February 19, 2004

Dare To Be Dredge

During my freshman year in college, I lived with a psycho roommate and shared a suite with two Steves. While Steve #1 was a great guy and I have many stories I could share with you about him, I’m more interested in Steve #2 today. We called him Dredge.

Dredge was tall, utterly graceless, intelligent yet socially inept. He was from small town Virginia and had limited experiences in the wider, more populated world. And there was something special about that, in a naďve kind of way.

Throughout that first semester, we, the residents of The Dungeon, did our best to corrupt him but we were never able to. We sent him snipe hunting and he stayed out all night. We eventually went and looked for him, pulled him out of the rain and explained what we’d done. He smiled, thought it was hilarious and was no less enthusiastic about life (or us). His first evening of drunkenness – ever – was capped off by the wearing of six-pack containers as waterwings as some bizarre, alcoholic superhero. Despite the fact that he spent the rest of the evening throwing up and passing out in somewhat rapid succession, he laughed about it the next morning.

When the second semester of the year started, Dredge decided he needed to keep a handy reminder of his schedule visible. He got a massive sheet of butcher paper and wrote his entire schedule out in giant letters and hung it on the wall beside his bed. The concept struck us as funny but, even more amusing was one of the classes he had listed – ballet.

Remember what I said – he was tall, lanky, and graceless. Even he wouldn’t deny it. But he wanted to take ballet. He was the only guy in the class but that didn’t bother him. Every Tuesday and Thursday, he went to his ballet class. Every day in between he studied the ballet position charts he hung up on his wall under that big schedule. Sure, we gave him some crap for it too but really, we thought he was brave. Really, we thought, “here’s this guy who doesn’t really give a shit what anyone think of him.” And we admired him.

If there’s one wish, one piece of advice I’d have for anyone, its pretty simple - be a little more Dredge.

Posted by Chris at February 19, 2004 10:48 AM

excellent point!

*signs up for ballet class*

Posted by: tj at February 19, 2004 10:59 AM

I hope he knows what a positive impact he had on you guys. Hooray for Dredge and his not ever letting go of life's richness!

Posted by: Alicia at February 19, 2004 11:44 AM

being dredge has gotten me in a lot of trouble lately but, hey, it's not my fault that the rod up the world's ass has a rod up it's ass.

great post =)

Posted by: Marie at February 19, 2004 11:46 AM

he was the only boy in the class, and you all failed to see what excellent odds he had?

Posted by: liz at February 19, 2004 11:50 AM

SNIPE HUNTING...we have a picture of my brother snipe hunting!!!! He would fall for anything! We even told him that this roundish rock he found was a dinosaur egg...and he believed us...until 5th grade when he took it to school and told his teacher...oh it is a wonder he even talks to me.

Posted by: Amy at February 19, 2004 12:05 PM

Leave it to you to turn a humorous situation into a life lesson! That is a pretty cool story, though. Wouldn't it be funny if that "graceless" guy was now dancing for the NYC Ballet?

(Yeah, right.) :)

Posted by: Zandria at February 19, 2004 4:07 PM

My best friend growing up was an amazon. Her mother was a 'big boned' person too. Her mom MADE her take dance lessons so that she would be graceful. Even though she was at least 1 foot taller than all the guys in school, she carried herself with a stature that gave her style and charm. On the other hand, a big, tall, gangly guy I grew up with had a second toe that was at least a half inch longer than his big toe. When we would sneak out of the house, he would always give us all away because his big ol feet would slap across the pavement echoing throughout the neighborhood causing every dog within a half mile to start barking. Dance lessons would have paid off for him. What the correlation is here, I have no idea... You're just easy to share stuff with. heh.

Posted by: wlfldy at February 20, 2004 8:07 AM