And I thought high school was bad…
In the fall of 1981, I joined the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity because it was the place I was most at ease during rush. I was primarily motivated because I needed housing but soon became very comfortable with the idea of living in the fraternity house. I rarely drank during high school (only with my family at holidays) and never used any illegal drugs. Within a few months, I became a regular pot smoker. I am not proud of that but that is part of my story that would be pointless to hide.
One of my roommates was Doug Fabrick. His father and mine had been friends a long time and had worked together. He was one of the guys I was familiar with when I pledged. We could have been best friends and it would seem we should have been, but there was no way I could convert this guy.
One day during that first quarter, some of the guys wanted to know where Doug was. I remember this being on a Monday and Doug had not shown up for any of the classes he was in with some of the other brothers. I had not seen Doug that morning, but that was not unusual because he got up first and his bed was made.
By Tuesday the other guys were really worried because Doug was still missing. Some of them asked me to “bring him back.” I was confused at first as to what this was all about; I didn’t send him away. My brothers persisted. I told them to search for him around Moffit Library and they would find him there. By Wednesday afternoon the other brothers found him and I remember him walking into our room, we called it the Polo Lounge, with his backpack slung over his shoulder.
We had the following exchange, maybe not word for word:
Me: Dude, where’ve you been?
Doug: I dunno. I was walking around Moffit and the bro’s came up to me and told me they were looking for me. They were really happy to find me. I don’t know what’s going on.
Me: Dude, what day is it?
Doug: Dude, it’s Monday.
Me: Dude, it’s Wednesday.
Doug: Dude! It’s Wednesday!?!?!?
Me: It’s Wednesday, dude.
Doug: Dude, what do you mean it’s Wednesday?!?!?!?
Me: Dude, it’s Wednesday.
This went on for a while. I finally convinced him he had been gone for two days and that was why the guys were looking for him. I asked him several times what happened but he would not admit to much of anything, directly. Eventually, he indicated that he wanted to “take me out” for some reason but could not. I never really slept easy with him around, even though we joked about it a lot.
Although there are plenty of instances where guys in fraternity houses can become competitive over girls, I am sure you can figure that Doug made moves on my girlfriend the following year. Relationships in college can be very convoluted. I usually pursued women who were desirable. It goes without saying that other brothers were attracted to the women I dated.
Fast forward to the time right after the Year in the Dog Park. I go to a lunch with several of these Southern California Sammies. Two of them tell me during lunch that they don’t want me there: Damian Jay Ritt and Doug Fabrick. Ritt is especially pissed. He wants to know why I didn’t die in 1997, he says he saw me get shot. He also mentions Victoria which really got me mad; I had not even caught up to her yet. However, in my inimitable way I brought up how I had dubbed Jay “Pan” and did my little “put on your little hooooves” chant. Doug starts laughing and Jay gets mad at him. The whole lunch was really weird. And some people wonder why I am not closer friends with these guys.
A few years later I decide to see what Doug was up to. Some years had passed and I thought I might be able to trust him again. I had a vision in the Dog Park years before that even though I directed “everyone’s fire” at Jay, Doug would turn on me.
We set a day to go to Hampton’s on La Brea which is not there anymore. We had spent some time poking fun at ourselves and all the stuff that happened back in the days at the house. Doug excuses himself to go to the men’s room. A long time passes, during that time I hear the swinging doors of the restaurant swing open and slam shut fast. It was out of my view but the sound was very loud. It was a bit odd. Soon thereafter Doug comes back to the table, and has a shocked look on him face.
Doug: Dude, what are you doing here?
Me: I’m waiting for you to drive me home.
Doug: I didn’t expect to see you here.
There was some more of this confusing talk before we paid our bill. We walk out of Hampton’s and there are two police cruisers with two Latinos spread out against the fenders. I give Doug a nasty look.
Me: Doug, what was that all about?
Doug: I don’t know, man.
We get into his car and I accuse him of setting me up that day. He keeps denying it. I am furious and tell him that he really screwed up that day. I ask him why would he do such a thing. He tells me what has to be the most bizarre thing I have ever heard a friend say, “I can’t help it, I’m evil.”
I tell him he better drive me home safely. At that moment he loses control of the car; he is no longer accelerating or braking, the car is doing that itself. He tells me so; he is no longer driving the car and the car is going a bit faster than is “safe.” I have my eyes fixed on him. He is still steering the car but the pedals are working on their own. I know that is hard to believe but that was precisely what occurred.
The car stops abruptly when he drops me off. I tell him he better be scared shitless of God now. “What about my wife and kids?” he pleads to me. I tell him whatever happens “is not my fault.”
If you cannot help that you are evil, then the rest of the world does not NEED you.
Do you understand?