change?

You are currently reading from the Trials and Tribulations of a Crazy Asian Series

I was looking forward to my friend, Britney, spending the night since my roommates were gone for the weekend and this was serious cause for celebration.

I had insanely bad luck with roommates my freshman year of college.  I was first assigned to Room 303 of Woodcrest – the all girls dormitory of Cabrini – located, as fate would have it, on the third floor.  Being assigned that far up really makes you re-evaluate how much of your home closet you should have taken with you.

It’s amazing how long it takes to make a life for yourself – yet it only takes a short period of time to compartmentalize that same life into tupperware, office supplies and various products from Bed, Beth and Beyond.

I dragged my life all the way up seven flights of stairs only to realize I was the last person to arrive.  Two ostensibly large African-American girls were nice enough to leave me a little corner desk and three empty drawers to facilitate my existence up until this point.

I could live with the smoking (of cigarettes, among various other things), the Alicia Keys poster and Trinidad flag…but every Sunday they would take a large tub of Vaseline and run it through each other’s hair and proceed to “style” it.  I had to get out of there.

I waited out the standard two weeks to apply for reassignment and it turned out there was a girl on the first floor who was willing to swap rooms.  My friends helped me move to the first floor – room 102, to be exact.  I opened the door and stumbled backward as my eyes attempted to adjust for I only saw colors.

Pink and purple shag carpet reflected off the cinderblock walls so for a good five minutes I thought I had entered Barbie’s pussy.  As my eyes began to focus, I saw the pink was actually various Hello Kitty products…Hello Kitty comforter, Hello Kitty TV (which I later learned had Hello Kitty’s face pop up in the right hand corner whenever you changed the channel), Hello Kitty computer…it was everywhere.  The purple, thankfully, did not have a sick Asian cartoon character obsession attached to it, but a Disney one instead.  Needless to say, I found Nemo.  You’re only allowed to switch rooms once…I was screwed.

I later found out the two girls (who were both white – which makes this even more weird) were friends prior to coming to Cabrini.  They used to talk about my online to each other while I was still in the room.  Once, Hello Kitty yelled at me for drinking a juice box after eating all my yogurt…you have to love higher education.  Suffice it to say, their temporary absence was well received.

***

“Lauren!”, Britney barked at me.  “This campus fucking sucks.  I can’t find parking anywhere.”
“Just park in front of Woodcrest man.”
“Dude, it says ‘No Standing Anytime’.  Just come down and I’ll pick you up in front.  I’m starving!”
“It’s fine – everyone parks there.  Trust me, you have to see this room before we head out.”
“All right sounds good.”

Apparently, “a few minutes” is all it takes for your car to get towed.

“How much money do you have?”, Britney asked me through pursed lips.
“About twenty…you?”
“Same…fuck Lauren!”
“Okay, okay!  I’m sorry!”
“What the fuck are we going to do?!”
“All right, calm down.”  I said.  “Let’s assess the situation.  It’s $120 for the tow and $40 for the overnight.  We need $120…where the hell are we going to get $120?  Dude, just call your mom…” I sighed in defeat.
“Umm, how about you call your mom since YOU are the one who told me I could park there?!”
“Look dude I said I was sorry!…everyone really does park there though.  Listen, I might have some money in my change jar upstairs.”

***

After about an hour of looking for spare change it hit me, “Brit!  I have an idea…there are like 3,000 kids on this campus.  If we ask everyone for like, a quarter, we could totally get the money.”  Hell yeah Asian math skills…

So, it was decided – we would each walk to opposite sides of campus, making our way through each of the doorms, asking for alms for the poor.

***

I was in my second building of the night when I seriously began to question the effectiveness of my idea.  So far, I had collected countless pieces of gum, two condoms, one can of Natty Ice and an offer of $100 in exchange for a happy ending.

By the time I knocked on C31’s door – I had begun to lose hope.  Then, the doorknob turned and there he was…the Black Cowboy…minus the hat…and minus a shirt.  Suddenly I was not only kicking myself for telling Britney should could park her car in a no parking zone but also for not changing out of my bright orange Tootsie Roll shirt and yoga pants.

“Can I help you?”, he asked, a smile forming on his perfect face.  His hair was damp, dripping down his neck and chest.  His skin was the most divine shade of ivory that would make Snow White herself jealous.

I had been reciting the story of why I was approaching people’s doors looking for spare change for about an hour and a half and for the life of me I couldn’t remember why I was standing in his doorway.  Say something, Lauren.  Say anything!  Let words come from your mouth!

“I need change.”  I blurted out.
“Really?” he laughed, tilting his head ever so slightly, “Because it looks like you’ve got plenty there.” he observed, crossing his arms and leaning against the doorway.
“Oh, um, yeah…I need more.”
“Haha, you want to come in and maybe tell me why?” he asked, moving to the side and motioning for me to come in.
“Umm, most social surveys say you shouldn’t enter the living space of someone you don’t know…especially in a college setting.” Are you a fucking idiot, Lauren?  The man is shirtless…
That made him laugh even harder, “You are too cute.  Hold on just a sec.”

Without explanation of any kind, the Black Cowboy filled my jar to the brim and sent me on my way with his number and screen name written in sharpie on my arm…without a name.

Britney and I hitched a ride with a friend to get the car the next morning…with the Black Cowboy’s donation we made $315…and yet so much more…

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