Having a Ball at College
One year as I studied nursing at Penn State, my roommate and I got along quite well, even though he was a Philly’s fan and I was a Pittsburgh, Pirate fan. I was older and he never saw me study, because I was awake early and my classes were mostly done by lunchtime. He would be gone most o the afternoon, when I would study and grab a nap.
I was awake until later in the evening, “keeping up” with the younger crowd. It was funny, being called the “old man” and yet I was as active as they were and he thought that I was smart because he didn’t see me nap or study in the afternoons.
The incident I was remembering was the students above us made all kinds of noise, almost like they were wearing wooden shoes on the tile covered concrete floors of the rooms. We politely reminded them of the problem and they chose to ignore us. One evening, I wanted to go upstairs and bring the issue to a head, but my roommate said “No” wait. He was going home for the weekend and we’d deal with it when he came back.
Once he was back, w waited until the upstairs students marched across the floor. My roommate went to his closet and hefted out a heavy looking bag. “Let’s go,” he said. And we took the elevator up two floors and went to the room directly above the noisemakers’ room.He knocked and explained the situation and asked if we could come in. Once we were inside, he unzipped the bag. The guys who lived in the room sat on their beds, while my roommate and I sat on opposite sides of the floor. And we began to roll his chipped and scarred, old bowling ball back and forth across the floor. The noise in the room was like thunder from Thor’s hammer in the room. I could only imagine what it sounded like in the room below.
It wasn’t too long until we heard a pounding on the door. When we answered it, it was in fact the two young men from the floor below. When they saw us, the belligerence in their faces left. My roommate and I outsized their smaller framed bodies and we said, “Now, you understand what it’s like, living under you guys.” We closed the door, packaged the bowling ball, and went back to our room.The noise levels were better but my roommate kept the ball in his closet, just in case.