The first week I was in college I had no friends. I went to school in Montreal, where the drinking age was 18, and there was a university-sanctioned and remarkably debauched introduction to campus life called "Frosh Week" where people got hammered, sang songs, and inevitably wound up at a full-contact strip club called Supersexe.

I was really shy and homesick and I spent the week hiding in my dorm and watching my roommates' Sex and the City DVDs while she went out and got her fuck on amongst the boozed-up frosh.


Things got a lot better once my roommate locked me out of our room one night so she could continue to make sex with a dude whose LEGAL NAME was Kale. This was a crappy roommate move, but it forced me to socialize with a group of people hanging out in the hall. They did not shun me as I had feared, although they did make fun of my accent.

By the end of our first month, I'd wrangled a group of goofy friends and abandoned my sadness-induced Carrie Bradshaw binges for nights playing pool at dirty dive bar across the street from our dorm.

One of those friends introduced me to Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. This post is apropos of nothing dramatic- he didn't die or anything, he's alive and well in Seoul, South Korea, operating a hot dog shop- but he posted "Don't Leave Me This Way" on Facebook today and I had a vivid flashback to being 18 and so happy to have friends and also so drunk and attempting to dance on the bar to this song one already-cold October in Montreal.


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