My good neighbor

17 Sep

I saw a quote that said “Outside books, we avoid colorful characters.” I couldn’t disagree more. A colorful cast of characters is what makes life interesting and exciting, and I’d like to introduce you to my housemate, Kyle, one of the most unique personalities I’ve met in a while.

On the surface, he’s just another fratty College of Charleston business school graduate—tan, blonde and wearing the requisite uniform of a pastel polo and some Vineyard Vines buttercup yellow shorts. But thinking that Kyle is just a frat boy is like thinking that 50 Shades of Grey is a how-to manual for painters.

A few days after I moved into my new apartment, I walked in the living room to find him on the couch, intently focused on his iPhone, a homemade water balloon launcher sitting on the coffee table. I politely asked about his day, and was regaled with a tale of him spending the better part of his Sunday hungover and hunting the supplies to create his own water balloon launcher when failed in his attempt to buy one from Target. This was a solid investment for Kyle since, as he informed me, many of his Friday and Saturday evenings are spent on the roof of our house throwing water balloons at the drunk bitches that stumble down the street, unaware that a sniper lies in wait.

I was impressed by his craftiness and tenacity in assembling his own launcher; traits I would soon learn very well characterize Kyle and his bizarre assortment of hobbies, that include combing a nearby river for fossilized sharks teeth and selling rare animal pelts.

Kyle’s tenacity really shines through with his passion for spear fishing. I was treated to the fruits of his labor one evening when I came home and found my roommate, Tessa (a phenomenal cook), in the kitchen with pounds and pounds of freshly caught fish, compliments of Kyle. Apparently, he had gone out into the ocean, free dove with a semi-automatic weapon, and shot the hell out of five different species of fish, which Tessa then turned into a mind-blowing succulent four course dinner. Kyle spear fishes recreationally, but makes a nice little income with his hobby, occasionally selling his catches to some of Charleston’s finest restaurants.

Though I think Kyle’s future is bright, I really love to hear about his childhood in Colorado, where he was a champion laser tag player in his local arena and was selected to have his image on a Boy Crazy trading card.

That’s right. Fourteen-year-old Kyle (spiked blonde hair and all) was chosen from dozens of hopefuls at a mall in Colorado one fateful day to have his picture, and relevant information (height, Zodiac sign and favorite activities) put on a trading card that was then marketed to teenage girls across the nation. Boys from every state, ages about 13 to 22, were put on these cards, which I guess the creators thought would be the equivalent of Pokemon cards for tweenie girls. Somehow Boy Crazy didn’t take off, maybe because once you traded a couple of Johns from Kentucky for a Stuart from Nebraska, there wasn’t much else to do, but Kyle holds on to his Boy Crazy trading cards and somehow manages to use them to pick up girls (pity date maybe?).

Kyle is unpredictable, at times simultaneously incredibly sweet and incredibly douchey, but easily one of the most fascinating housemates I’ve ever had, and probably ever will.

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