There's a house in Lexington that would tell some stories if its walls could talk.
Back in the day I was as thick as thieves with a girl named Scarlett. She and I lived on the same floor of Blanding Tower at the University of Kentucky during our freshman year. I was holed up in room 2007 (I called myself the Second James Bond) and she was at the end of the other hall, past the trio of elevators that smelled like pee and stale beer.
Scarlett and I were part of a crew of girls from the same floor - we grabbed dinner in the dining hall together, we hitched rides to Wal-Mart together. We played in playgrounds in the middle of the night together.
We suffered in the freezing cold during early morning fire alarms together.
Freshman year rocked - it was a liberating experience of firsts that can only come when you're left to live life without the shadow of Mom and Dad looming over head. Scarlett has the distinct honor of being the one who taught me how to smoke cigarettes. It was only a precursor to other experiences - the gang didn't want to waste any good stuff on a girl who didn't know how to inhale.
I was a fresh-faced prep from New England and Scarlett was a hippy chick from Ashland, Kentucky. Two different perspectives on life colliding on the 20th floor on South Campus.
In 1996, Scarlett moved out of the Tower to a house on Limestone. It was near Commonwealth Stadium - a high traffic area and a perfect location for a party. One October Saturday night I trooped over to the house after the game (this was during the Bill Curry era when Kentucky Football really sucked) to help Scarlett get ready for the evening. She needed help screwing in a red light bulb on the front porch - a crimson, glowing beacon welcoming any reveler to the fete inside. She grabbed a particle board bookcase for me to use as a ladder. I gave her a skeptical look for a couple seconds and hoisted a leg up onto the first shelf.
I was on my ass in as much time.
I have a penchant for peeing my pants during the most inopportune of occasions - this was one of them. I peed my faded washed, reverse fit Gap jeans as I lay sprawled on the concrete porch, laughing uncontrollably at the absurdity of the situation.
Grabbing my composure as I stripped my sweater off, I tied it around my waist to cover the wet spot while trudging back to the Tower.
I returned to the house looking like a different woman. Black pants, hot top, cute shoes, every college girl had a few tricks to rely on for a Saturday night and I was no exception. Mine usually consisted of some cleavage, quality time with my hot rollers and a pair of hot heels.
Scarlett instantly greeted me with a beer and ushered me to the kitchen for what was the beginning of a tradition - a Three Wise Men shot. The Violent Femmes and 311 pulsated on the stereo while we gathered around the kitchen table - bracing for the most wicked of concoctions - Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Jose Quervo, visibly layered in shot glasses. We'd yelp and holler after downing such a potent drink and then pour another round.
You could cut the hedonistic debauchery in the air.
Couples drunk on lust and Nati Light would disappear behind closed bedroom doors. Others would bump and grind to Gin and Juice in the living room. Some people would gather in the kitchen to smoke bowls of Eastern Kentucky weed and chow down on cheese sticks from Papa Johns.
I didn't think life could get any better.